Skype for Business: The Next Step for Phone, IM, Virtual Meetings and More

It all started with Microsoft Lync. University staff wanted an instant messaging platform and our phone systems were due for an update, so the Lync implementation made sense on many levels. Lync was updated and relaunched by Microsoft a few years later as a more robust platform called Skype for Business.

While Lync is still being used by many customers across campus, Skype for Business is being rolled out to these customers one department at a time. Here’s what you need to know when Skype for Business comes to your department.

  1. Lync does not equal Skype: Skype, the consumer platform is not the same as Skype for Business. Skype for Business has far more capabilities than both Lync and the consumer version of Skype. So if you know Skype from personal usage, don’t assume you know all there is to know about Skype for Business. Skype for Business has more capabilities.
  2. The consumer version of Skype can be integrated with Skype for Business: If you’ve downloaded Skype for Business onto your devices, you can not only use it for business purposes, but the same app can also serve as an access point for your consumer Skype account. There’s no need to have two separate apps on your device.
  3. Don’t Miss Out on Mobile: If you’ve only used Skype for Business on your in-office computer, you’re missing out on some of its most versatile features. If you’re schedule is packed with meetings at multiple locations, install the Skype for Business mobile app to tune in to meetings you can’t make in person or to cover the first few minutes of those that you can’t quite get to on time (because you’re trying to park?). Read our Knowledge Base for more information about iOS and Android mobile apps,
  4. Skype for Business is a Package Deal: Phone service has changed dramatically over the last decade, and Skype for Business reflects these changes. Instead of paying for features separately, all features are automatically included in the service at one low price.
  5. Ohio State’s Skype for Business can be federated with other organizations: By integrating with Indiana University, Ohio State staff who collaborate with IU staff can use Skype for Business to send them instant messages, use the presence feature to identify if collaborators are available and conduct Skype for Business meetings across the two universities. We are seeking to partner similarly with other universities to make features synergetic as opportunities arise.

We’re very pleased with the extent of Skype for Business implementation that we have completed to date, and we are anxious to continue the process so everyone has access to this robust tool. If you have questions about this service, contact Associate Director of Infrastructure Jason Pollock via email or by phone at 614-292-9118.