Office 365: Skype for Business online help

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.

You may be familiar with Microsoft Communicator for online chat and Microsoft Live Meeting for online meetings. Skype for Business is the next generation tool which is part of Office 365.

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

This online help page is for University staff, students and researchers.


Getting Started (staff, students and researchers)

How do I get the Skype for Business client?
Skype for Business client is available on all University PCs.

Apple Mac 
Mac users can install Skype for Business for Mac from the Self Service software delivery program.

Install at Home, Mobile and Tablets
Skype for Business can also be installed on your phones, tablets, home PC or Mac too. 

How to launch Skype for Business on your PC
Click on the Start menu, in the Search box type Skype for Business.

Feature Comparison

Microsoft have worked hard to make Skype for Business accessible for people on many different computers and devices, including Windows PCs and laptops, Apple Macs, various tablets and phones, as well as the web client for people who don't have Skype for Business accounts.

Using the Skype for Business desktop client on a Windows computer is the 'gold standard' with access to all features and functionality, however some of your meeting attendees might not be able to access or participate with some functionality depending on their setup.

Microsoft have released a detailed matrix showing the functionality available for each offering of Skype for Business or Lync. it is regularly updated with new features as updates for each offering are released. For any questions, you can contact asti@plymouth.ac.uk.

Skype for Business functionality matrix

Skype for Business functionality matrix for mobile devices


For Mac users:

Mac users can use Skype for Business for Mac or  Lync 2011 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.

Recommended Equipment

The University have tested the following equipment to ensure suitability for use on Plymouth University PCs and Macs

Headset 
Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000

Logitech USB headset H340

Webcam 
Microsoft LifeCam Studio for Business
Logitech Connect small space video conferencing system

You can purchase these from a range of vendors including Amazon, XMA, Academia and MISCO. This equipment will require funding approval from your local departmental budget and can be ordered via your local Accounting Point.

Using Skype for Business Meeting

As well as Instant Messaging between Staff, Students and external Skype users, Skype for Business has powerful meeting functionality that includes these great features increasing your collaboration within your Online Meetings

  • Share your desktop
  • Share a program
  • Presenting PowerPoint slides
  • Using a Virtual Whiteboard in a Meeting
  • Conduct Poll in a Meeting
  • Q&A Session
  • Transferring a file in a Meeting

Good Practice

What to consider when hosting a Skype for Business Meeting
  • Setup a test meeting
  • Have clear joining instructions
  • Tell them what equipment is required
  • Prepare your computer
  • Clean up desktop
  • Turn off messenger/phones
  • Location – somewhere quiet to run a meeting
  • Be clear on how you are going to run a meeting
  • When will you take questions?
  • Muting participants
  • Tell the Participants you are going to record meeting

View the Good Practice Guide to learn more and checklist to help you prepare your Skype for Business meeting.