Back in 2003 Skype was established with the intent to make communications between people cheaper and faster, especially across state and national boundaries. The idea for Skype was sparked by peer-to-peer sharing, which meant as more people downloaded and used Skype, the better the connection would become for each user. As an added incentive, Skype was free to use. In just over a year, Skype generated 1 million users and 2 billion minutes of conversation. As features such as conference calling, instant messaging, and screen sharing became available it’s no surprise that Skype evolved into an integral tool for many businesses. Skype saw an opportunity to design an interface specifically for professional use, and thus Skype for Business was created. If your business hasn’t embraced Skype for Business yet, here are 5 reasons why you should.

  1. File and screen sharing – Skype makes it easy to share pictures, videos and documents between users, which eliminates the hassle of switching between platforms to access files while on a conference call. An added bonus for Skype for Business Enterprise, users can enable screen sharing, so everyone on the call can see what’s on your screen. This makes it easy to show others what you’re working on, or go through presentations while keeping everyone on the call on the same page.
  2. Mobile – Skype for business connects you and your employees even when they’re out of the office. Skype for Business is available for all mobile devices and is optimized for both iOS and Android, so employees who travel will never be out of the loop.
  3. Instant messaging – This feature is available during a call as well as on its own. It’s easy to see who’s online and connect with users to get an instant response.
  4. Integrates with existing software – Skype for Business can integrate with your project management software to link each employee’s schedule. This means you can set up a call from within Skype at a time where everyone is available.
  5. Privacy – If your business is going to be sharing documents over Skype for Business it’s important to make sure your files are secure. Skype for Business protects your business’s information from hackers through enterprise-grade security, so you don’t have to worry about sharing confidential information.

But what’s next for the office of the future? In addition to Skype for Business, there’s emerging technology that could enhance your business’s productivity and efficiency even further. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has completely changed the way chatbots can be used at a business level. In the past chatbots have been used for customer service, and have the reputation of imprudence due to language barriers that hinder the chatbot’s ability to problem solve. However, these chatbots have come a long way and they are able to comprehend both conversational and formal dialogue as well as special characters such as emojis. With the advancements in chatbot technology, how can your business use them in areas other than customer service?

Chatbots are a great tool to increase productivity because they’re able to take on project management tasks and free up valuable time for your employees. Chatbots can schedule meetings, set alarms, and even coordinate travel plans, and store all that information in one place that’s easy for everyone to access. Chatbots can also integrate with your social media accounts and post for you while tracking engagement. Chatbots are a great tool not only for customer service questions, but for internal questions as well. This will take the burden off of IT and HR departments because the chatbots can hold in-depth product information, so the chatbots can answer simple questions and free up time for your employees to solve problems that require a personalized solution. In general, chatbots are a great tool that can streamline business processes and reduce the amount of time employees spend on mundane tasks, so they’re free to invest themselves in more creative projects.

While your business might not be ready to commit to chatbots and AI solutions quite yet, Skype for Business is a well-established solution to increase productivity and facilitate better communication within your business. Altigen takes Skype for Business to the next level through their Hosted Skype for Business technology that integrates Skype for Business with the cloud. To find out how Hosted Skype for Business can be a solution for your business, watch our video to learn more.