Skype for Business Overview

Skype for Business is the #4 ranked solution in our list of top Virtual Meetings tools. It is most often compared to Webex: Skype for Business vs Webex

What is Skype for Business?
Skype for Business offers features including presence, IM, voice and video calls, online meetings, conferencing, and telephony solutions that support enterprise-level collaboration requirements. Skype for Business Record meetings, share your screen, and annotate PowerPoint for real-time collaboration with up to 250 people and use whiteboard, polls, Q&A, and built-in IM during your business meetings to make them more productive. Skype for Business provides new client experience, Skype for Business Server provides several new features to improve manageability of on-premises servers and hybrid solutions. Skype for Business also supports the Lync client experience so that you can choose a phased upgrade approach to the new client experience for users. Skype for Business is also an integral part of Microsoft Office 365, providing PSTN Conferencing, Cloud PBX, PSTN Calling, and Skype Meeting Broadcast capabilities to Office 365 users.

Skype for Business is also known as Skype for Business Plan 1, Skype for Business Plan 2, Lync Server.

Skype for Business Buyer's Guide

Download the Skype for Business Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2021

Skype for Business Customers

EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services,LA Fitness, MedcoEnergi International, Tampa General Hospital, and HopewellHoldings Limited.

Skype for Business Video

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User at TechnipFMC
Real User
Top 20
Cut long distance costs while connecting with clients anywhere in the world

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for meetings and scheduling. Our meetings involve audio or video. These take place with outside clients at any place in the world.

Pros and Cons

  • "Using this solution has helped us to cut long distance calls, as well as video services from third parties."
  • "Skype for Business is good for the PCs with higher bandwidth, but an improvement is required for low bandwidth usage."

What other advice do I have?

I do not have any specific advice, other than improvement in the app is required.
User
Real User
Easy setup, easy to use and can be configured on any device

What is our primary use case?

I have used this software since 2014. You can do meetings with your employees, and employees outside of your company. It has a very easy setup, it's easy to use and can be configured on any device. Everything gets recorded on an exchange server, so you don't have to worry about recording meetings and conversations.

How has it helped my organization?

It improves travel time for our employees and cost. It can be used on your 4G LTE connection easily. It has also improved manpower productivity.

What is most valuable?

You can do meetings of up to two hundred people in a single conversation. You can share your desktop with all meeting attendees at the same instant.

What needs improvement?

There is normal interface of software,it should be user…
Learn what your peers think about Skype for Business. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2021.
502,104 professionals have used our research since 2012.
CEO at Shivaami Cloud Services Pvt. Ltd.
Real User
It is a user-friendly solution that enables us to manage international meetings with ease.

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for this solution is for internal meetings and meetings with customers.

Pros and Cons

  • "We chose Skype for Business after other colleagues suggested that we give it a try. It has served us well."
  • "We really like the screen sharing tool. The user experience is smooth, and user-friendly."
  • "I venture to say that 30% of the people using this solution at our company have had issues with stability, due to the volatility and crashes."
  • "Sometimes the connection crashes, which is understandable if you are traveling. But, it would be nice if this could be stabilized somehow."

What other advice do I have?

We really like the screen sharing tool. The user experience is smooth, and user-friendly.
Principle consultant at Active Data Consulting Services Pty Ltd
Real User
Top 20
It helps me connect with clients via conference calls, video conferencing and desktop sharing.

What is our primary use case?

I use this solution primarily for my consulting business. It enables me to keep in touch with clients via conference calls, video conferencing, desktop sharing and more.

Pros and Cons

  • "The Microsoft tech support are very good. They get back to you. I log a support call, and I usually have someone on the phone within a half an hour, so it is pretty good."
  • "There are some issues with stability during phone calls. Sometimes the connectivity drops, and it is frustrating."

What other advice do I have?

If you have Office 365, you should give it a "go" and try it!
Database Manager at Wartsila India Ltd
Real User
Our employees use this solution for a communal space to collaborate for organizational decision making.

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is for our employees to connect to anyone from any of their devices. In our version, we are primarily using from a laptop or a mobile phone. So, they can connect trhough Skype from anywhere. It is a firm requirement so we can connect from any remote location to anywhere.

