- Social Media
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- Good Giving
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- Be Fearless
The other day I was walking through the halls of our office when I encountered a HUGE electronic version of my coworker’s head, expanded across one of our 60” conference TVs. Confused and scared by what appeared to be a futuristic titan reincarnate of a Case Foundation employee, I soon was informed that it was merely a company video conference, courtesy of online peer-to-peer communications platform, Skype.
I had first heard about Skype when I was traveling abroad, where I learned that I could talk to my parents and friends in the US for FREE using this new, innovative program featuring phone and video calls, via the internet. With Skype, we could communicate computer-to-computer for absolutely no cost, or I could call their cell phone or landline in the US for an extremely cheap rate.
After entering the professional world however, I’ve come to learn that Skype’s uses go far beyond cheap phone calls and personal communication. In fact, Skype for businesses (and non-profits) has become a recent trend since professionals utilizing the platform for personal use have come to realize the value and convenience it has in an office setting. The benefits Skype offers to businesses and non-profit organizations are endless, and they can save your organization a great deal of money as well. To better understand how Skype can help your company, here’s a list of features:
- Calling: Rather than racking up a large phone bill calling partners around the world, use the online call feature to pay significantly lower rates. Remember, its totally free if both users are using Skype on their computer. Skype now accounts for 8% of international calls and ranks as the largest long distance service provider in the world.
- Video Conferencing: Using this feature, you can see and speak to your coworkers, anytime, anywhere in the world, face to face (with a 60” TV, that can be a lot of face!). This can save your organization bushels of money, as you no longer need to pay for expensive video conferencing services, and you can reduce company travel for meetings or presentations.
- Group IMs: If you are not in a video-friendly environment but need to share information instantly with members of your company, one option is to use the Group IM feature. Much like a chat room, you can pass messages back and forth to whatever group you’ve formed, instantly, without clogging up your inbox.
- File Sharing: With the file sharing feature on Skype, you can make sure everyone in your conference call, video conference or group IM is viewing the document you are presenting simultaneously. The best part is that there are no size limits to your file transfers.
Businesses and non-profits everywhere are using Skype to save money, time and resources. With over 405 million users there is no limit to the people and organizations you can reach. As Skype is constantly adding features, such as new mobile communications technology and an iPhone application, its popularity and utility will only continue to grow. Skype is not just hype, it’s a valuable tool capable of revolutionizing office communications systems. So stop wasting money; reach for Skype!