Skype for Business (formerly Lync)

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4.1 out of 5 stars

LyncProfessional meetings and collaboration—all integrated with your Office apps

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Skype Business review by <span>Filip G.</span>
Filip G.
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Lync with a UI overhaul

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What do you like best?

The latest rebranding of the Microsoft Messenger is Skype for Business. Since last year there is an update available that upgrades Lync 2013 to SfB. The new user interface is a welcome improvement, though most of the functionalities have remained the same. There are some nice features like hovering with the pointer over a contact shows you icons for quick actions (email, call etc.), when trying to ring a colleague who is not online it gives you an option to dial their phone number (if available) and it integrates well with a full phone functionality that can easily replace a physical desk phone.

What do you dislike?

Every now and then MS releases an update that introduces bugs to the application, issues with the UI becoming unreadable to completely corrupting the application that needs to be solved by reinstall. I have also experienced issues with group chats as the chat messages are not delivered to all participants. The last issue I've had was that after an update the Skype meetings started to open in a web browser instead of the SfB application.

Recommendations to others considering the product

In a complex environment with multiple Lync and Office versions it can be difficult to implement. It is best to create a custom package that will take care of removing any environment specific conflicting applications and install together with the dependencies so that the users would have minimal downtime. It can coexist with Lync 2010, so be extra careful about that fact as the cleanup can be cumbersome.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

As with many other products, we are deploying Skype for Business in order to continue receiving support from Microsoft. There are some added benefits with SfB, organizing meetings is now easier and more user-intuitive and since we use Lync/SfB as full desk phone replacement it is able to fully perform that duty as well.

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Skype Business review by <span>Andrés Felipe G.</span>
Andrés Felipe G.
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Work from anywhere!

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What do you like best?

The user interface is very intuitive, making the software very easy to use. Skype for Business (Lync) is by far the best communication software for your daily work. It literally allows me to work from home, while traveling or at the office.

Skype for Business makes it easy to get a hold of your colleagues, either by chat or by calling them directly. It shows who is online, who is in a meeting, who is presenting. It´s amazing!

It´s integration with Microsoft Outlook is flawless, making it very easy to send invitations to my colleagues and customers alike without any issues.

What do you dislike?

I rated it a 10 because there´s not much I would change about it. The few issues I´ve faced with the sofware are due to connectivity issues but that is mainly due to wifi problems in the area that I´m working from at that instant.

The one thing I think they could improve is the process to connect to Skype for Business session from a telephone. The process can be a little confusing for a few of my customers who are not Tech Savy, but appart from that the application is brilliant!

Recommendations to others considering the product

It´s the best communications solution for Business. To keep in touch with customers and colleagues, for meetings and so that you can work from anywhere. This is the best software avaliable.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Work from anywhere! Home, Airports, Hotels, Office. It doesn´t matter, my laptop/cellphone has everything I need when I have Skype for Business installed.

Easily communicate with colleagues

Send meeting for customers and colleagues to easily attend to

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Skype Business review by <span>Zhifeng K.</span>
Zhifeng K.
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Doesn't get the job done

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What do you like best?

It's directly integrated into the Office 365 suite, and automatically inserts convenience actions - for example, you can directly initiate a meeting invite with the Skype dial-in details from Outlook.

What do you dislike?

Practically everything else.

As an IM client, it's abysmal. I have the mobile app on my iPhone 7, but the conversation histories on my desktop client and my iOS app don't sync. Even the real-time conversation doesn't sync. This means I can have a conversation with the same person on both devices AT THE SAME TIME and they will have partially sync'ed message histories, but never fully synced. How is it possible this can happen? Thus, the only way to retrieve the full conversation history is to browse to the Conversations folder IN OUTLOOK, where it's stored the moment you go idle for more than 2 minutes in a session.

You can't send files through Skype for Business. Don't even think about sending images either. This makes collaboration a complete inconvenience, because you have to rely on Outlook to send media or documents. And if you work in an industry that is very particular about IT security, like banking, then I feel sorry for you because you can't even rely on other, better, file sharing and collaboration platforms like Slack, Box, or Dropbox.

The application crashes at least once a week, usually more.

The web conferencing features are similarly abysmal. There are a few major problems with its web conferencing capabilities, I'll go through the ones I can remember here.

A) Are you meeting someone from outside your organization? Good luck. No one uses Skype for Business in the rest of the world. What will happen is that you'll spend 15 minutes at the beginning of your conference call figuring out that your external party can't dial in, and everyone will get all stressed and frustrated in the process of quickly jumping onto another conferencing platform, and you will be late, and your meeting time will be reduced, and the outcome is just negative all around.

Actually, external users can dial in to your Skype for Business meeting... IF your company's IT team has enabled this feature. https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Add-an-external-contact-in-Skype-for-Business-b42d26d0-82d5-4aa6-901f-aeab00b15650

And if they also have Skype for Business, they might be on the wrong version, or their IT team might have configured the federation policy differently, and you'll still spend 15 minutes figuring out that you can't both dial in to the same service. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/allowing-external-users-join-your-skype-business-meetings-saad-/

B) No webinar features. Are you trying to brief your management or team leads on the latest X or Y, or have that quarterly town hall? Guess what, Skype for Business has no dedicated webinar functionality. This means that:

i) You have no attendance analytics.

ii) You have to MANUALLY mute all audience members, and you have to remember to do this otherwise that one person playing music in the background or using that extremely loud keyboard will disrupt the entire webinar. And anyway, they can just unmute themselves.

iii) No organized way of handling questions, or "hand raising" functionality.

