UPDATED: Skype for Business still exists but Microsoft Teams has now been adopted as its successor.
Skype for many years has been predominantly used in a domestic setting. Typically calls to friends and relatives, especially when someone is overseas via video chat etc. Its popularity has never waned as a communication tool and its being used more and more for serious conversations. It’s fair to say that Skype has come a long way in a few short years and is consistency trying to reinvent itself as a serious communication tool contender. Especially with the introduction of “Skype for Business” (now Microsoft Teams) now upon us.
So what is the real difference between Skype and Skype for business?It’s the most commonly asked question and the true answer is: “not a lot really” the bog standard Skype can and is used for business anyway, according to the Skype website, normal Skype is for up to 20 employees and Skype for business will take you to the dizzy heights of 250 employees. With that increase, there comes a more robust “enterprise grade security”, the ability to manage all those accounts and integration with office apps (don’t forget its Microsoft who owns Skype) and a monthly cost of course.
So, that is Skype for business and MS Teams for the majority, but what has this got to do with a headset supplier I hear you cry?
Well, as I mentioned earlier, Skype have created a robust and for the most part, a very reliable communications platform. But then some people rely on a web cam with a mic to make a call (even a serious business call! If they do use a USB headset, it’s often the cheapest quality one they can find in one of the big electronic sheds (you know who they are) basically serious business people need serious business tools....
The problem:If you use a “cheap” (read: quality, build, component & price) USB headset for Skype or any other PC-MAC softphone application, then you are doing yourself and the person you are talking to a huge injustice. Because so many things are affected with a cheap USB headset.
1. General call quality(Basically, cheap components mean cheap call quality)
This where it gets serious (that is if you are serious about the relationship and communication you have with your customers) Build quality is everything and especially what’s inside, technology wise. The technology used in mid to high end UC or Unified Communication headsets is serious stuff. There are so many things that the technology has to overcome when a call is being sent over an IP connection rather than the old fashioned copper wires. Every major commercial phone & software company like Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, Polycom and of course Microsoft (MS Lync) has a UC application. They have invested many millions in this technology and the uptake may be slower than originally planned but it's gaining ground. OK so now that we have hopefully helped you “wake up and smell the coffee” to quality USB headsets, let’s see what the best USB headsets are on the market! Obviously we are not going to go down the cheap route (if you have read this far, you will know why)
3. Build quality
So let’s jump straight into the 2 main markets:
Mid-market – where most business is done and the High end market where only the very best will do. We haven’t even mentioned the differences between wired or wireless USB and will leave that for another blog post but here are our recommendations for both: See all the recommended wired and wireless Skype & UC headsets here!
*P.S. if you are considering purchasing several USB headsets for your business and would like to trial these headsets for free, please contact headsets4business on 0800 644 0424 and we can arrange that for you.
So there you have it!
Skype and softphone applications like MS Teams have come a long way but please don’t forget – so have the headsets that do a professional job. It is essential to ensure all your communication with prospects and customers is always of the best possible quality.