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Audio Visual Insights for Web-Conferencing and Live Streaming

A New Outlook, Skype for Business Now Integrated with Office 365

Posted by Paul Richards on Jun 29, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Skype for Business, Improved and Integrated with Office 365

Microsoft has replaced Microsoft Lync with the improved Skype for Business video conferencing software. Skype for Business is an improvement over Microsoft Lync while retaining the same popular features and adding new ones. Great news for professionals, Skype for Business offers new integrations with Office 365. There are three pricing plans now available for users – Business Online 1, Business Online 2 and Server 2015.

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Topics: Video Conferencing, audio conferencing, Audio Visual Advice, Microsoft Lync, skype for business

Better for Business? Cisco Jabber vs Skype

Posted by Paul Richards on Jun 23, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Cisco Jabber vs Skype for Business

Cisco Jabber and Skype for Business (formerly Lync) are two of the most widely used video conferencing softwares in the world. Reason being, both softwares are developed by highly reputable companies with extensive background knowledge on office software and hardware. Cisco is the most popular networking, video conferencing and office equipment manufacturer while Microsoft is the pioneer behind Office applications. Both applications fight neck to neck to gain corporate awareness and with video conferencing now a common practice in organizations it’s about time both companies polish their tools even more.

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Topics: audio conferencing, Audio Visual Advice, Cisco jabber, skype for business

What does the new Skype for Business pricing model mean for the rest of the industry?

Posted by Paul Richards on May 30, 2015 2:21:00 PM

Good Day AV & IT professionals!

Skype has just announced a new pricing plan for its Skype for Business service! It's the kind of announcement where you have to stop and say "Wow? Is this going to be game changing? What will this mean for the online video conferencing industry?". Skype for Business is one of the most popular video conferencing tools for professionals using video conferencing. In this blog post we look at the latest features and compare them with other popular third party meeting providers available as alternatives to Skype for Business such as GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx and Zoom.

Cisco WebEx has the advantage of producing video conferencing hardware as well as providing the software (WebEx) for an optimal video conferencing experience. Just like Microsoft, Cisco also provides a enterprise level unified communications product called Cisco Jabber that offers similar server level plans that can merge with WebEx. GoToMeeting has a very simple design and has a huge "business user" apeal for users who just want something that works. Citrix offers a large suite of online cloud based products but none that usually compete with Microsoft & Cisco's unified communications platforms. To mention a few: GoToMeeting, ShareFile, GoToWebinar, Podio, OpenVoice and Grasshopper.  Lastly, Zoom is the most in-expensive compared to the others but provides some unique features such as iPhone/iPad screen sharing, H.323 room system compatibility and Zoom Rooms for instant meetings. While all three alternatives to Skype for Business provide widely different feature offerings, Skype remains the most widely pleasing option for both price and attendee flexibility. Most pricing plans are split in to 10, 25 and 100 attendee caps while Skype for Business allows up to 250 people in one business plan. For a more detailed feature list of all 4 providers click here (written before Skype for Business release).

The new Skype for Business pricing plan is as follows:

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Topics: Zoom.US, web conferencing, WebEX, GoToMeeting, skype for business

3 Skype Classroom System Designs

Posted by Paul Richards on May 26, 2015 11:58:00 AM

Hello Educators & IT Pro's!

Skype and Skype for Business/Lync are being used for education and distance learning around the world. With the latest enhancements to Skype for Business including live translation this trend is going to continue. Pricing for Skype for Business is now only $5.50/month for video conferencing access with up to 250 participants! Just imagine the potential use case's for the education market!

So we put our AV room configuration tool to good use designing 3 Skype classroom designs. When you are designing a 21st century classroom the need to support software like Skype for Business is becoming a popular topic. Equiping classrooms for distance learning and video conferencing technology to include additional students and/or professor is not as difficult as it once was onlky 3-5 years ago.

Every classroom is different so for this tutorial video we simply review some of the most basic classroom designs and build video conferencing systems from scratch. You can always upload your own images and designto create the perfect representation of your classroom. To learn more about using the CRS room configuration tool click here

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Topics: web conferencing, skype for business

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