Posted January 6, 2011 4:06 pm by with 2 comments

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Group Video Calling is now part of Skype for Business. This handy new feature  allows you to host video calls with up to ten people at the same time and it’s only going to cost you $8.99 a month.

From a marketing perspective, this system allows you to do something you can’t do with email and that’s get face time with your customers. Group Video Calling is particularly useful for those of you in the business-to-business arena. For example, you’ve got a new updated widget that you’d like to pitch to a client. Using Skype Group Video Calling, you can get the VP, the department head and the CFO all on the line at the same time while you demonstrate the product. Seeing them react as you progress through the features and benefits is invaluable information that you can use to hone your sales pitch.

In order to use the new feature, the initiator of the call needs to be on Skype Business 5.1 while the participants can use the personal version of Skype 5.0.  Calls from Skype to Skype are always free, so you can connect with people in three different parts of the world and it’s all included in the base fee for business users.

To get more mileage out of the video chat features, Skype suggests you record video meetings and training sessions, edit them and send them to customers as a record of the call. This is a fast and cheap way to create training videos for an end user or your sales staff.

If you’ve never tried Skype, you should check it out now. Personal accounts are free and business accounts are very inexpensive for what they provide. Once you start using the system, you’ll find that it’s like duct tape, a simple but effective tool with a variety of helpful uses.

  • The Skype for business feature sounds awesome. I just hate video chat, and hardly ever use it. It makes me feel like I have to get dressed up, and while the camera loves me 😉 , it is so awkward sometimes.

  • This is a great feature and can enhance remote work team collaboration is used correctly. However, my experience within the office is that most people are not embracing video chat. As Stuart commented, “it makes me feel like I have to get dressed up”. My response is “get over it already!”.

    I’ve used video chat with a remote colleague half-way across the country for the past six months. I like the chat better than a phone call because it makes me feel more connected and like we work in the same office.

    I understand this could be a distraction for some, but if you treat it as a professional communication tool you should be fine. Besides, don’t multi-taskers already use email as their distraction during group team calls?