Skype for Business
Microsoft Skype for Business is a feature rich web conferencing tool that allows participants to connect with others anywhere in the world through the use of video and/or audio as well as content sharing. Popular uses for Skype for Business include web meetings, presentations, conferences, webinars, and e-learning. Every member of the University of Guelph online community can use Skype for Businesss. Skype for Business is available on your PC, Mac, and mobile devices.
Instant messaging, presence, and contacts
Using Skype for Business, users can:
- Display their presence status—for example, Available, Away, Do Not Disturb, or Offline—to let others know their availability. Skype for Business presence information is presented throughout the Office 365 suite.
- Send and receive text messages in real time. Instant messaging is available for both Skype-to-Skype and multiparty communication. IM text is encrypted for enhanced security.
- Send and receive files up to 500 MB in size
You can read more about instant messaging, presence, and contacts here.
Skype-to-Skype audio, video, and media
Skype for Business Online users can make one-to-one computer-based audio and video calls to other Skype for Business users using a PC and a web camera. A Skype for Business Online user can initiate Skype-to-Skype audio and video calls with any another user who has Skype for Business.
Contacts can see presence, communicate by using IM, and make Skype-to-Skype audio and video calls.
Go here to find out how to set audio device options in Skype for Business.
Skype for Business Online meetings
Users can start or join an ad-hoc Skype for Business Meeting with just a few clicks in the Skype for Business client or in Microsoft Outlook. Skype for Business lets users escalate simple instant messaging conversations or email conversations to PC-based, multiparty (three or more users) audio and video meetings with shared desktops, applications, and documents. Skype for Business Online meetings can have up to 250 participants.
In addition to audio, Skype for Business enables users to connect through high quality video sessions. Both person-to-person and multiparty (three or more users) sessions are supported. Active speaker video is available only for multiparty sessions. With Skype for Business, users can easily schedule an online meeting with video or seamlessly escalate an IM session to a video call.
Find out more about Skype for Business online meetings here.
For further information and a comparison of features between the available web conferencing tools, check out Which Collaboration Tool Should I Use? on the CCS Website.
There is no cost for this service as it is provided by CCS.
Documentation and Training
There is beginner and advanced training available for Skype for Business. These sessions can be found in the Learning & Development Calendar (https://www.uoguelph.ca/hr/hr-services/learning-development) and are called "Collaboration at Your Fingertips: Skype for Business/WebEx Training." You can register for the Winter 2019 sessions here (login required):
- Collaboration Tools at Your Fingertips- Skype for Business Beginner Training - Jan 24
- Collaboration Tools at Your Fingertips - Skype for Business/WebEx Advanced Training - Feb 21
Skype for Business integrates with Outlook 2016 - CCS has prepared two QuickStart guides for Skype for Business Outlook 2016
- Mac version - Skype for Business Mac Outlook 2016
- Windows version - Skype for Business Windows Outlook 2016
The primary source for documentation and training is available from Microsoft at their Skype for Business support page.
You can also visit lynda.com and login with your University of Guelph account and search for Skype for Business Essential Training.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Why can't I sign in to Skype for Business on my Android device?
A: We are currently experiencing issues with our Single Sign-On service on Android devices authenticating Skype for Business. CCS is working to find a solution to this issue as soon as possible.
Q. How can I use a video source other than a webcam for my Skype for Business conference/meeting?
A: There are USB video capture devices that you can use that will allow you to use audio/video output from a device and stream it as if it were a webcam.
Q: Are there any limitations to the different versions of Skype for Business?
A: Yes - the Skype for Business Mac Desktop client does have some limitations over its Windows-based counterpart. The Mac Desktop client does not support the following functionalities: Recording meetings, remote control of a desktop during a screenshare session, attaching files, and connecting to external users (non @uoguelph.ca email addresses), offline messaging.
Q. I have an important meeting coming up, does CCS provide onsite or standby support?
A. CCS does not provide onsite or standby support for Skype for Business. CCS recommends you test your meeting scenario ahead of time to ensure everything is setup correctly and you are familiar with how Skype for Business operates. To help you become familiar with Skype for Business, CCS recommends viewing and/or participating in any of the available online or in person training opportunities. If you still feel onsite or standby support is required, CCS recommends arranging this with your local IT team. Your local IT team should be contacted far enough ahead of the scheduled meeting to allow for preparation, testing and troubleshooting. Managed Desktop clients who rely on the service as their primary IT support role can contact CCS to request additional support for Skype for Business.
Support or Help
If you need help or have questions about the service please use one of the following methods for contacting CCS for assistance:
- Email Computing and Communications Services (CCS) at IThelp@uoguelph.ca
- Phone our CCS Help Centre at 519-824-4120 Ext. 58888
- Visit us at the IT Help Desk in the Library.
CCS Managed Desktop Clients will have access to additional support, including:
- Installation of Skype for Business
- Assistance with selection, installation and support of peripherals, e.g. headsets and webcams
Who is eligible to use this service?
|Service Availability||24x7x365 except for scheduled maintenance (see CCS System Status)|
|Service Requests and Problems||Response time varies depending on the nature of the issue.|
|For Managed Desktop Clients||Within 2-3 business days.|
How Do I Request or Access this Service?
The desktop version of Microsoft Skype for Business can be accessed and installed with your University of Guelph Central Login Account (GryphMail).
Go to our Office 365 page (https://mail.uoguelph.ca), click on Office 365, and select Install Office Apps. Click on Other Install Options and then Skype for Business. Follow the instructions to install Skype for Business. Skype for Business is also available on mobile platforms via the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. More detailed instructions are available in our Skype for Business Windows Outlook 2016 and Skype for Business Mac Outlook 2016 QuickStart documents (see Documentation and Training elsewhere on this page).