It's important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of Skype before eliminating your traditional business landline. Skype for Business can bring together remote teams and allow them to participate in meetings just as if they were in the same room together. But Skype for Business also has some drawbacks tied to the technology it uses, which may not be a good fit for your business. This article looks candidly at the advantages and disadvantages of Skype to determine if it might be a good fit for your business.
Video conferencing is hot, according to a recent Business 2 Community article. Some of the biggest advantages of Skype revolve around the ability to make video conferencing an accessible, affordable service for even the smallest of businesses. Meetings can be scheduled quickly and with just a few mouse clicks no matter if participants are working in an airport, from home, or in the office. Skype for Business is now integrated right into the online Office 365 platform, so if you’re already in Outlook, it’s simple to hover over a contact and click to Skype them.
One great Skype feature is its instant messaging tool, which is perfect for collaboration on documents. For example, if you’re working on a document in the office, you could IM a co-worker to get their input and attach a copy of the document. Starting a dialogue in real-time helps keep teams connected and offices productive.
The same idea holds true for video conferencing. Say you’ve started a video conference and you want to add participants on the fly. Just click on their IM profile and ask them to join in. Video conferencing is great because it gives you the opportunity to read facial expressions and body language which helps develop a stronger sense of trust between remote co-workers.
There’s no reason to fly back and meet in person because a Skype for Business video discussion is exactly like having a real person in the room. In fact, reduced travel costs are another advantage of Skype for Business. It’s an especially useful tool for small to mid-sized businesses that require employees to be on the road but need to follow a tight budget.
When weighing the advantages and disadvantages of Skype, it’s important to state the obvious; you must have your computer or cell phone on in order to receive Skype calls. The good news is if you subscribe to the voicemail feature you won’t miss the call.
Another obvious disadvantage is because Skype is a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) provider, your video or audio connection will only be as good as your Internet connectivity. If your connection is slow or intermittent, you might have trouble placing or staying connected to a call.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Skype – Weighing Your Options
The best way to determine if Skype for Business is right for your organization is to simply take it for a test drive. You can download the free Skype app designed for individuals to get a taste for how it generally works. Or, if you have an Office 365 subscription, Skype is already included.