Telephone Conferencing and Web Meetings (Skype for Business)
Whether you need video conferencing, desktop sharing, or instant messaging, you can use Skype for Business. This unified communication tool makes it easy for students, faculty, and staff to conduct web conferences, share applications or their desktop, send instant messages, work together on online white boards, view real-time presence indicators for colleagues, and more.
Skype for Business
Skype for Business can be used to instantly start a one-to-one video conference with audio, or it can be used to schedule in advance a full web conference with up to 250 participants. During a Skype for Business meeting, the host can pass control to any of the participants and allow them to conduct the meeting or even use applications on the host's workstation. Skype for Business integrates with mobile devices and can be used to collaborate with individuals outside the University. Files can be transferred between Skype for Business collaborators with a simple drag-and-drop into the Skype for Business chat window. Skype for Business meetings can be recorded and shared with participants.
- Start an instant message conversation and add audio or video to it instantly
- Schedule web conferences for up to 250 participants
- Share a document, PowerPoint presentation, whiteboard, or your entire desktop with anyone
- See which of your contacts are available, in meetings, or away from their desks
- Record online meetings and share them with others
- Send and share files with a simple drag and drop
- Attend online meetings from your computer or mobile device
Skype for Business is available at no cost to all University of Pittsburgh students, faculty, and staff, and can be downloaded from the Software Download Service at My Pitt (my.pitt.edu).
Certified Conference Room System Video Devices (Polycom RealConnect)
Pitt Information Technology offers Polycom RealConnect for Office 365, a Microsoft-certified, cloud video interoperability service that enables departments with video conferencing equipment to connect into Skype for Business meetings seamlessly. Departments can purchase a license through the Pitt IT Software Store.
Video Bridge Service (BlueJeans)
The Video Bridge service enables departments with specialized video conferencing equipment (for example, room systems such as Polycom and Cisco/Tandberg) to join or “bridge” their systems with other conferencing services, including Microsoft Skype for Business. Licenses for the Video Bridge Service are available to departments at reduced cost through Software Distribution Services. The Video Bridge Service service brings major hardware and software video platforms together into a uniform conferencing experience, and also supports screen sharing and recording.
For more information, visit the Video Bridge Service page.
Skype for Business Frequently Asked Questions
Does Skype for Business display my photo automatically?
No. By default, your photo is not shown in Skype for Business. You can add your photo to Skype for Business from your My Pitt profile page.
I manually set my presence as available, and now it is not showing that I am in a meeting. How do I correct this?
Open Skype for Business, click My Status, then click Reset Status.
How many people can attend a meeting that I set up in Skype for Business?
Up to 250 people can participate in a Skype for Business meeting at one time.
Who can use Skype for Business?
All University of Pittsburgh students, faculty, and staff with primary University Computing Accounts may use Skype for Business. Individuals with sponsored accounts and resources accounts may also use Skype for Business. Skype for Business is not available to those with PittNet Guest Wi-Fi accounts or those who have applied but not yet been admitted to Pitt.
How much does Skype for Business cost?
Anyone at Pitt can download and use the Skype for Business client at no cost. Skype for Business provides integrated audio and video at no cost. You can use a headset and microphone (or a webcam with a built-in microphone and speakers) to participate in the audio portion of a meeting or conference. Faculty and staff have the option of requesting a dial-in conference number that can be used with Skype for Business. Dial-in conferencing costs $5 per month.
Can I invite someone outside of Pitt to my Skype for Business meeting if they do not use Skype for Business?
Yes. People outside of Pitt who do not use Skype for Business can join your meeting using Skype for Business Attendee (for Windows only) or Skype for Business Web App. Please keep in mind that any non-Skype for Business user who joins your meeting with Skype for Business Web App must use a dial-in conference number that you provide to them.
When I am in a meeting with multiple people, can I view more than one video feed at a time?
You can see the video feed of five active speakers at a time.
Can I use Skype for Business with Linux?
Skype for Business does not support the Linux operating system. However, by installing Moonlight (an open source implementation of Microsoft Silverlight), you can use Skype for Business Web App to join Skype for Business meetings that have been created by others.
I am sharing a PowerPoint presentation in Skype for Business but it won't let me edit the slides. How do I correct this?
When you click the Share menu and select PowerPoint Presentation, Skype for Business allows you to show but not edit the presentation. To edit a PowerPoint presentation while you are sharing it, click Share, select Program, and then select the PowerPoint program. Open your presentation in PowerPoint and you will be able to edit it.
I don't have a webcam. Can I still view video that is shared by other meeting participants?
Yes. You will be able to view their video feeds. You will just be unable to send your own video.
Does Microsoft provide a list of phones, headsets, webcams, and other devices that it has tested and certified as being compatible with Skype for Business?
Yes. Microsoft provides a list of equipment it has tested with Skype for Business on its website.