The technology used by today’s workforce is evolving at a fast rate as companies integrate a range of information and communications technologies (ICT) into their operations. The integration and processes that are being implemented are a work in progress, but one trend that is seeing wide adoption across the board is collaborative solutions.
Skype is pushing that trend forward with its new Skype mobile group video call option that makes it possible for a group video call with 25 participants to take place on iOS and Android devices.
With unified communications, (UC), cloud services and IP telephony, today’s mobile devices have as many options as on premises systems. The move by Microsoft to make Skype available for groups on mobile devices extends more of those options to smartphones and tablets, because they are key to how employees collaborate once they leave the office.
For small businesses, having a free video chat solution from Skype, a proven video communications solution, is a win/win no matter how you look at it. According to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), the share of U.S. businesses with less than 20 workers makes up 97.9 percent of the businesses in the country. This means all of these businesses will be able to use Skype mobile group video call with all their employees for free.
Skype mobile group video is delivered in full HD 1080p video with software that is able to optimize the features of the device you are using. Just like the desktop version and other fee based services, when you start talking, it puts you in the center, while the rest of the participants, all 24 of them, will be displayed in small tiles. However, if you want to pin someone else to the center, the app gives you that choice.
Having HD video is fine, but Skype also uses its SILK Super Wide Band audio codec, which has been optimized by Intel, in its cloud conferencing stack to deliver crystal clear audio.
The invitation process has also been simplified. It is no longer necessary to have a Skype account to get an invitation. Skype is popular, but not everyone uses it, and now you can invite anybody to your conferences by sending them a link using email or messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter or Facebook. Once they get the link, they can join the conversation on a computer using Skype for Web.
While this version of Skype has enough features to carry out video communications, it is not the same as Skype for Business. And if your company needs more options, such as increased administrative roles, larger conference calls or meetings, and deeper integration with Microsoft applications, the businesses model is the right choice.
Microsoft wants to make the platform available globally by the end of March, but the U.S. and Western Europe will experience the mobile group chat feature first in a week’s time.
You can download the app from the App Store and Google Play for free.
The company also wants to remind you to have the latest version of Skype on your device to access all of these features.