Even if you hate them, and many of us secretly do, no matter what business you’re in, meetings are a necessity. And, more often than not, lots of them.
The good news is, however, that the meeting experience as we know it is improving. In the past people had to gather together awkwardly in conference rooms, making uncomfortable small talk until the meeting was called to order, often after having to travel miles to attend in the first place. The company’s freelancers had to leave the freedom of their home office to trek into see the bosses and practically everyone had to lose time they could have spent far more productivity just making the meeting happen, and making it to the meeting, in the first place.
Now however, services like Skype for Business are making the traditional business meeting a thing of the past. Meeting participants can ‘check in’ from almost anywhere in the world, via voice call, text chat or video call. Copies of documents and presentations can be exchanged back and forth between meeting participants with ease, leading to no more lost notes and no more squinting at a badly lit projection screen. And as Skype for Business is still expanding, after Microsoft’s 2011 acquisition of the platform, some users now have the capability to broadcast meetings to up to 10,000 viewers.
Skype for Business and Consumption Billing
Obviously, although it is usually a less expensive solution, and some types of calls are indeed free, Skype for Business is not free. Another advantage that is does offer however is the ability to make use of a consumption billing feature that essentially allows companies to ‘pay as they go’, rather than being tied to a set budget, paying for services that may not be used.
The service is administered through Microsoft’s Office 360, making it an easy integration into most businesses current systems and funds can be added automatically at set usage levels, ensuring that every minute paid for is a minute used. And what’s not to love about that?
All of this is great, but it’s not enough, not for your HR, legal and finance people anyway. The Office 360app offers very basic statistics about just how your money is being spent, but not by whom, via what device and just who was involved in the call. For those who need to monitor cost effectiveness and cost visibility, as well as corporate compliance and general productivity, a deeper reporting solution is called for.
The good news here is that there are a number of softwares that can help here too. The best of them offer comprehensive reporting on every aspect of your company’s Skype for Business usage, with those reports being delivered via a clear, easy to manage dashboard that is useful for anyone who needs to make use of the data collected, not just the ‘tech heads’ in IT. It can even be hosted in the cloud if you would prefer not to house it on your servers.
The combination of Skype for Business, consumption billing Skype for Business call accounting solution is an extremely powerful one, offering the capability to slimline – and maybe even revolutionize – the way a company does meetings for good.
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