Bring the Personal Touch to Business Communication with Skype for Business!
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Why do people meet face to face? — That’s when communication is at its best!

By leveraging Skype for Business, you allow people to do more than hear your voice or read your words on paper. While there is a time and place for emails, phone calls, and conference calls, there is no substitute to seeing someone’s smile and watching their expressions and body language as they talk with you. The difference between a voice-only conference call and a Skype for Business call is the difference between a black and white television and a color television. You may get the storyline, but the color – some of the life – is missing from the conversation.

The Apex team has put together an informative YouTube video about valuable Skype for Business features that will help you engage your customers on a more personal basis, build relationships, and drive sales.

About Skype – Just In Case You’ve Been Hiding Under a Rock for the Past Fifteen Years

Skype was initially developed by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, in coordination with backend developers Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn.

Skype version #1 was a consumer application used as a communication platform and provided the functions of video conferencing and instant messaging.

Skype was purchased in 2005 by eBay and sold again to Microsoft in 2011.

Because Microsoft was heavily invested in office productivity software, their goal for Skype was to build it into a robust business communications platform. This is exactly what they did.

Of course, the consumer version of Skype is still available and is used by millions across the globe each day, but Skype shines as a business application as well.

What is the difference between Skype & Skype for Business?

Simply put, they are geared for different audiences. Skype is targeted at the personal users. Skype for Business has additional features designed for use by everyone from small business to large corporations such as:

  • Whiteboarding
  • Presentations
  • More Video Conference Attendees – 10-15 people
  • Office 365 Integration

The standard, consumer version of Skype has a slightly different model and paid features set as Skype for Business. Unlike the upgrade model of the consumer version, Skype for Business comes fully functional within the Office 365 subscription.

Three ways to Communicate with Skype for Business:

  • Instant Messaging – Want to have a quick chat with a colleague without picking up the phone? Maybe you’re sitting in a meeting and need a quick answer from an employee back at the office. By opening up the Skype for Business app on your phone, tablet, or laptop, you can have quick conversations without the distraction of a voice call.
  • Voice and Video Calling – When it’s important for colleagues in other regions – or down the block – to hear your voice or see your face, a voice call or video call with Skype for Business does the job. Each conversation can be elevated with screen sharing or call recording for later reference.
  • Online Meetings – When you want to get the whole team together and being in the same room just isn’t possible, a Skype for Business video conference call does the trick! By hearing the voice and seeing the face of each team member, you can get a better idea of how each individual is doing and how projects are progressing.

A Quick Skype for Business Demo

Once we log into Skype for Business, we have an area were contacts are shown.

On the personal area, (click on your photo or person icon and choose “Personal”) you can setup your name, your profile photo, status (if you are online, busy, away, etc.).

Because your status (the dropdown menu under your name) is connected to Microsoft Outlook, every time you are in a meeting your status will automatically change your status to busy.

In the Contacts section, you can search your own Skype contacts or the full Skype directory. You can search by:

  • Name
  • Skype Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email

You can check the status of your contacts to see if the person you are trying to reach is available to take your Skype call or answer your instant message. Also, you can create groups to organize your contacts. Once you have a group, you can start a chat with the entire group with just one click.

In the Conversations area, you can see a list of the calls you have had. The three sub-areas inside the conversations are All, Missed, and Calls.

  • Under “All,” you will have a list of all your previous conversations. Next to each entry, there will be a little icon to let you know what kind of conversations they were: video calls, phone calls, message conversation, etc.
  • In the “Calls” sub-area, you will see a list of all the phone calls that took place.
  • In the “Missed” sub-area you will see a list of the calls you didn’t answer or ignored.

On the Meetings area (the calendar icon), you can see a list of your scheduled meetings (which again, are integrated with Outlook).  From that area, you can join the meeting with just one click.

In the tools area (click the gear icon on the left to find this), there is a section called options. In the popup window, there are a lot of settings you can use to customize your Skype experience, things like uploading your photo and selecting how you want to be notified when a new message arrives.

Quick Skype For Business Tips

  • When you start an instant message, you can seamlessly go to other forms of communication such as video call or voice chat from the same window.
  • When you are in a meeting, you can add or remove people from the conversation as needed.
  • You can put people on mute.
  • You can give call participants “presenters rights” so they have more control over the meeting settings.
  • While on a group call you can also send attendees private messages.
  • You can shut down every attendee video – helpful if bandwidth is a problem for some participants.
  • You can put people or the whole call on hold.
  • You can record the audio of voice calls and everything that is happening on the Skype screen. With the Manage Recording feature, you can see a list of your recordings, play them, download and share them, or delete them.

Scheduling Meetings

  • When Outlook and Skype are integrated, you will have a button on Outlook to Join a Skype meeting.
  • When you create a meeting in Outlook, it will contain all the information to join the Skype meeting.
  • If you need to do a Skype Meeting with someone outside your organization, they can join the meeting by using the Skype Web App.
  • You can plan your meetings, you can upload your material in advance.

Skype Meeting Tips

  • Share Your Screen or Desktop – You can share your whole screen or an area of the screen.
  • Coauthor Documents – This feature allows you to upload your file into your OneDrive or SharePoint. Once the file is accessible in the cloud, it can be edited by the group.
  • Do PowerPoint Presentations directly on Skype.
  • Take and Share Notes On Skype for Business With Onenote
  • Whiteboard – Use this feature for brainstorming! It can be saved and send to OneNote.
  • Create Polls – Find out what your entire group’s opinion is on a given topic without a lengthy discussion.
  • Start Q&A Sessions – Allow your attendees to ask questions of the presenter. The responses from the presenter will pop up on the screen. It is more like a typed Q&A session vs. a spoken one. The Q&A session feature only works when you are in a live meeting.
  • Share Notes – From OneNote, you can share with the Skype for Business

Two Common Skype for Business Questions

How do I delete a conversation?

Answer: Go to Conversation History -> Right Click -> Delete

Where are conversations in Outlook?

Answer: In Outlook, there is a folder where the conversations are stored.

Where Can I Find Skype For Business Experts In Redding CA And The Surrounding Area?

The Apex team has been helping businesses just like yours harness the power of internet-based communications and Microsoft office productivity products for over 25 years. We have more than 30 specifically chosen and uniquely qualified employees to help small and mid-size businesses with their IT requirements. In 2017, Apex was ranked #258 on the MSP Mentor “Top 501” List, and our staff holds over 85 IT industry certifications.

Among the outstanding services that Apex provides to our valued clients are:

There are many, many more ways we can optimize your IT systems, so they can, in turn, support your pro-growth efforts! Let us show you.

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