Increasing Meaningful and Stable Connections with Skype
December 08, 2018
Increasing Meaningful and Stable Connections with Skype
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Skype
Skype is being used by the entire University. We did not use Skype when I first began at UNT, but over time, all phones were digitized and linked through Skype on our computers. Skype helps our employees to be more efficient during the work day by reducing the amount of time it takes to contact other employees, schedule meetings, or determine someone's availability.
- Outlook Calendar Integration - Skype is connected to my Outlook Calendar and shows my availability to other users through the instant message function and also sends meeting reminders to the screen of my office phone. This allows me to keep track of my schedule but also allows my colleagues to know if I am available or not, how long I have been away, and when I will return.
- Phone and Video Conference calls - Skype was my go-to for video conference calls even before my company purchased it for all our users. Now I get the added bonus of all the business functions and Outlook integration. I could start a single user video call in seconds and initiate it through the instant message function. Group conference calls are also now made easier through Skype. We don't all need to register for additional systems or accounts, like Google, to be able to facilitate a conference call.
- Skype Missed Calls and Voicemail - One of my favorite things about Skype is the missed call and voicemail notifications I receive through my email. I am much more likely to notice missed calls and actually listen to voicemails. I no longer have to call in to my phone to listen to voicemail, I can check it quickly as I empty my email inbox.
- Skype Rolodex - Looking up phone numbers for my colleagues across campus used to be very time consuming if their numbers were not on our website. through Skype, I can look up anyone's phone number and place a call in a matter of seconds.
- Speed Dial - When using the speed dial function through my phone, which is determined by my favorites in Skype messenger, there is an occasional error in the call. Even though I am using the speed dial for phone, the call will register for the recipient through their computer and they cannot answer on their landline. I then have to hang up and manually dial their number.
- Video Call Quality - While the ease of setting up a conference call is there, the quality of the video calls could still be improved. The audio runs without issue but the quality of the video can still become grainy, pixellated, or frozen.
- User Name Incongruity - The list of contacts on Skype messenger is not congruent in the way it lists users. Some users are listed by email, some are listed by a user name, and some are listed by last name and first name. This is not a glaring issue, but I am not familiar with some user names, which results in having to do a manual look up for some people. It would be easier if they were all able to be listed by first and last name.
- Faster Client Response - Because I am able to check my missed calls and voicemails through my email with Skype, I end up with a faster responses rate to my clients both in and out of the office. I check my messages with my email and return calls faster than before I had Skype. It also makes it quick and easy to check my voicemail through email on my cell phone while away from the office. I no longer have to call into my office landline to check messages!
- Quicker Client Connection - One of the most common occurrences in our business is that one employee will need to make referrals for a student or client to another employee in our organization. In the past these referrals have been cumbersome and have not always led to eventual connection of the client to another employee. We would send them across campus to another office in hopes that the employee was available, or with an email or phone number and hope that they took the initiative to reach out. With the instant messenger and the video call function, we are able to contact employees across campus immediately so that clients can talk face to face with with their point of referral.
- More Efficient Business Model - This is a goal of our organization for the upcoming year. Skype has already helped us to progress in this goal by reducing the amount of time spent on unnecessary communications and processes. In the past, at a business with thousands of employees, we were forced to look up internal phone numbers on our website or through the phone roster. Now, I can look up phone numbers and email addresses through Skype messenger almost instantly, in addition to being able to send an instant message. I can also view other employees' schedules and availability through Skype messenger, instead of having to comb through Outlook. This helps me schedule calls and meetings more quickly than I have been able to before I started using Skype.
Google Hangouts is a product that can be used for single and conference video calls. I have used this platform in the past and it doesn't provide the same amount of features as Skype. Google Hangouts requires everyone to create a Google account to participate, while all of the users at our company already have Skype. Skype is also already integrated into our Outlook mail and calendar, which makes scheduling calls easier. The ease of access and stability of video quality is also more consistent with Skype. Google Hangouts requires links for invitations to join a chat, which do not always work, and sometimes require participation through a phone rather than a computer.
Skype is best suited for businesses or companies in which employees are required to do a lot of desk work, and who make a lot of internal phone or video calls, conference calls, or that can utilize the instant messaging function. Skype would seem most worth the cost for a company with more than 50 employees, but could be useful for smaller businesses if they still plan to utilize Skype's functions. Smaller companies with few employees, or companies who do not have employees at desks consistently would not be able to utilize Skype to the best of its capacity.