Using Skype for Business

Below are some tips and pointers to resources that you can use as you begin to explore Skype for Business:

  1. Installing Skype for Business
  2. Logging in
  3. Skype and Skype for Business can co-exist
  4. Testing your call quality before you call
  5. Choosing a headset or webcam

Installing Skype for Business

For those using Windows:

  • Skype for Business (also known as Lync) is part of Microsoft Office.
  • If you are using a UW-owned machines, Office should be installed on your computer. You will find a shortcut in the Microsoft Office group under the Start Menu of your PC.
  • If you are using a personal computer and have a full UW Office 365 account, you can download and install Office as part of your UW Office 365 subscription. If you have Office on your computer but no Skype for Business, you can:
    • log in to Office 365 at https://portal.office.com 
    • select the "Other install options" under the "Install Office" link at the top right of your Office portal home page
    • under the "Office apps & devices section", select the "View apps & devices" option 
    • on the next page, there is a link to download Skype for Business and also lists where the copies of Office assocatied with your account are installed.
  • If you don't have access to Skype for Business as part of Office 365, you can download Skype for Business for Windows from Microsoft.

For those using Mac computers:

 

Logging In

If you are using a Nexus Windows machine, Skype for Business should log you in automatically.

If you are on a Mac or a stand-alone Windows machine, you will need to enter your sign-in/email address, userid and password.

  • Sign-in/email address: use your WatIAM userid followed by @uwaterloo.ca (e.g. fflintst@uwaterloo.ca)
  • Userid: use your WatIAM userid with a “NEXUS\” prefix (e.g. NEXUS\fflintst).
    • On Windows, this option may not appear initially. To 'fix' this, try logging in and expect it to fail. After the failure, a new option will appear that allows you to enter your userid. 
    • Using a Mac? Select the "Advanced" option to find the option where you can enter "NEXUS\" followed by your userid. 
  • Password: use your WatIAM password

Skype and Skype For Business can co-exist

A lot of people in the Faculty of Health use Skype. If you are using Skype to communicate with people, you can continue to use it AND Skype for Business. IST has detailed instructions on their site but essentially, to add a Skype contact to your Skype for Business contacts list:

  1. Enter their skype name in the Contacts search window and click on the "Skype Directory" tab.
  2. You can then find the person you are looking for in the long list of matches from Skype (narrow it down by adding location or other details).
  3. You can add the person to different contact groups and set the privacy relationship you feel is appropriate.
  4. After you add the contact to a group, the Skype contact will need to accept your request.

For Windows Users Only: If the new Skype contact reports that they have only the option to send you messages by SMS, you will need to make one other change in the “Alerts” options:

  1. To get to the "Option" menu, click on the gear/setting icon in the upper right.
  2. Select "Alerts" from the list of options on the left side
  3. On the right you will see a section at the bottom for “Contacts not using Skype for Business”.
  4. Enable the option “Allow anyone to contact me” (the default setting is “Allow invites but block all other communication”).

Testing your Call Quality before you call

It can be really frustrating when you start a call and the person at the other end can't hear you or you can’t hear them. To prevent this from happening, it's easy to test your audio set-up and call quality before you call. Here's how (works for Windows and Mac):

  1. In the contact search area, enter "Audio Test Service"
  2. When you find the contact, initiate an audio call
  3. Skype for Business will initiate a call to the system "Audio Test Service"
  4. You will be prompted to record a short message
  5. The message will then be played back for you
  6. If you like what you hear, you're all set
  7. If not, you can adjust the Audio device, microphone and/or speaker volume and re-test

Choosing a headset or webcam

There are a number of good headsets, webcams and speakerphones that IST tested. Their recommendations are listed here.

Choosing a headset is a very individual decision. In Health Computing, we have three different headsets in use and you are welcome to contact us if you would like to see some of these in person before ordering. In addition to how the headset feels on your head, you should also check the length of the warranty and the connection type (audio jack or USB). For computer/laptop use, we strongly recommend USB devices. Bluetooth devices are convenient but the sound quality can be adversely affected if they are used in areas where there are many other Bluetooth and/or WiFi devices. 

Of course, you are not limited to the devices listed on the IST website but we DO recommend limiting your search to the list of devices certified by Microsoft.

If in doubt, please ask us for advice before you buy.