Skype for Business is the instant communication app bundled with Office 365. Most of the SFB Use Cases are about immediate or urgent work (although there are some exceptions). In this article, I am just going to enlist all the use cases I could think of. I will update this article as I learn and observe more use cases. I will also write detailed articles about specific use cases soon.
Brief Feature List
Skype is a communication tool. It needs at least one other person to communicate with. It is a corporate communication tool. Therefore, it allows you to communicate with all the staff members from your organization. You can search for anyone in the company and chat with them if they are online (and not busy). If chat is not sufficient, you can add audio or video as well. For longer, interactive sessions, multiple video streams can be seen together.
In addition, things that are useful for business communication are also available. You can upload and show a presentation to start with. You can also deliver a live demo of a specific application or the entire desktop. Others can see your demo in near-real time. If required, you can hand over control of your screen to another person and let them edit or annotate your document.
Everything we do on chat, video, audio, presentations, annotations, etc. can be archived. This helps you to go back to a prior discussion or resolve some dispute. The archived data is legally permissible – just like a mail-trail is.
SFB Use Cases
This list is not in any particular order. It is by no means complete. There are numerous ways in which we use the same software. But I have tried to list some common (and rare) reasons why you would want to use the tool. SFB Use Cases is just a list. It does not show you the detailed steps. Checking if what I want to do is possible is the first step. The exact technical knowledge comes later.
- Check if someone is online and available for a conversation
- Remind me as soon as someone who is currently busy becomes available
- Get everyone in a mail trail into a quick online meeting to discuss and resolve issues or form a consensus
- Get instant inputs from one or more persons – where you cannot wait for mail to be sent, read, edited and sent back. Urgent work.
- Get consensus from people by asking them a question and showing them possible answers – a very quick poll.
- Show a presentation to people and discuss it or debate it
- To teach something to others instantly. Some SFB meetings are scheduled – like a training program
- Conduct an online meeting which can include chat, audio, video, presentations and collaterals
- Brainstorming with a team with a simple whiteboard and a few presentation slides or any other relevant document
- Conducting activities where visual input is important. For example, interviews, negotiations, white-boarding, group activity, view and discuss issues on shop floor or customer locations
- Broadcast a message or a presentation to a large audience like a new and important product launch, crisis management, management address, etc.
- Conduct training for multiple remote users with full interactivity
- Connect and communicate with partners, associates or customers who are NOT a part of your organization.
- Provide quick advise or perform technical troubleshooting
- Checking the organizational hierarchy and details of persons in your organization
- Providing collaterals (exercises, documents, proposals, etc.) instantly to participants of a meeting
- Conduct meetings where multiple experts or presenters will address a larger audience
- Conduct seminars or large scale remote user knowledge transfer sessions
- Approve documents on an urgent basis by looking at someone else’s shared document. Editing or correcting the content as well as annotation may also be required.
- Refer to past chat transcripts in order to clarify doubts or as a reference
- Controlling who can disturb me when and to what degree.
- Ensuring that chat requests do not interfere with my live presentations or other in-person meetings
- Take notes about the meeting proceedings and action points (this requires OneNote)
- Create a list of my common contacts or team members and group them according to usage, hierarchy or their ability to communicate with you
- Let everyone know when you are available, busy or away from your work. While you are in other meetings or presentations, your status automatically becomes Do Not Disturb
- Look at meetings in your calendar which are using SFB and join these meetings
- Edit urgent documents with multiple remote users in real-time in order to save time and still create a confusion free, single final document.
- Communication with people wherever their name appears in other Office tools like Word, Excel,, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, etc.
- Conduct multiple chats with different users to coordinate different aspects of your workload
- View missed calls or conversations and call them back
- Create a scheduled Skype meeting from right within Outlook calendar
- Configure what the participants in a meeting can do.
- For large, one-way sessions control the audience actions. For example, Mute the entire audience, prevent them from chatting with each other, prevent them from sharing videos, hide attendee names (useful for public seminars) and invite more people.
- In a training session, manage Questions and Answers in a structured way by allowing people to post questions while you are presenting and then answering pending questions one by one.
Well there are more SFB Use Cases. But let me stop here for now. Will update this list updated. I will also write detailed articles about common use cases soon.