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Skype vs Skype for Business… What's the Difference?

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Participating Solution Provider

Skype vs Skype for Business… What's the Difference?

SkypeVSS4B251x154.png

 

First off, you have probably known Skype for years. Heck, you were probably using it! Then, all of the sudden… out of the clear blue… there was this thing called Skype for Business. If you were saying "Now, what the heck is this thing?", you are not alone. Believe or not , S4B (Skype for Business) didn't come out of the blue although it may seem like it. S4B was born out of the cloud and, in particular, out of a thing called Lync. What's up with the re-name? Honestly, I don't know except that it was a rebranding effort. Why rebrand Lync to the brand Skype that people already know then added "for Business" on the end? Again, don't know (haven't been able to get a straight answer) BUT let me tell you what I do know which is the differences between Skype and Skype for Business.

 

HIGH LEVEL

Skype is the consumer product that has been around since August 2003. Skype for Business is the product for the business side per the "for Business" postfix on the product name. Skype for Business was born out of Microsoft's cloud, Office 365. It start off as Lync then morphed into Skype for Business in April of 2015. Skype for the most part is free with some "for pay" premium features and S4B is "for pay" all the way.

 

They have similar symbols but the color is differently. S4B (Skype for Business) is white with a blue border and blue "S" in the middle. Skype is blue with no border and white "S" in the middle. Note the coloring when I search for Skype.

 

SearchForSkype.png

 

Confused a little? Yep.

 

I touched on the differences but they are more than skin deep when we get down into the weeds. So, let's go there, shall we?

 

IN THE WEEDS

The Interface (Just a little more skin)

Skype looks like this when you open it to login:

SkypeLogin.png 

 

S4B looks like this:

S4BLogin.png

 

When logged in Skype, it looks like this:

Skype.png

 

While S4B looks like this:

Skype-for-Business-1.png

 

The Features

Here is a chart pointing out the features of each. Note they are mostly the same until you get into the "business" features.

Skype (http://www.skype.com/en/features/)

Skype for Business (https://products.office.com/en-us/skype-for-business/compare-plans)

Calling

  • Skype to Skype calls
  • Call mobiles and landlines worldwide at low rates.
  • Get a group of people together on one call
  • Your friends call a number and you pick up on Skype wherever you are in the world.
  • Forward calls
  • Caller ID
  • Call international numbers from any phone at low calling rates.
  • Skype Click to Call

 

Same here depending on subscription

Video

  • One-to-one video calls
  • Group video calls

Same here

Messaging

  • Mojis and emoticons
  • Video messaging
  • Instant messaging
  • Send texts (SMS)
  • Voice messages
  • GroupMe

All except SMS and GroupMe (although you can instant message and audio call a group)

Sharing

  • Send files, photos and videos of any size over Skype.
  • Screen sharing
  • Group screen sharing
  • Share a contact, number and Skype Name easily.

Same here

Other features

  • Get online at over two million public hotspots worldwide.
  • One tool to create accounts, allocate credit and assign features.
  • Make Skype calls through your existing SIP-enabled PBX..
  • Go from chat to video in just one click, right from your inbox.
  • Add a button to your website or blog and with one click anyone can call or IM you.
  • Share button
  • Skype Translator
  • Get fast access to Skype features like sharing from your browser.

All except the hotspots but can also include enterprise features such as:

  • Advanced meeting options including Polls and Q&A
  • Schedule meetings in Outlook
  • See your contacts' online statuses, schedule meetings in Outlook, and start conversations from apps like Word and PowerPoint.
  • Conversations are protected by strong authentication and encryption, and you manage employee accounts and features.
  • Broadcast Skype for Business meetings on the Internet for to up to 10,000 people
  • Skype for Business Room Systems and Surface Hub

 

 

 

 

The Intended Audience

As I eluded to earlier, Skype is intended for consumer users while S4B is geared towards the business user. This is not to say that Skype can't be used by businesses and vice versa. On the contrary, I personally know of companies who use Skype to interview potential employees and of consumers users getting Office 365 which comes with S4B and using it to talk to their friends and family. The latter is not as often as the former but you get the idea.

 

So basically….

  • If you want to talk to your friends or a small group of people (25 and under), you can use Skype. If you need to meet with larger groups (up to 250) or to broadcast your meeting (up to 10,000), use S4B.
  • If security and permissions is not a big concern and AES encryption is enough, use Skype. If you need stronger authentication and/or more control over the Skype accounts, use S4B.
  • If you would like to integrate Office apps into your experience (controls what people see on your screen) instead of just sharing your screen, use S4B. If not, use Skype.
  • If you need a conference room setup, use S4B. If not, use Skype.

 

What it boils down to is personal/small scale vs. business/large scale. Which works for you? BTW, if you have Office 365 then chances are you already have S4B.

 

Hopefully this has helped to clear up confusion but, if you still need more help, we understand and are here to help. Reach out to us and we will happily answer your questions. We can also work with you to bring other solutions like company portals, business intelligence, workflow automation, social media, and email marketing to your organization.

 

Other references:

Peace and Blessings,
Nikkia T. Carter, MCPS, MS, CTT
CEO/Owner, Carter-McGowan Services, LLC
Free Monthly Business Technology Webinars/Q&A Sessions and Helpful Tips: http://ow.ly/yVSFM
Specializing in Technology All Organizations Need!
Microsoft Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions Partner | Certified Professional | SMB Champion
CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer | Authorized VAR (Microsoft, Constant Contact, BrainStorm, Hootsuite, BitTitan)

(866) 721-6085 Phone/Fax | (540) 693-0578 Local
service@cartermcgowanservices.com
Local, State, and Federal Registered Contractor | VA SWAM Certified
2 REPLIES 2
Karen Barth
Not applicable

Re: Skype vs Skype for Business… What's the Difference?

Nikkia, thank you for your informative comparison of the two versions.

My company is a very small business (6 employees) that uses consumer Skype for IM and meetings of up to 6 of us.

I tried to set up a skype account for a new staff member and Skype won't let me use a business email address.

Can you tell me why this is?

 

Karen Barth

 

Participating Solution Provider

Re: Skype vs Skype for Business… What's the Difference?

Hi Karen! Thanks for reaching out! We would need more details. Please reach out to us at service@cartermcgowanservices.com.

Peace and Blessings,
Nikkia T. Carter, MCPS, MS, CTT
CEO/Owner, Carter-McGowan Services, LLC
Free Monthly Business Technology Webinars/Q&A Sessions and Helpful Tips: http://ow.ly/yVSFM
Specializing in Technology All Organizations Need!
Microsoft Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions Partner | Certified Professional | SMB Champion
CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer | Authorized VAR (Microsoft, Constant Contact, BrainStorm, Hootsuite, BitTitan)

(866) 721-6085 Phone/Fax | (540) 693-0578 Local
service@cartermcgowanservices.com
Local, State, and Federal Registered Contractor | VA SWAM Certified