Skype and Skype for Business

Skype and Skype for Business are not the same application however they work in very similar ways. Both are owned by Microsoft but the former is a consumer product that is designed to be used at home and the latter is designed to be used in a corporate, work based environment.

However, it is clear that there are times when we will want to communicate with someone who only has one version of these tools.

Skype for Business now has a built in Global address book, which allows users of Skype for Business to search the Skype directory.

How to add a contact

  • Search for the persons name or email address as you would for an internal contact, but in the results window, select the 'SKYPE DIRECTORY' tab:
  • When you have found the contact you require, right click on their name and 'ADD TO CONTACTS'
  • This will send the person an inivtation to begin communicating.

Skype users CAN NOT search for Skype for Business contacts unless they have been contacted first. This means you can continue to use Skype for Business with the same level of confidence in the security and confidentiality that you would when communicating with internal contacts.

You can upgrade to the Skype for Business client by installing the full Microsoft Office 2013 suite from the Software Centre on your university desktop or laptop.

To access Skype for Business -

  • click on the Start button at the bottom left hand corner of the screen and type "Skype" into the search bar. Then click on the "Skype" or link to launch the program which should automatically sign you in.
  • If you are required to sign in you need to use your full University email address and password.

Skype for Business is now available for Macs - download it here

This brings together the functionality and look of the PC software. Skype for Business (formerly called Lync) is part of the Office 365 family of University services for staff and students.

It provides a fully featured communications platform which provides instant messaging, desktop voice or video conferencing, online meeting spaces and file sharing.

University Cluster PCs

Skype for Business is currently installed on the majority of the University Cluster computers. To access it, click on the Start button at the bottom left hand corner of the screen and type "Skype" into the search bar, then click on Skype for Business to launch the program which should automatically sign you in. If you are required to sign you need to enter your full University email address and password.

One Drive for Business

Skype for Business will extend the capabilities of One Drive even further. When editing documents online, you can use Skype for Business to communicate with your peers in real-time, providing a real benefit for group presentations and remote working.

Microsoft Office 2013

Skype for Business works well with the full Microsoft Office 2013 suite, enabling you to change documents in real time while collaborating with your peers. As a University of Exeter student, you can also download the latest version of Microsoft Office 2013 free of charge to your personal laptop or tablet here Download Office 2013

Mobile devices

Skype for Business app is now available on Android, Windows and Apple phones and tablets. Click on the relevant App Store links below:

Once downloaded to your device, you simply need to login with your full Exeter email address and password.

Personal computers

If you wish to use Skype for Business on a personal computer or laptop you should download and install the Skype for Business client it from the link below:

Skype for Business hardware guide

We would always recommend using additional equipment when joining an audio call or video call.

Although laptops are often equipped with webcams and microphones, the quality can be substandard or inefficient.

We recommend using HD cameras such as the Microsoft Lifecam and a high-quality headset (e.g. Jabra or Sennheiser).

In meetings where it is advantageous to have louder audio and more people in view, we recommend using a speakerphone (e.g. Sennheiser SP 60 OR a Polycom CX300) and additionally a wide-angle camera (e.g. 180 degree panacast)

In larger meetings, we highly recommend using dedicated hardware for video calling.

If the video call is using Skype for Business, we recommend using a  -degree panoramic video and speakerphone (e.g. Polycom CX550).

However, if you are using enterprise standard video conferencing (H.323 Polycom systems) please check SID for dedicated rooms.

If you are unsure which system you require, check here for a simple functionality breakdown.