Although last year Microsoft announced its plans to replace Skype for Business with Microsoft Teams, at the moment both tools work and remain popular. Today we shall compare Skype for Business with MyOwnConference. We’ll also take a look at Skype Meeting Broadcast and find out which solution works best for your conferences and webinars.
Skype for Business
Skype is probably one of the most recognized names in video conferencing. Almost everyone has used the free version of this program at least once. Skype for Business is a part of Office 365 Business plans from Microsoft. It includes conferences for 250 participants, call recordings and anonymous surveys. Learn more about the pros and cons of Skype for Business below.
Pros of Skype for Business
1) Skype for Business is integrated with Outlook and other Microsoft applications. It is very convenient if company employees use many Microsoft products.
2) Familiar and intuitive interface. It is much easier to learn how to use the program.
3) The ability to call the participants. This feature is invaluable if someone forgot about the event or if you have to launch an impromptu meeting.
4) Post-conference messaging. You can make up for everything you did not have time to share or discuss after the meeting.
5) Storage up to 1 TB.
6) The program supports over 20 languages.
7) Shared workspace. You can discuss the project, make changes in the documents and monitor the progress together.
8) 6 video streams, managed by the meeting organizer. If someone forgets to turn off the microphone or violates the rules, the organizer can always step in and solve the problem.
9) SIP and IP telephony, which allow you to save on calls significantly.
10) Security. Skype for Business protects against hacking attacks.
11) Convenient file sharing.
Cons of Skype for Business
1) The requirement to register an additional account with Skype.
2) The absence of trial period.
3) Charges for early termination of annual subscriptions, including Office 365 E5.
4) Many requirements for the program to work properly.
In other words, do not expect a miracle. The broadcast quality will suffer if several presenters join the conference using the same internet channel. The transmission delay is an issue as well.
5) The absence of technical support.
6) Glitches in the desktop version and mobile application. The program often crashes if the number of participants is close to the maximum allowed. Moreover, the mobile app sometimes doesn’t even open. Plus, updates can start at the most inopportune moment.
Conclusion: Skype for Business is a good tool with a wide array of functions. The program requires licensing and a good internet connection. Skype is more suitable for corporate meetings rather than webinars. However, if you have already paid for Office 365 and plan to hold video conferences, it’s worth testing Skype’s capabilities before switching to a webinar platform.
Skype Meeting Broadcast
We decided not to review Skype audio conferencing, as this tool is quite limited in many markets. However, the more expensive Skype plans offer one remarkable function: the ability to hold conferences for 10,000 participants. It sounds great on paper, but the reality leaves much to be desired.
- Participants can only watch the broadcast; they cannot communicate with the presenters or present themselves.
- Participants must have Adobe Flash installed and updated.</li>
- All speakers need to have a paid version of Skype for Business.
- The login information of all participants is required to hold a private event.
Conclusion: you can gather up to 10,000 participants, but it will be hard to organize the event. Many participants may simply be scared away, but if you do not invite other speakers, the expenses will be pretty low. In addition, there are no tools for interactive communication and numerous software requirements, such as sometimes reinstalling the program.
MyOwnConference is a platform for video conferencing and webinars. It offers high-quality broadcast, a full range of tools to prepare and conduct the meetings, email marketing, and many other instruments for interacting with participants. Let’s see if this service has more than the basic webinar toolkit.
Pros of MyOwnConference
1) Quick registration and easy payment. It takes about a minute to register an account.
2) No need to install and update a program. You don’t have to download anything to hold a webinar. Participants can join the event simply by clicking a link you shared.
3) Integration with cloud storage (Google Drive and Dropbox).
4) Playing videos from YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Skype only allows you to send a link, while with MyOwnConference you can play the video during the webinar.
5) Automatic webinar recording for plans with 300 participants and more. Never lose important information again.
6) Free registration for participants. If you are yet to gather participants for your event, you can do it via a free landing page. This way, you can get contact information of potential viewers to send emails and invitations.
7) Integration with your website. You can hold a conference on your own website.
8) Built-in tool for mailing the viewers.
9) Unlimited free account for up to 20 participants. If you do not need to organize big meetings, you can test the platform for free as many times as you want.
10) Large selection of fares. You can buy a service just for one day. In addition, you may easily change your plan to contain a greater number of participants or temporarily expand the webinar room.
11) Multi-channel support. You can count on competent tech support to help you get comfortable with the system and set up the equipment.
12) 10 simultaneous video streams. This means that 10 speakers can broadcast simultaneously. You can allow other participants to become speakers as well.
13) Variety of interaction tools. In addition to polls, you can create several tests, send private messages, use a chat room to initiate dialogue, etc.
14) Tools to market and sell webinars. These include sales buttons, banners, logos with active links, participants’ redirection to your page, webinar room branding.
Cons of MyOwnConference
1) Few screen customization options. Even when choosing a full-screen option, other elements of the room don’t disappear. The participants need to go into a full-screen mode themselves if they want to see only what the presenter shows them: video, presentation, or screen.
2) The presenter cannot turn off the sound for other presenters. However, the webinar moderator can always stop the broadcast of another presenter.
3) Since the entire platform runs in the browser, user-installed applications, such as browser plugins, may disrupt the service.
4) Limited options for slide editing.
5) You need to gather the audience and upload their contact information on your own or with a capture page.
6) The storage of webinar recordings has an expiration date. Therefore, you will need to transfer recordings to another section of the control panel or transport to other storage.
7) Disk space restriction for cheaper plans.
8) Video size limits. Not all large videos can be uploaded on the platform.
In conclusion, MyOwnConference is a reliable service for conducting webinars, conferences and trainings with flexible fares. Every plan offers over 100 different tools. However, the platform has a number of restrictions that should be taken into account when deciding upon the conference’s agenda: there are no tools to work on documents together, and there is no possibility to contact participants outside the conference.
What About the Prices?
Skype for Business Pricing
It may seem at first glance that there is nothing to complain about: after all, the listed monthly cost is $5-12.5. However, this is the cost per user, and only if you pay a year ahead. If you have several presenters, or you plan to invite speakers, the cost should be multiplied accordingly.
A monthly cost would range from $28 for 60 participants to $234 for 1,000 participants. A one-day fare starts at $11.
All functions are included. To change the plan, you only need to pay the difference between the current and the desired plan.
To sum it up, MyOwnConference and Skype for Business are both excellent tools. So to make a choice between the two, you need to establish your goals and requirements clearly. Only then you can check one out and decide if it works for you. If you already have a license, or plan to hold small meetings, you may go for Skype. However, if you need to prepare a marketing or training webinar, it’s better to create an account with MyOwnConference.