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Previously known as Microsoft Lync Server, the Skype application for Business use is a unified communications (UC) platform that brings together multiple channels of online meetings, conferencing and other business communication features. Instand messaging (IM), presence indicators, voice over IP (VOIP) and file transfer featuress are also included.
The enterprise-level version of Skype is perfect for scaling up for the needs of a growing business. With the regular application, you just won't get the same collaborative tools, such as the ability to send messages or share business documents. This app also extends access to any mobile device and integrates with other products, like Exchange.
It's possible to change the phone number assigned to a Business Skype user account. To change your assigned Business Skype phone number, in most cases it will be required to speak to the platform administrator. Most businesses that employ this application have one or more administrators to oversee the platform and associated setup.
The Business version of Skype incorporates all of the familiar features from the standard program, such as free IM, screen sharing, and voice and video calls. However, it also includes extra features, like the ability to port in PSTN numbers, hunt groups and call routing, for example.
Security for the Business version of Skype has been scaled up to handle the increased threats posed to businesses. Meetings take place with encrypted audio and video streams, with enhanced authentication protocols in place. There's also a support team on hand dedicated to providing consumer help and guidance for the business application.
According to Microsoft, the Web Conferencing server uses AES 128-bit key encryption to encrypt data content, which is then stored within a file share. A different randomly-generated key is used for each peice of content.
During April 2015, Microsoft officially released the Business version of Skype for use by the public. Then, in September 2015, the application launched alongside Microsoft Office 2016. Finally, on 27th October 2016, the application was released for the Apple Mac.
This application isn't included in every version of Office 365. To use the Business version of Skype, licenses are required for each account or user. As a result, users should be sure to purchase Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business Premium or Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, E5.
Regular Skype is good for calling other people with the same application. Unless you're purchasing credit to use for calling mobiles and landlines, Skype is free to use. However, the Business version is not free of charge; it costs $2 per month for each user that is added to the platform.
Microsoft's Lync was rebranded into Skype, but for business purposes. As suggested by the new name, the application takes on the look and feel of a Skype product, with features that include IM, and voice and video calls, but retains the business enterprise-level features around security, authentication and encryption.