Office 365: Skype for Business

What is Skype for Business?

Skype for Business is an online communications tool that allows you to work together with instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, online meetings and webinars, and easy sharing with University staff, students and externals all from the comfort of your office or home.

Skype for Business is also integrated with the productivity tools people use every day, like email, calendaring and document collaboration.

What features does Skype for Business have?

  • Instant messaging with voice and video to individuals or groups
  • Schedule online meetings and webinars for up to 250 people including those external to the University
  • Voice and video connectivity with the whole of the Skype network
  • Presence – for instant messaging see when someone is online
  • Integration with Office apps – work together simultaneously start online conversations within Office apps e.g. working on a shared doc in Word online
  • Ability to record meetings and then publish online
  • Integration with Calendar
  • Available to staff, students and researchers

Where would I use it? Scenarios at Plymouth University

Do you need to catch up with staff/students based at another campus e.g. John Bull building or Truro campus? 

You can start an informal instant messaging conversation, invite others to attend, use audio and video if required, and share documents and links.

Are you working on projects with staff/students based at other universities or research institutions? 

You can schedule a Skype for Business meeting at time that suits you. You can join using a desktop computer, tablet and smart phone. Present PowerPoint presentations; share your computer screen, use whiteboards to share ideas, work collaboratively on a document and use polls to make decisions. Use OneNote to take and record notes.

Do you have students that are working at a distance and you would like to deliver a session to them?

Schedule a Skype for Business meeting. Students can join in from anywhere. You can record the session and make available on the Mediastore via your Moodle courses. 

Do you have students that are out on placement you need to catch up with?

Schedule a Skype for Business meeting. You can catch up, review coursework etc. and record notes in OneNote.

Research interviews

Arrange an online meeting with fellow researchers anywhere in the world.

Student group work

As a student you can schedule a Skype for Business meeting with fellow students to meet online to chat about project work.

Use collaborative tools whilst in Skype for Business meeting:

  • OneNote integration – record meeting notes
  • Customisable interface – decide what your meeting attendees can see and do
  • Polls – to ask a question or make a decision
  • Whiteboard – for sharing ideas
  • Present a PowerPoint presentation
  • Questions and Answers facility
  • Share files with attendees
  • Share desktop
  • Simultaneously co-edit a document with other attendees 

Benefits include:

  • No extra cost – all University staff and students can use
  • Integrates with Office 365 apps
  • Can easily see when someone is online – calendar free/busy
  • Can use it with people external to the University
  • Skype style interface and icons

What do you need to use Skype for Business?

If you want to use voice and video you will need a headset with microphone and webcam. 

For Mac users:

Mac users can use Skype for Business for Mac to take part in conversations and meetings with colleagues and other contacts.

How do I get Skype for Business?

University managed Macs have Skype for Business available to install from Self Service. 

Skype for Business for Mac can also be downloaded from the Office 365 software portal.

Skype for Business online help

For further information on how to use Skype for Business including:

  • training guides
  • online videos
  • useful links.

See the Skype for Business online help page.