What you need to know about conferencing in Microsoft Skype for Business
Microsoft’s new Skype for Business solution, built on the familiar experience of Skype and the enterprise features of its predecessor, Lync, is an end-to-end meeting and voice solution. This post will provide an in-depth overview of Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing and how it can lower your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by consolidating or replacing your existing conferencing solutions.
What is Skype for Business Dial-PSTN Conferencing?
A PSTN conference (commonly known as a dial-in conference) refers to any conference in which at least one participant dials in using a public switched telephone network (PSTN) phone. It can serve as an offline alternative so that online meetings can include people with no internet access by allowing hosts to dial out to bring participants in, and enabling attendees to use traditional dial-in numbers to join Skype meetings. With PTSN Conferencing, companies have the ability to make local, long distance and international calls. If your company has an Office 365 subscription you can purchase phone numbers and calling plans, or you can use an existing phone number through the local number port build-in feature.
Skype for Business Competitive with Webex and GotoMeeting
Many people don’t realize that Skype for Business has similar audio, video, and collaboration features like video conferencing and in-meeting content sharing to Webex, GotoMeeting and other standalone conferencing solutions. Users can jump on a video conference, share PowerPoint decks, Word documents and more in a simple interface that is integrated with the Office suite they use every day.
Below is a comparison of unique features of Skype for Business vs. WebEx
|Skype for Business Conferencing||WebEx|
|Integrations||Office 365||Cisco Collaboration products|
|Participants per meeting||250||8|
|Dial-Out Capabilities||Yes||Yes (for an additional cost)|
|Sharing & Collaboration|
|Meetings & Scheduling|
The Microsoft Skype for Business suite delivers a wide variety of other unified communications capabilities, including:
- Skype Meeting Broadcast: Broadcast meetings for up to 10,000 people to attend in a browser on nearly every device
- Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling: Make and receive traditional phone calls in Skype for Business, leave voicemails, and protect your privacy with built-in encryption.
- PSTN Conferencing: Leverage traditional dial-in capability for Skype for Business meetings, allowing attendees to join online meetings even without internet access
Skype for Business Proof of Concept (POC)
What we’ve heard from many of our customers regarding Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing is that they’re curious about it but would like to “try it out” before parting ways with other conferencing solutions.To meet this need, our team has developed three Skype for Business Proof of Concept (POC) options (cloud, hybrid and conferencing) to help our customers experience a holistic Skype for Business solution tailored to their needs. Each POC includes implementation services for 20 pilot users, including Polycom endpoints and user adoption training. You will also get a free Voice Solution Alignment Workshop to analyze strengths and weaknesses of your existing solutions and provide you with a Unified Communications Voice roadmap summary.
If you’re already using Office 365, there’s nothing new to buy–you already have access to Skype for Business. Click here to learn more about it or contact us to explore whether a Skype for Business PSTN conferencing set-up makes sense for your business.
SADA Systems is a Microsoft National Solutions Provider and 2015 Microsoft Partner of the Year specializing in consultation and implementation of Microsoft cloud and voice solutions. Click below to learn more about our Skype for Business POC options.