Pros and Cons

  • "It saves trouble, and it saves us time."
  • "Our employees use this solution for a communal space to collaborate for organizational decision making."
  • "Sometimes Skype is slow, and we cannot use other elements of our devices while using the Skype solution."

What other advice do I have?

It is a really good tool, with almost of the the features on the level of expertise that we need. We would love to see upgrades with whiteboards, architecture diagrams, and such. Apart from that, it would be great to have a interlink or integration with companies that are not on Microsoft Skype.
Computer Maintenance Technician at GTP Sistemas S.L at GTP Sistemas S.L
Real User
Top 5
Although seemingly obvious, I would note that the call quality is excellent.

What is our primary use case?

* Firstly, it is an innovative and even more profitable way of communicating. Also, the product offers a very professional image, which is very useful to the organization. Thanks to the interface, quality, design and easy handling, it allows for establishing a better relationship. * Secondly, in terms of conversations whether via voice or video call, Skype for Bussiness meets the necessary criteria and with respect to the costs, it is profitable, plus it can be used in various equipment and operating systems which is another advantage.
Senior Voice and Network Manager
User
While it makes troubleshooting a little easier, our users have struggle with product adoption

What is our primary use case?

Skype for Business and PSTN Conferencing. Our users are using this add-on license to perform internal and external web and audio conferences for between two and 200 users.

Pros and Cons

  • "We like the easy provisioning of Skype for Business Conferencing."
  • "We like the tools our administrator can use to identify which calls had quality issues and why. This makes troubleshooting our user experience somewhat easier."
  • "We would like to better customize our instructions within the Outlook plugin/invite, but we are unable to do so."
  • "We overcame the audio quality issues by asking users to use the 'Call Me' feature with their desk phone."
Senior Consultant at Unify Square
Real User
Top Reviewer
How Much do I Have to Spend to Bring Microsoft Lync to My Company?
Disclaimer: the new version of Lync Server 2013, Skype for Business (SfB) Server 2015, has been released a few weeks ago. Licensing model is the same you had for Lync Server, with companies paying only Front End servers (i.e. the ones hosting user accounts and the core services for your infrastructure).  SfB contains some new features, including support for Back End availability based on AlwaysOn groups. I will write a dedicated post asap.      The costs related to Microsoft Lync are something that I have talked about more than once but this is the first time I try to summarize information in a single document. I will limit my reflections to on-premises organizations, because as I am writing, Lync Online has no serious support for Enterprise Voice (i.e. VOIP) and this makes the…
Head of Strategic Portfolio Management team at a comms service provider with 11-50 employees
Real User
It's great being able to share files and documentation anywhere around the world

Pros and Cons

  • "File sharing and email invitations for a conference. I can have a meeting with people at the opposite end of the Earth, sharing documentation; it is quite easy."
  • "I should be able to make a desktop phone call when I click a member of my Lync directory."

What other advice do I have?

I rate it eight out of 10. It is generally very good to work with using chat or web meetings. It would be a 10 if I could make a call by clicking in the directory in Lync.
Senior Consultant at Unify Square
Real User
Top Reviewer
Lync 2013 High Availability
High availability is something that companies do not take for granted, they take it as given (especially when we talk about telephony). While Lync 2010 did a good work on this critical aspect there were still some weak points on the architecture when there was the need for a really continuous service. For example the mechanism behind the “backup registrar” implementation was really a limit and, for the Enterprise Front End deployments, the need for a clustered SQL server Back End was a restriction and did not match with the requirements related (also) to some kind of disaster recovery plan.   Front End Pairing and new rules on licensing Lync 2013 makes a step forward, building on what was valid in the previous logics and using whole new solutions were they are necessary. The first huge…
Unified Messaging Consultant at a engineering company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The public telephony feature reduces hard phone costs

What other advice do I have?

Think about other parameters, such as monitoring, if you invest in a Microsoft-based monitoring solution.
DJ
Global Service Leader - Unified Communications and Collaboration at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
P2P audio video calls and conferencing add value

What other advice do I have?

