The year 2020 amplified what has now become normal practice for most businesses – remote working. With it, businesses have been forced to adopt newer ways of collaborating both internally and externally.
Where people would gather in boardrooms for meetings, they now do it from the comfort of their homes thanks to technology. Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams Voice are the leading software used by many establishments globally.
While these two platforms serve the same purpose, they are different in several ways. One feature that cuts across the board for both platforms is the level of security and privacy they offer their clients.
In this article, we explore the key differences between these two leading video conferencing platforms and what it means for your business.
A key concern for most businesses is usually the cost of investing in new infrastructure. Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business are available for free albeit with limited functionalities and features. For your business to benefit from either of the two, you will need to subscribe to a paid plan.
Each of these platforms comes with a tiered monthly or annual plan with pricing pegged on available functionality and features.
Microsoft Teams Voice is available as a package for holders of Office 365 accounts. The free version of Microsoft Teams hosts up to 300 users and provides 10GB of cloud storage.
If you need more storage, increased integration with other Microsoft apps, better security, and additional features you’ll have to subscribe to one of the available annual or monthly plans.
Besides the free plan, Microsoft Teams is available in three other plans. The bottom tier Office 365 Essentials plan is charged at $5 per user per month. Office 365 Business Premium plan will set you back $12.50 per user per month while the Office 365 E3 plan will cost you $20 per user per month.
All these plans have an annual subscription which is relatively cheaper than the monthly plans.
Like Microsoft Teams, a subscription to Skype for Business is bundled into the Microsoft 365 plan. Business, Business Essentials, and Business Premium plans are available to a user for $2.50, $8.25, and $10 per user per month respectively.
All of these plans come with a maximum hosting capacity of 300 users. Again, you will pay less for annual subscriptions as compared to monthly plans.
Features and Security
Before Microsoft Teams was developed, Skype of Business was the most widely used video conferencing software globally. At the moment, Microsoft Teams and Zoom Meetings share the top spot as Skype for Business inches closer to its final show.
Microsoft Teams has better features and improved security compared to Skype of Business. To start, while Microsoft Teams can host up to 1,000 users, Skype for Business is limited to a maximum of 300 users.
One useful feature that sets apart Microsoft Teams from Skype is its advanced file-sharing options. Microsoft Teams allows offline and online sharing of files via MS Sharepoint. In addition, users have access to thousands of interactive objects such as stickers and GIFs from the Microsoft Teams store.
On the other hand, Skype’s file-sharing option is available only to online users. Users can only share files available on their computer either through copy and paste or drag and drop.
With Microsoft Teams, you can integrate more than 600 software to expand its functionality. Applications such as Slack and Freehand expand communication options and create more interactive collaboration.
The core of a good communication tool is the ability to seamlessly expand your network within and outside of the organization. Microsoft Teams simplifies the process of guest access by allowing visitors to create channels and share files. Guest access on Skype is granted through an invitation where the guest will be required to either download the web plugin or the Skype app to gain access.
Microsoft Teams and Skype of Business have resolute security features. Skype for Business runs Microsoft’s trusted SDL while Microsoft Teams has Tier-C security features and several ISO standardizations.
Finally, Microsoft Teams chat service is miles ahead of Skype’s, allowing users to access chat history from any time stamp. You don’t get the same feature with Skype as chats are deleted when you exit the app unless you choose to save the chat history on Microsoft Outlook.
Microsoft Teams Voice vs. Skype for Business – Which Platform Wins?
All said it’s a reprieve that your business will not be forced to choose between the two apps. Microsoft retired Skype for Business in June 2022 and integrated its services with Microsoft Teams.
Clearly, Microsoft Teams’ superior features and affordability makes it the ideal voice and video conferencing platform for businesses of all sizes.