Microsoft Skype for Business
Microsoft Skype for Business is a communications service that connects people anytime and from virtually anywhere by delivering its collaboration capabilities using Microsoft’s cloud-based services. It gives users access to presence, instant messaging, audio and video calling, rich online meetings, and extensive web conferencing capabilities.
Organisations that use Skype for Business retain control over the collaboration services they offer to users, but they do not have the operational burden of on-premises server software.
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Presence is the ability to detect another user’s availability. Using Skype for Business, users can display their presence status – for example, Available, Away, Do Not Disturb, or Offline – to let others know their availability. Skype for Business presence information is presented throughout the Office 365 suite, such as in OneDrive for Business, which shows the status of the person who last edited a document. Users can instantly find and communicate with people from within Microsoft Outlook. This connection occurs wherever the user sees a coloured presence indicator that represents a person’s presence status. The user can then click the presence icon and initiate a communication by using Skype for Business.
When Outlook calendar integration is enabled, a user can check another user’s schedule and get up-to-date availability information directly from that person’s calendar. This makes it easy to determine when someone will be available.
Instant messaging (IM) is the ability to transfer text messages in real time over an Internet Protocol (IP) network such as the Internet or an organization's corporate network. Instant messaging is available for both Skype-to-Skype and multiparty communication. IM text is encrypted for enhanced security.
Skype-to-Skype Audio and Video Calls
Skype for Business users can make one-to-one computer-based audio and video calls to other Skype for Business users using a PC and a web camera. A Skype for Business user can initiate Skype-to-Skype audio and video calls with another user in the same Skype for Business organisation (within or outside the corporate firewall).
Skype for Business provides PC-to-PC file transfer that lets users transfer files as part of a Skype for Business session.
Skype-to-Skype Desktop and Application Sharing
Skype for Business provides PC-to-PC data sharing capabilities including desktop sharing and application sharing.
Ad-Hoc Skype for Business Meetings
Users can start or join an ad-hoc Skype for Business Meeting with just a few clicks in the Skype for Business client or in Office. Skype for Business lets users escalate simple instant messaging conversations or email conversations to PC-based, multiparty audio and video meetings with shared desktops, applications, and documents.
Dial-in Conferencing Services
Dial-in conferencing is the ability for users to dial into a Skype for Business meeting or conference from a phone. For dial-in conferencing, you set up users to be able to use Microsoft or a third-party audio conferencing provider (ACP) as their dial-in conferencing provider.
Web Conferencing Tools
Skype for Business provides multiparty web conferencing capabilities including virtual whiteboard and annotations. A whiteboard is a blank canvas that can be used for collaboration, with text, ink, drawings, and images. Annotations made on whiteboards can be seen by all meeting participants. The whiteboard feature enhances collaboration by enabling meeting participants to discuss ideas, brainstorm, take notes, and so on.
Skype Meeting Broadcast
Skype Meeting Broadcast lets you produce, host, and broadcast meetings to large online audiences -- up to 10,000 attendees. You schedule a meeting using the Skype Meeting Broadcast scheduling and management portal. You use the familiar meeting experience within Skype for Business to produce a professional, engaging event for your audience. Attendees can join and engage in the meeting from anywhere on any device.
The polling feature enhances collaboration by enabling presenters to quickly determine participants’ preferences. During online meetings and conversations, presenters can use polling to gather anonymous responses from participants. All presenters can see the results and can either hide the results or show them to all attendees.
Recording and Playback
The recording feature allows organisers and presenters to record all aspects of a Skype for Business session, including who entered the meeting, audio and video, and content from IM conversations, program sharing sessions, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, whiteboards, and so on.
With the Lobby feature, users decide who gets into the meeting directly, and who waits until the presenter lets them in. This feature is recommended for large meetings, or meetings that will involve confidential or sensitive information. Different Lobby options can be set for users who are connecting through a Skype for Business client and users who are dialling in.