New Skype Business software adds group video calling

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Skype’s new, updated software for enterprises features group video calling, which is available immediately in the Business version of Skype (version 5.1 for Windows PCs). The new version supports group video calls between three or more people (up to a maximum of 10). The Business version of Skype offers video and audio conference calling, instant messaging, SMS and file or screen sharing. “With Group Video Calling, we can offer business people an easy way to stay connected and collaborate face-to-face with multiple colleagues, partners or customers around the world,” said David Gurlé, general manager and VP of Skype’s Enterprise business unit. “The Business version of Skype is great for live meetings and it offers a compelling low-cost option

The latest version of Skype Business adds group video calling capabilities

compared to competing solutions that are often complicated, costly or difficult to deploy.”

Skype says that enterprise administrators have an easy way to deploy Skype to employees within an organisation. It also provides the ability to control how Skype is used within the workplace by letting administrators turn off or configure a variety of Skype settings. Enterprise administrators can also create Skype accounts for employees, allocate Skype Credit or subscriptions and assign premium features, like Group Video Calling, through a web-based tool called Skype Manager. Group Video Calling for businesses is available from Skype for $8.99 (€5.99/£4.99)* per user per month. When businesses use Skype Manager to sign up their employees for a 3 or 12-month subscription for Group Video Calling, they will receive a 33 percent promotional discount.

Approximately 37 percent of Skype users say they use Skype’s product platform occasionally or often for business-related purposes.1 In addition, video calling accounted for approximately 41.5 percent of all Skype-to-Skype minutes in the second half of 2010. To start a group video call, only one member of the conference call needs to be using Skype for Windows 5.1 or the latest Business version of Skype. For all participants to receive video in a group setting, they need to be using the 5.0 version of Skype for Mac or Windows, at a minimum. Skype video calls between two parties will continue to be offered as a free product.

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