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Skype for Business is a new Microsoft platform for Unified Communications, which replaces Lync 2013. It allows you to connect up to 250 people, and even if they do not have Skype for Business, they can still participate in virtual meetings via telephone or an Internet connection. Skype for Business video conferencing performance can be improved by integrating it with the advanced features provided by Vidyo technology, a leading provider of professional video conferencing services.

Three Plans available

Skype for Business is available in three different versions: two of them can be used on line as part of Microsoft Office 365, and the third one is installed on-premise in the company. The latter, called Server, is intended primarily for large companies, it is based on Active Directory and Domain Controller Microsoft systems and requires server hardware, back end database and management software. To know the price of this solution you should contact specialized resellers of Microsoft. The prices for on line Skype for Business solutions are listed on the Microsoft Office website, and to date an annual subscription costs 1.50 €/month per user for the basic version and 4.20 €/month per user for the advanced version. It’s important to note that the basic version does not allow HD group video calls and application sharing, so it cannot be considered a true video conferencing solution.

Skype for Business Online Plan 2

The more advanced Skype for Business version, called Online Plan 2, supports group video calls and application sharing, two options of crucial importance for professional video conferencing. Therefore this version is more suitable for single professionals, as well as small and medium-sized businesses, which need a high-quality cloud video conferencing solution, accessible from the Internet without having to buy any kind of hardware or software. Still, even the Online Plan 2 version of Skype for Business has some limitations: it lacks a persistent chat, it’s impossible to access external audio conference and it cannot be connected to H.323/SIP professional video conferencing equipment (endpoint), used in company video conferencing rooms and at business centers that offer video conference room rental service.

Enhance Your Skype for Business video communication experience

It’s possible to enhance Skype for Business video communication experience delegating the management of audio and video streams to professional video conferencing services. This brings significant advantages: higher video resolution, better communication quality in case of under-performing Internet connections, simple and immediate connection to H.323/SIP video conferencing systems. Especially effectively Skype for Business can be integrated with the advanced video conferencing features by means of Vidyo technology. Vidyo service supports the “Advanced SVC” (UCIF Mode 2s) codec, which ensures the best possible video quality for each user, at any time and on any device. The user experience does not change in this case, as the use of central Vidyo systems takes place by means of Skype for Business client. Besides, the whole process is absolutely simple and clear.

JOINVIDEO: videoconferencing service entirely based on Vidyo technology

For those wishing to try an online videoconference, which is alternative to Skype for Business, or to consider its possible integration described above, we offer a free trial of our JOINVIDEO videoconferencing service that is entirely based on Vidyo technology. As far as professional video conferencing is concerned, JOINVIDEO offers all the functionalities of Skype for Business solution, including those that are missing in Online Plan 2 version, and many more, such as a possibility to stream your videoconference in web casting. JOINVIDEO is a cloud-based video conferencing service, so it is accessible from the Internet without having to install any server in the company. It can be used on any device: PC, tablet, smartphone, H.323/SIP video conferencing systems, as well as in Audio Only mode via landline and mobile phones. In comparison to the Online Plan 2 Skype for Business version, JOINVIDEO offers the price of 600 €/year for a virtual video conferencing room that can accommodate up to 25 devices connected simultaneously. Making a per month comparison to the Online Plan 2 Skype for Business version, the JOINVIDEO price for user is 2,00 €/month against 4.20 €/month for Skype for Business. Besides, it’s important to take into consideration that in order to use Skype for Business you must purchase Microsoft Office 365 at a price of € 69,00 for Personal PC version.

25 August 2015
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