Is Skype For Business Right For Your Company?

Last month, Microsoft released its vision video preview for Skype for Business, which suggested some major changes to ways we currently conduct business.

The video shows a wrist-worn communication device that allows you to contact colleagues on the fly. It also illustrates how Skype can help people be virtually present in the office while actually working in the field.

Skype-powered technology can integrate data into one space and share it on a big screen to facilitate brainstorming, can instantly translate speech into a number of languages, and even simulate a doctor’s house call – if what is depicted in the preview becomes a reality.

Really, nothing in Microsoft’s Skype for Business preview is all that far-fetched. Skype has already drastically changed how people keep in touch on both business and personal levels.

Presently, you can video chat with anyone, anywhere to conduct interviews or meetings. It’s not that big of a leap to envision using Skype to do these same things in the great outdoors or to integrate it with web searches and data files. The basic technology is already there; the vision video just shows some tweaks and new exciting applications.

The possibilities illustrated in the preview video highlight Microsoft’s mission to develop cross-platform technology that increases productivity.

While Skype for Business may not initially perform as seamlessly as the video leads us to believe – especially when real-time translation has yet to be perfected – there are products already advertised that do similar things.

Microsoft’s Surface Hub combines Skype with an 84-inch touchscreen display, and the HoloLens promises to take holograms and headsets to the next level.

Web Conferencing Services Let You Collaborate With People Around The World Without Ever Leaving Your Desk

If you have a far flung work force – or clients all over the country – a web conferencing service will save you time and money.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular web based conferencing tools.

They’re all the best at what they can do for the price, and all are simple and easy to use.I’ve tested all of them – you can’t go wrong choosing any one of these services.

The interesting thing is, if you’ve ever taken online training, or had a support technician connect up to your computer, you’ve probably used one of these services without even knowing it!

WebEx – $49 month
WebEx is the most well known of the three here. WebEx was created by Cisco, who is known for their high end security solutions.

This application is the best that I have tested. You are able to share screens, files, schedule video conferences in Outlook, and you can even pass the (presenter) title from one person to the next so each participant can focus on the person making the presentation.

WebEx supports multiple video streams, so you can view up to six people in a single meeting. WebEx also has mobile capability so you can join the meeting while using your iPad or even on your smartphone.

GoToMeeting – $49 month
GoToMeeting is focused just on desktop sharing, and does not support video sharing via webcam.

The presenter has several presentation tools available, from the ability to draw on the screen to highlighting text. The presenter can only show his desktop, but has the ability to hand over control to their desktop to any of the guests in the conference.

This gives the guests the ability to highlight something they think is important to the others users in the room.

The best feature is the ability to record the conference and store it for a later use.

Adobe ConnectNow – Free
Basic version – enhanced version is $15 month

Adobe ConnectNow is a web based tool with document sharing. You can share your screen, share documents, convert documents to PDF files, and also create workspaces to share documents in.

ConnectNow supports the ability to have a private chat and also leave the chat open to the public.

Like all the other tools Adobe ConnectNow does have the ability to allow others to take over and share audio and video. This tool is the newest out of the three, but runs with the best of them.

These are only a few web conferencing solutions that are available. Each one will install with ease so even the novice user can get this software up and running quickly and easily.