Skype for Business makes it easy to connect and collaborate with coworkers and business partners around the world. With Skype you can start instant message conversations and voice or video calls, see when your contacts are available online, schedule and join meetings, present your screen during meetings or give control to others. However a lot of companies are using Google Hangouts to conduct their meetings and collaborate with employees, this weeks tips and tricks will give you the rundown on the difference between Skype for Business and Google Hangouts.
Hangouts is an offering from Google that is seen as a competitor to Skype and Skype for Business. It includes IM/P, Audio, Video, along with consumer grade PSTN access. Press and various analysts have noted that Hangouts is primarily a consumer product providing consumer experiences. Meaning, this often does not address Enterprise needs for many businesses.
4 Offerings Skype offers that Hangouts doesn’t
Collaboration Experiences: With Skype you can expect easy file sharing, the ability to upload/preview slides, as well as the ability to use polls, inking, white boarding directly in the meeting. While Hangouts does not offer file sharing through IM, doesn’t offer the ability to preview slides, and has no collaboration tools.
Bottom Line: Hangouts offers video calling. If your business is serious about collaboration and sharing, you should consider robust tools such as Office 365 that includes Skype for Business.
Meeting Experiences: With Skype you can integrate meetings notes, see the content and presenter, hold meetings that support up to 250 users, and experience consistency across platforms. In contrast, Hangouts does not have a fully integrated note-taking experience as OneNote does, doesn’t offer the ability to show the presenter during content sharing, only supports up to 15 users and then requires a view only experience on YouTube, and finally while Hangouts does offer a chat function within a meeting various mobile platforms such as Ipad and Android cannot see the chat.
Bottom Line: Note taking, video/content being viewed simultaneously, and chat showing up on all platforms should be your minimum bar. Hangouts is challenged to offer these consistently.
Enterprise Expectations: With Skype you are in control over your data, can expect integrations with Office, and have the ability to use Enterprise voice. Hangouts does not recognize secure content meaning users are allowed to share anything. Hangouts also lacks full office support and does not have the ability to make and receive a phone call.
Bottom Line: Businesses that need to protect their data, integrate with Office, and offer a full UC solution that includes options for voice, needs enterprise ready software such as Skype for Business.
Skype Room Systems: With Skype you have access to over 50 million meeting rooms, can experience a rich collaboration, and illustrate the art of the possible. Hangouts is limited to one type of meeting room- the Chromebox.
Bottom Line: Businesses have many different meeting rooms- no single device can serve. Skype for Business offers LRS and Skype Room Systems today. Key partners will help grow a continuum of meeting devices.
Overall if you are using Google Hangouts as an application for collaboration and meetings you will experience various issues related to meeting sizes, the ability to make or receive calls, and a lack of reporting tools.