When Microsoft bought Skype back in 2011, no one though much more of it than a well-received video chat app. And for a number of years it trundled along as just that. Microsoft’s, arguably, cleverest move came in 2014 when it decided to merge features from Skype with features from Lync (an already established Microsoft business tool) to create a Skype sister product: Skype for Business. And while most people have heard of Skype, the majority of others are still a little confused about what Skype for Business actually is, how it works and why the features compliment a business. Even under the Skype for Business umbrella there are various branches of the product. So what are they? Skype Skype is a free consumer product that can be used for personal video chat and instant messaging. While Skype holds a handful of possibilities for business – conference calls are available, but only for up to 25 guests – there are significant limitations that make it a risky bet for important business use. Skype for Business Server (2015) The Skype for Business Server is an on-premise server that provides presence, instant messaging, peer-to-peer Voice over Internet Protocol, enterprise voice, Video, conferencing for up to 250 people and PSTN telephone-system (traditional phone call) connectivity. Moreover, the server also includes a Skype Meeting Broadcast feature, which allows for as many as 10,000 people to join in a meeting broadcast and webinars. Skype for Business Online The online version of Skype for Business runs through Microsoft Cloud or Office 365 and hosts almost the same features as the server, but leaves out enterprise voice and PSTN connections which means that third-party telephone platforms must be used. So, while Skype for Business is exceptional for connecting and engaging wider audiences within your business, it’s essential to know which one is right for you. Call us on 01493 334800 to find out more.