Look at your end users and computing needs and find a suitable solution for them.
Senior Specialist Unified Communications at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
RDS, Conferencing, VoIP and IM are the most valuable features

What other advice do I have?

QoS and ample bandwidth are a must. Virtualization can be a source of pain, i.e., if it is not implemented as per the requirements from Microsoft.
Info Sec Consultant at Size 41 Digital
Real User
ExpertTop 5
In one of two companies, I was introduced to it as, "problematic." Now, having used it for months, multiple times a day for video, voice and chat, I never had a problem with it.
Enterprise voice in the cloud I've used Skype Business (name change from Lync) in two companies. In one of them I was introduced to it as, "problematic." Now, having used it for months, multiple times a day for video, voice and chat, I never had a problem with it.  Voice calls - great quality if it was with someone in the same building or half way across the globe. No fuzzing or dropping.  Video calls - same. Great quality. No big drain on the computer so I could do other things. Again, good quality for the same building or globally.  Chat - what to say here apart from, it worked. Chat is a nice feature if you want to keep a history of messages.  (source: Skype.com) Meetings - we managed to get +10 people, all from various locations, on different systems, using varying…
Senior Consultant at Unify Square
Real User
Top Reviewer
Having CCE integrated with local gateways is a big help in making the Cloud adoption straightforward
Intro and Scenario Some months ago, Microsoft added to its Office 365/Skype Online offer Cloud PBX with PSTN calling (Public Switched Telephone Network is the aggregate of the world's circuit-switched telephone networks).  Cloud PBX gives the capability to connect Skype for Business (S4B) Online users to the PSTN with no existing on-premises deployment. Your telco, in such a scenario, could be Microsoft itself but this kind of solution involves some interesting downsides. Microsoft should be able to offer phone numbers in many different countries that have dissimilar regulations and that will have different carriers and providers, each one trying to offer something more interesting than competitors. The alternative to the aforementioned…
Senior Consultant at Unify Square
Real User
Top Reviewer
Why Lync Server 2013 is Interesting
Disclaimer - Time flies, and I received a message from IT Central Station to update my past reviews, including the one I wrote some months ago about Lync Server 2013. Honestly, it would have been easy to just update a few lines here and there and keeping the contents (that were still good) online. However, I have tried to use wisely the aforementioned period of time and my knowledge of Lync and of his potential is now deeper. So, I decided to throw away the previous review (including a good number of views it had) and to write a completely new post. What is Lync Server 2013 Lync is a Unified Communications (U.C.) product. It means that in a single product you have a native integration between many different communication tools (IM, conferencing, telephony,…
Infrastructure Expert at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
It is easy to integrate with Call Centers and doesn’t need separate appliances or hardware but several aspects have room for improvement
For how long have you used this product? - 2 years Which features of this product are most valuable to you? - VoIP, IM Chat, Conferencing, Mobility Can you give an example of how this product has improved the way your organization functions? - Make it easy to communicate between colleagues, partners and even other companies. It is easy to integrate with Call Centers and doesn’t need separate appliances or hardware. It all can be virtualized. It also allows you to call anytime and anywhere from within your PC or Mobile phone. What areas of this product have room for improvement? - IM and file transfer, Conferencing, Persistent Chat, Monitoring and Archiving, Quality of voice and video and Mobility. Did you encounter any issues with deployment, stability or scalability?…
Engineer at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Very effective communication tool

Valuable Features:

Integration with other MS products such as outlook, OWA, SharePoint Support for various client devices, gateways etc. Support for federation with third party.Lync Client allows users access to presence, instant messaging, voice, audio, video, and Web conferencing

Room for Improvement:

Voice telephony and video calls utilize lots of bandwidth.

Other Advice:

It's is a very good product to have -- a solution for IM, voice telephony and video communication bundled into one.
Head of Data Center at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Question regarding Microsoft's Lync server
Hi, I have been tasked to prepare a plan to upgrade our analogue telephone system into a full-IP unified communications system. Since we have a subscription-based licensing deal with Microsoft, Microsoft's Lync server offers a compelling product for this purpose. For those of you who have experience using this as your IP communications system, I would like to know your experiences with using this product. Any comment or suggestion would be highly appreciated. Francis