It’s well known that cloud services and voice communications are a top priority for CIOs in 2016, but are you aware of how Skype for Business can boost business efficiency? Global Marketing Manager Louise Mahrra identifies five of the most compelling reasons to explore this option for your workplace.
1. Instantly reduce call costs
It’s a simple fact that Skype for Business significantly reduces telephony costs. By removing landlines you can immediately cut the cost of your telecommunications by around 60%. Users of Skype for Business routinely save 50-70% on call costs and up to 50% on mobile call and roaming costs.
The savings are significant and undeniable, which makes it quite an easy business case to make.
2. Reduce non-essential business travel
There will always be times when a face-to-face meeting is needed, but for the vast majority of business scenarios a video call will do just as well. By reducing non-essential travel time and cutting down on travel expenses, you can quickly save significant sums.
Skype for Business offers video calls for one-to-one meetings or group video calls, which enables up to 250 people to join the call. Other features, such as the virtual whiteboard, allow everyone to make a contribution and also make it easy to record the outcomes.
To get started, you just need the Skype for Business desktop client or the Office 365 package that includes Skype for Business.
3. Enable flexible working
Skype for Business enables both mobile working and collaborative remote working. The platform is designed to work on most devices, including Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, meaning you can join or initiate calls from wherever you are.
The Presence feature on Skype for Business is also great for facilitating collaborative working. By enabling employees to set their status to show their availability and location, Presence allows their colleagues to choose the most effective way to communicate with them. The feature is linked to your Outlook calendar, so when you are busy or out of the office, your presence will automatically adjust for this.
If you use Microsoft’s One Drive for Business, you can also enable co-authoring during your Skype calls, which means you can enable others to collaborate with you on a report, presentation or spreadsheet from wherever they are. To do this you just select Co-Author Office Doc and confirm you’re happy to let everybody have access, then select the file and everybody will be allowed to edit it.
4. Reduce email dependency
It has been suggested that only one in three business emails we receive are actually essential for work. As a result, many businesses are striving towards ‘inbox zero', yet email remains a huge drain on efficiency.
Skype for Business is definitely part of the solution to the email problem. In businesses that have adopted it, the Instant Messaging and Presence features have been proven to save time by reducing the number of emails sent and received.
If Presence says your colleague is not available, you can simply tag them for status changes and you will receive an instant alert to let you know when you can contact them.
Instant Messaging lets you get a quick response to urgent questions, can be used to check if your colleague is free to have a call with you, and is a fast way of sharing documents, files and presentations.
5. Save time on note-taking
If you’re holding a meeting through Skype for Business, there is an option to capture and store the whole meeting. In addition to the audio and video from the call, you also get a record of any instant-messaging or screen-sharing activity that took place. The virtual whiteboard is also recorded, so your sketches and diagrams (regardless of your artistry!) will also be backed up.
This saves time on note-taking and also ensures that anyone who missed the meeting can simply watch the re-run, complete with instant messaging commentary and visuals.
Global Marketing Manager | Modality Systems
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