How your business can benefit from Skype…
Last Friday, we spent some time talking about the benefits to upgrading your office phones to newer VoIP products and services. Hopefully, you took the time to check out what is available, or at the very least, we got the wheels spinning on how to use your IT to save more, produce more, and get more. In terms of business profits and productivity, who doesn’t like more? Not this guy, so let's talk about Skype!
Chances are, when you read the subheading and saw Skype in there, you thought one of a couple ideas. First, maybe you thought, “Really?! Why?” Then maybe you thought about how you use this app from Microsoft® already. For a lot of us, it might just be the app that gets opened when grandma sends gifts to the kids from across the country, and she wants to see the excited faces as those gifts are opened. Perhaps you have a loved one on a long trip overseas, and this is a great way to stay in touch. What we may not always think about though is how, as business owners, this incredible little tool was one of the best pieces of software that Microsoft® has ever acquired… and it will only get better it seems.
Now, full-disclosure, we here at CisCom Solutions are a certified partner and small business specialist for Microsoft®, so you can expect a fair bit of love ahead for the Windows OS creator. I will do my best though to keep the affection down and the facts up front and center.
The word “skype” has become so synonymous with video chat on a consumer level that it is hard to remember when it was first created by the same programmers that brought us Kazaa, or that at one time it was owned by eBay! When Microsoft® got its hands on it in 2011 though, they had consumers and businesses in mind, and it shows! Just 2 years after they took over, it was reported that 40% of all calls made internationally were made using Skype.
Below are some of our favorite reasons to use Skype™ for Business, and how they might help your business too.
Whether you are needing answers from another cubicle, another office, or maybe another building altogether, an instant message can be as good as an instant response in the working environment. Speed in business can be crucial, and in our current communications culture where literally trillions of texts are sent every year, this feature fits like a well-worn glove. The thought then follows that if it can improve the productivity inside your walls, imagine what it can do when you open a Skype line for your clients to reach you.
That brings up the next point. Unlike some programs that require a certain operating system, Skype is universal. Working on desktops and laptops running Windows, Linux, or Mac OS, you can already see the ease of use. Combine that with the fact that iOS-, Android-, and Windows-based phones and tablets all run the tool, and now you have a perfect cross-platform communications tool that won’t cost your customers a single cent to get a hold of you. Yeah… that’s nice.
IT PLAYS NICE WITH OTHERS
Speaking of communications tools, Skype™ for Business is a great way to add another form of contact that won’t interfere with your other tools such as phone calls and email. In fact, it can enhance them by how it integrates into Office programs like Outlook and the calendar features. When setup with Exchange, you will have the seamless ability to see when any of your contacts are available to message or schedule a Skype conference call with. It is as if the busier you get, the more useful it becomes! (I cannot speak for the people using it though. Ahem… moving on!)
MEETINGS MADE EASY
File sharing within a communications tool is nothing new, but when taken into consideration with the rest of the features, I would be neglectful not to point it out. Plus, with the Enterprise version of Skype™ for Business (available with Office 365) you can do screen sharing, record meetings, share them with 250 attendees, and even broadcast a meeting to up to 10,000 people. Meetings are incredibly scalable with that kind of resource available to you, and we all know meetings can be cumbersome enough without restrictions from your IT.
Finally, and most importantly to those concerned, is an element not often considered when our everyday lives are filled with texts, chats, and videos using a myriad of consumer-grade apps. The issue with consumer level apps is that some can leave you open to privacy and intrusion risks. Skype™ for Business uses Rijndael, the 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) that is used to secure government privacy. Additionally, all public keys (in simple terms, what allows your device access to resources… such as Skype in this instance) are certified through a server with either 1536 or 2048-bit RSA cryptosystems. That was a whole lot of numbers and acronyms. In far simpler terms, it is practically a certainty that nobody is getting your stuff while using Skype™ for Business, so you can relax and enjoy the perks mentioned above.
Skype™ is a tremendous resource to round out the Office 365 suite of productivity apps. If you should have any questions about Skype™ or want to know how your business can benefit from Office 365’s complete bundle, head on over to CisCom and chat it up with one of the brilliant staff members. They would love to help you optimize your business!
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