Skype For Business Skype is a very popular audio and video conferencing program that has helped many companies improve the way that they communicate. It is true that Skype has been beneficial for companies that want to save money on communication, but there are also some downsides to using Skype that not everyone is aware of.

Call Quality

Some people who use Skype complain of pixelated images and laggy audio that is hard to understand. In a piece written for Small Business Computing, Gerry Blackwell reports that voices can break up and calls sometimes have a high level of latency, which can negatively impact a conversation. In small doses these issues can be a minor annoyance, but in the worst scenarios these problems can make Skype unusable. This is a major setback for businesses that depend on Skype to make important calls that need to take place to move projects forward and is one of the main reasons why Skype is not best for business.

Network Reliability

Another of the big reasons why Skype is not best for business is the reliability of its network. In an article for The Inquirer, Lawrence Latif writes about a major Skype crash that occurred very soon after Microsoft decided to buy the program for over $8 billion. The article also features quotes from Ashish Gupta, a CMO and SVP of Vidyo, a New Jersey-based video communications company. Gupta praises Skype for making video conferencing more popular, but warns businesses that they must invest in a reliable, enterprise-grade platform for their communications if they want to avoid the consequences of a major Skype network crash.

Security

Many businesses have video conferences that deal with very sensitive information. If this information was compromised, it could lead to a disastrous situation. Businesses that need a high level of security on their video conferences should think very carefully before they decide to use Skype. Recent changes to the way that Skype routes calls mean that calls are now sent through Skype’s own servers, instead of going directly from user to user. While Skype maintains that these changes have not altered the nature of Skype’s network, a CNN article from 2012 reports that hackers believe these changes were made to make it easier for government and law enforcement agencies to tap calls.

Leaked NSA documents turned over to The Guardian last June by former government contractor Edward Snowden seem to confirm these beliefs. The Guardian reported that Microsoft worked with the NSA to allow them to intercept Skype calls and share them with appropriate government agencies. While it is difficult to completely confirm the validity of these allegations, they should still give pause to any business that wants to use Skype for secure video calls.

Skype has contributed many great things to our society. Skype has allowed family members and friends across the globe to talk face-to-face and has helped people and companies save money on communication costs. However, there are some reasons why Skype is not best for business, including call quality, network reliability, and call security. Companies that are looking for a dependable video conferencing network that provides secure, high quality calling should consider investing in a hardware or software solution that is designed for commercial use instead of using Skype for all of their communication.