Hi all,

You are probably aware, if you work at the University of Bath, that Skype for Business has just been rolled out.

“So what?” you may ask.

So, have a go at using it to communicate with someone, especially where there are benefits over using email or the phone.

“What benefits?”

Instant Messaging

Sometimes I’ll use an Instant Message to contact someone, or someone will use IM to contact me. One of the main benefits for me is that I can quickly see that they’ve read my message and are responding, as Skype for Business tells me ‘… is typing a message’ – with an email, you can’t really be sure that they’ve even opened the message (unless you assigned a Read Receipt tag AND they click to let you know they’ve opened it).

If you want to use Instant Messaging but the other person sent you an email, you can still respond with an Instant Message – just click on the IM button in the Respond group within the Message ribbon.

You can add attachments, flag the message as ‘high importance’ and even add a ‘smiley’ or two!!

If you prefer to use emails because they give you a record of your conversation, guess what? So do IMs – they are stored in an area called ‘Conversation History’ in your Outlook folder. Worried about them not seeing the IM? If you miss one it will appear in your Inbox the next time you look!!

Phone/video calls

And if you have a headset and/or webcam, it’s even more useful.  You can call someone (audio or, if you have a webcam and don’t mind people seeing you, a video call) or a whole group of people.

To call someone, just find them in the list, see if they’re available and hit the ‘call’ button.

Conference call/IM

There are a few ways to include more than 1 other person in your conversation (or even an Instant Message), including (there are probably others – let me know if you find a good one):

·         Add extra people, 1 at a time

·         Start with a call to a group of people

·         Arrange a Skype Meeting in your Outlook calendar

Show them what’s on your screen

Whether you’re calling someone or using an IM, you can present a file, program or your whole desktop – just click on the Present button and say what you want to present: Desktop, program (any application/file that is currently open) or PowerPoint file (will open the file and automatically start the slide show). You can even give the other person control, so they can do the work!!

So consider having a go at sending an Instant Message the next time you’re sending an email.

If you want to know more or have a go at audio/video calls and conference calls, join me on one of the Skype for Business training sessions.

Bye for now,


Posted in: Digital Data & Technology Group


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response

  • Really useful post written in comfortable language! Thanks

  • As a new joiner to Bath, working at the University of Bath in London, so far Skype for Business has been great to be able to connect with Exec Team in Bath. A fun session with IT (Josh) to set up my laptop - we would not have managed it without the camera. I love how it connects to your calendar. Would heartily recommend using it.

    • Thanks for the kind words Iona. We're pleased you're finding Skype for Business useful.