Skype is an IP telephony service provider that offers free calling between subscribers and low-cost calling to people who don’t use the service. In addition to standard telephone calls, Skype enables file transfers, texting, video chat and video-conferencing. The service is available for desktop computers, notebook and tablet computers and other mobile devices, including mobile phones. A number of companies, including Skype, produce dedicated Skype phones.
Skype is great for home and work and lets you connect and communicate with millions of people.
Microsoft re-designed and re-branded Microsoft Lync Online to Skype for Business, a virtually identical product to Skype for Desktop which applies to enterprise environments.
So what is Skype for Business and what are the differences to Skype for Desktop?
Skype for Desktop when it was first release was designed purely for home use. For a corporate environment in nowadays there are two options, according to your needs. Either use the same Skype that you use at home called now Skype for Desktop or use Skype for Business.
Similarities and Differences:
Skype for Desktop is great for small businesses up to 25 employees on group audio calling. It is free to use, unless you want to buy credit to make calls to landlines and mobiles.
Skype for Business lets you add up to 250 people to online meetings, gives you enterprise-grade security, allows you to manage employee accounts, and is integrated into your Office apps and it is starting for “Online Plan 1” at £1.30 user/month (yearly contract) and for “Online Plan 2” at £3.40 user/month (yearly contract). “Online Plan 2” is at £3.40 user/month, it adds high-definition video to group conferences, ability to join meetings from a web browser (including anonymous connections), desktop sharing and remote control and also the ability to record meetings.
Integration with Office apps:
Skype for Business is integrated into Office 365, meaning the ability to use all office applications with Skype for Business’s IM, voice and video features, finding anyone in your company and schedule meetings in Outlook.
Security and permissions:
Though it doesn’t mean your VoIP calls are bulletproof against eavesdroppers, all Skype traffic (both Skype for Desktop and Skype for Business) is encrypted with AES. Skype for Business raises the stakes with stronger authentication methods that give you, as the administrator, enterprise-grade security and management of employee accounts and access to the who can do what with the tool. Subscriptions can be added and removed at the user level, with different program features assignable to each user on the service.
Do I Really Need These Features?
That is a very good question of whether all the bells and whistles that Skype for Business offers are really necessary for a business, or whether what Skype for Desktop provides now is enough. In some companies online meetings are really essential, especially if the have multiple offices around the globe. Then video conference is the key factor. In addition to that the instant messaging feature is also a killer.
To Pay or not to Pay?
Since Skype for Desktop is free and Skype for Business is on subscription, are businesses getting value for money in paying for Skype for Business? Not everyone thinks so. No one will deny that the app integration in Skype for Business is very nice, but most companies do not need to make the jump from Skype for Desktop.
So the verdict is yours.
Please leave your comments below with which Skype version do you prefer and why.