C) I already said this, but it isn't stable. It regularly crashes, or the presenter will suddenly mute.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Don't bother, even if your company installs it on your machine by default. Use Slack and Zoom instead.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Instant messaging

Group chat

Collaborative work (requiring media/document/file exchange, sharing of screenshots, etc.)

Conference calls and meetings

Webinars

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Skype Business review by <span>raj c.</span>
raj c.
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What do you like best?

Microsoft Skype for Business also provides other advanced features, such as:

Unlimited Number of Meetings

It helps in free online meetings for up to 10 participants, whether they have the subscription or not.

2. Built-In IM

Instant messages can be shared during business meetings for discussing new ideas.

3. URL Invites

Users can send invitation to every participant with a personalized link.

4. PowerPoint Upload

PowerPoint upload is possible with interactive tools along with highlighting, annotation and laser pointer.

5. Whiteboarding

Participants can draft, edit and brainstorm together with the help of the whiteboarding feature.

6. Custom Built Accessories

Meetings can be simplified with features like HD cameras, USB speakerphones and headset.

Skype is awesome if you've a good computer and a good video card to encode/decode, like that it's really fluid, without it, it bugs.Skype is a consumer brand.,High level security. End-to-end security with minimum impact on application performance. The system implements a multi-layer security data transport.

What do you dislike?

you would need a Windows OS if you chose Skype for Business an important communication tool in your workplace. This is how Microsoft strategically does on other competitive platforms. Bad performance, high price and limited features on Mac are what you have heard the most.

Recommendations to others considering the product

As of this writing Microsoft Lync, a suite of unified communication products for the workplace, is now part of Microsoft's Skype business unit.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Reduces the cost of business calls,Reduce your business travel costs,Stay in touch with customers,User-friendly,Mobility,Centralized security,

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Skype Business review by <span>Tom C.</span>
Tom C.
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Review of Skype for Business

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What do you like best?

The most applicable and best part of Skype for Business is the conversation/chat function. In a fast paced environment, it is much more casual and easy to use compared to email or picking up the phone. It is also nice to see the status of my colleagues and whether they are at their desk, in a meeting, or available to call or chat with. The interface is easy to use and I like the size of the window as it automatically uploads. There is no need for the window to be full screen, but its not too small so that it interferes with other windows open on my screens.

What do you dislike?

At first, it was very frustrating that Skype would open every time I started up my computer. This setting that they have implemented should need to be turned on first, rather than Skype assuming I want this application to open every time my computer turns on. I think this same setting needs to be applied to the availability feature. Rather than Skype assuming I'm available because I'm active on my computer, I'd like to turn on the available setting whenever I actually am available.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Try out some of the features that Skype for Business offers with a close friend or coworker in your office first so that you can experience the ease of use. It will open the door to more fluid conversation.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Skype for Business has helped me easily contact and talk with colleagues as I need to throughout my work day. It has opened the door to more fluid and rapid conversation that ultimately leads to more productivity and work being done. The benefits speak for themselves in terms of more production, but I also think that it has led to a more conversant environment in my office and employees that interact more openly with each other than before.

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Skype Business review by <span>Kimberly B.</span>
Kimberly B.
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Skype Review

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What do you like best?

Skype's greatest feature is that it allows you to easily connect and converse with people that are both inside and outside of your department, or even to get in touch with individuals across the world. Some additional favorable features are speed, price (free), its instant message capabilities, as well as its flexibility. Lastly, it is also consistent across many businesses, and thus, can easily translate across many different industries.

What do you dislike?

My only dislike about Skype at work is that it constantly notifies you when someone is trying to reach out to you. This can be a huge distraction at work. Other disadvantages tied to this product include: the need for fast and reliable internet service, limited customer service availability when issues arise, and call quality sometimes.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Recommendations for others considering Skype would be to set it up immediately for any clients working remotely, since this platform's greatest feature is that it can be used across the entire company, even if your employees work across the globe. It is truly the best way to connect with employees inside and outside your department.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Benefits include: opens up conversation with colleagues when you cannot physically get in touch with them. Another problem solved via skype: screen sharing.

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Skype Business review by <span>Vaishnavi R.</span>
Vaishnavi R.
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Review on Skype for business

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What do you like best?

I like the feature of finding the organization details of the employee through contact cards

What do you dislike?

During conference calls, I often face difficulty with connectivity issues.

I also dislike the fact that we cannot have a permanent group within Skype.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Its a good tool for collaboration within employees. It integrates with Outlook easily and gives reminders on pending meeting. You can add contacts and categorize them as favorites, work, friends etc. You can also tag for status alert change. Suppose one of your contacts is offline or away and you want to ping them once you are online, you don't have to constantly monitor them. You can tag the contact and you will be alerted on the change of status. The audio calls in skype are decent. The screen share facility works perfectly well.You can also record meetings and they are stored in skype for business recording manager,which helps to organize recording.You can attend meeting from skype directly. The tab at the end lists the meetings of the day and helps the user in scheduling their day.The statues like "do not disturb","busy"."appear away" keeps your productivity throughout the day.

The mobile version of skype for business runs continuously and drains the battery. It doesn't pop messages real time as well.Hence,its a lot down.

Otherwise,its a good collaboration tool.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It helps communicate amongst employees of a company. It s a great tool to reach out to employes if they are online.

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