Many of our small business users ask me about Skype Manager, so it seems the time is right for a little refresher — or an introduction, for those not already familiar.
First off, what is Skype Manager? In a nutshell, it’s a web-based management tool that lets you centrally manage the Skype accounts your employees use for work. It helps to think of it like a store, where you can pick and choose the Skype features you’d like each employee to be able to use for work.
A single administrator creates accounts for multiple employees (this can be done all at once), and purchases Skype credit to allocate to those accounts. Employees can use that credit to make calls from their Skype accounts to landlines or cell phones.
Since every small business is different and employees may have varying responsibilities, you also can assign features to employees’ accounts, including subscriptions, online numbers, call forwarding, voicemail and group video calling. That way your team members can take advantage of the features most relevant to their role in the business. For example, some of our users have only certain employees who need subscriptions to specific countries where they do business frequently, like China or Brazil. Others have employees who need group video calling to set up video conferences with teams spread throughout the country. Skype Manager lets you decide who gets what, and how much credit they’ll need.
Here’s a fun little video that walks you through how it works:
So – what’s the benefit to using Skype Manager versus employees using their personal Skype accounts for work? A few come to mind:
- Centralized payment: There are limits to the number of Skype accounts that can receive payment from a single credit card. This makes it somewhat challenging for businesses with more than a handful of employees. Enter Skype Manager. A Skype Manager administrator establishes a single, verified payment mechanism for everyone he or she manages, so employees’ Skype expenses can be paid and tracked easily from one source. Skype Manager also allows higher-value credit purchases than personal accounts permit. And of course, you can allocate credit, either manually or automatically.
- Account ownership: Companies own the accounts created within Skype Manager, so assets associated with those accounts (like online numbers) stay with the company, even if the employee leaves. Skype Manager can also be used to create user accounts all at once.
- Account reporting: Skype Manager produces reports and usage statistics, enabling the admin to better understand and control costs across the whole team.
Bienvenido David, CTO of TeamEXtension, finds Skype Manager particularly helpful for the Connecticut-based Java development and maintenance company.
“It allows me to easily manage billing and Skype feature allocation,” David says. “I can easily see who has what features and buy Skype credits that can be allocated to everyone in the team.”
And he’s right – setting up Skype Manager is easy. The site prompts you through the process (it takes just a couple of minutes). If you have more questions about Skype Manager, the User Guide provides lots of details. And of course, you can always contact us
Already a Skype Manager veteran? Tell us how you’re using it in the comments, or tweet to us at @skype4biz.