An All Around Good Communications Tool
December 09, 2018
An All Around Good Communications Tool
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Skype
We use Skype to communicate externally with other peer organizations. Notably we have also used Skype to communicate with job applicants in other countries. As a large organization I am sure that other offices are using Skype on campus. Skype fills a void for a reliable face to face communication platform that makes it feel like you are having a casual conversation with others without the need to be present. In a previous role I used Skype's chat or instant messaging features but no longer use that functionality. It worked well when I used it but it is my understanding they have beefed up this functionality.
- It does video calling very well.
- You can share files easily over the platform.
- The chat / instant messaging feature was robust.
- It's very accessible. Users on many platforms can use it.
- It is reliable. I have not had issues with uptime or charshing.
- I think that often people are confused on what usage or functions will cost them money to use.
- Everyone is concerned about security and safety these days. I don't conduct secret business over Skype but I've heard there may be some concerns about this issue if you are thinking of using it for sensitive information.
- Chat history gets deleted after a certain point so if keeping years long records is something that you are looking to do consider saving chunks off from time to time.
- My department does not use Skype in a way that would be seen as generating a return on investment but for what the product does it is a good value.
- It really closes the distance gap in working with offices that are far away. Conference calls can be so soul crushing, this is a much better option.
- The only negative impact is that it is not the only video conferencing tool that I use. Given that it is not as strong of a multi user platform I can't say that it may cover every need that every office would have.
It's very difficult to compare Skype to the other tools listed above that are in the database. Skype is much more fully featured and easy to use with many users than Google Hangouts or Google Duo. WebEx and GoToMeeting are better conference call style set ups but not really in the same market but do provide some similar services to Skype. Join.me and Cisco Jabber offer some screen sharing and instant messaging features as Skype and are a little better for those purposes. In essence Skype covers so many things that it's just an easy Swiss army knife style of tool.
If you want to be able to communicate quickly and easily for personal or professional reasons Skype is a great solution. It offers the ability to feel like you are in the same place. It also allows you to communicate quickly and concisely if you don't want to bother with a full video and audio setup. I don't think it is well suited for chatting with multiple people at once. The maximum number of people you can get together is 10. We found it much easier to go with Google Hangouts for smaller group calls because it was free and GoToMeeting for larger groups. GoToMeeting also had a fee but was well suited for such environments.
Skype Feature Ratings
Evaluating Skype and Competitors
- Product Features
- Product Usability
- Product Reputation
- Prior Experience with the Product
As we were working with a group of people that are on different systems and have different office formats and in general were diverse it made the most sense to work with a product that didn't force every user to have the same setup. Just about everyone knows what Skype is and it is available on anything from desktops and laptops to iPads, tablets, and phones we didn't have to worry about someone using it from home having an issue or someone traveling not being able to communicate. Most people already have experience with the product so it's not like we have issues when we need to contact a new person with it.
I think we had a really solid selection process. We brainstormed different products for video communications and then did some Google searching as well to see what might exist that we had not heard of. After we got the list together I went out and wrote up a summary of the pros and cons of each one. We met back after that and talked through the prospects and landed on using a mix of Skype, Google Hangouts, and GoToMeeting depending on the situation.