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Skype for Business – 5 useful features that you may not have known about (or didn’t bother to look…)

Posted April 04, 2016

For those who didn’t know, Microsoft Lync is now Skype for Business (SFB) in the business world. And it’s a fully integrated part of Microsoft Office 365 in most forms.

By Chad Gowrea, Director - Solutions and Strategy

skype-featuredI can hear a lot of you saying: “Yeah  I know this program, it’s the one I always used to talk to people over when I was away or talk to my relatives in another country.”

Well, it’s not just another face to face chat program. Here are a few things you possibly didn’t know about Skype or Skype for Business that could make it a much more powerful tool in your business…..

It has a translator built in

Probably the newest and most impressive feature of SFB. The translator works with both voice and IM (instant messaging) text.  It’s pretty self-explanatory, you talk and it translates what you say to a computer generated voice or to text in a different language.

As per most voice translators, it’s not perfect with certain accents and speed of speech. However, it will only get better and you can imagine the host of possibilities it makes accessible to the everyday user.

You can Invite people to a Skype for Business conference even if they don’t have a Skype Account or even have Skype installed

Most people’s initial thought is that they can only do conferences with a user who is already on Skype or has it installed on their PC. Wrong.

If you wish to have a meeting with a user who does not have Skype this I not a drama as it allows you to invite guests via email with a link to your meeting. They simply click on the link and it takes them to a Browser version where it downloads an add-on ad and allows the user to attend the meeting as Guest with their name.

Outlook presence

How many times have you received an IM message you say “Hi John, are you there…. ??” Or even, someone sent you an IM message when you are away from your desk and not realised that you never got the message….Or same token, when you really just need to get some solid focus time to get that piece of work done…..and you have messages popping up.

The fact you can simply put yourself online/offline is a great tool. Better yet, Skype will automatically change your status according to your Outlook calendar bookings automatically.

Having all your workers always displaying their presence status is an undervalued tool as it allows for all staff in a business to respect and work with other people’s workflows and workloads in an easier manner.

You can start conversations or conferences with other workers directly from Office applications

Let’s say you are editing a document and you want to directly discuss part of it with a colleague.

No need to go the long way of saving your document, opening up Skype or whatever your platform and calling a conference and trying to work out how to present your doc via video conference…

You can call landlines and mobiles from your Skype account and they can call you

This is one of those things that probably isn’t going to find a place in most businesses for everyday use, however, it can be a VERY useful tool in sticky situations where you simply need to call a landline and don’t have access to a conventional phone but have access to the internet on your Skype enabled device.

For example, stuck in an airport in transit and don’t have roaming enabled on your phone (or don’t want to pay the exorbitant fees) and simply NEED to call someone who only has access to a landline?

Hook up to the nearest WIFI and lock in some credit and you can call any international number and they can call you. You simply need to get Skype to allocate you a Skype phone number.

Different rules to different countries do apply. However, this is a good tool to have


In summary, Skype and Skype for Business as part of Office 365 can open up a wide array of new collaboration and working methods for you and your business to allow you to be more efficient in the day to day workplace.

If you would like to see a Preview of how Skype for Business can help you contact Bremmar on 1300 991 351 and one of our solution consultants will be able to help you.

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By Chad Gowrea, Director - Solutions and Strategy

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