Best practices

Email and calendaringEmail and calendar

Skype for Business is a great communication tool for teams who are geographically dispersed across campus. Avoid poor weather and host your team's next weekly meeting using Skype for Business.

See the following best practices to ensure your communications are successful:

Use appropriate channels of communication

Email:

It is recommended that email continue to be used as the primary form of communication at the University of Victoria. When you need to copy information to others or a formal record is required, use email instead of instant messaging.

Instant Messages (IM):

Use IM as you would the telephone; when you’d like an immediate response from a colleague(s). Do not rely on Skype for Business instant messaging or Conversation History for any form of records management.

Note that your SfB conversation history is as much a university record as any other email and is subject to the policy requirements as set out in the University of Victoria’s Records Management Policy IM7700. See also the Records to Keep guiding document for more information.

 

Keep information security in mind

When sharing attachments and links in a chat or videoconference, let your participants know you are sending something, so they can expect to see something from you. When you receive links in Skype for Business, hover over them to ensure they are going to a reputable and expected location. For more about information security, visit the Information Security section of the Systems website.

Adhere to records management policy

Skype recordings are university records and therefore fall under the policy requirements as set out in the University of Victoria’s Records Management Policy IM7700. For more information, contact rmhelp@uvic.ca.

Communication via Skype for Business should be treated with the same care and consideration as any other work-related communication. Although instant messages are less formal than email, take care in what you communicate through Skype for Business instant messages as it will be recorded in the recipients’ Conversation History. Avoid communicating sensitive or confidential information over Skype for Business whenever possible and treat Skype for Business Records as transitory.

 

Schedule smarter: recurring Skype for Business meetings

Schedule end dates for your recurring Skype for Business meetings no more than 6 months in the future. If you need to schedule meetings further into the future, start a new recurring meeting. Scheduling a perpetual recurring meeting may cause items to become out of sync when they are edited.

Make meetings private

Control how your Skype for Business meetings are accessed by others and set permissions to protect your meeting privacy.

On a Windows machine:

When scheduling new meetings, use the Skype Meeting options in Outlook to create “a new meeting space” rather than having a “dedicated meeting space”. To set Skype for Business meeting space options:

  1. In Outlook, open the Calendar and then click on New Skype Meeting.

    click new skype meeting
  2. Click on Meeting Options.

    click on meeting options
  3. In the Skype Meeting Options dialog box, select one of the meeting space options.

    select meeting space, remember
  4. Click on Remember Settings.  This allows for more privacy and access control for your scheduled meeting and will make each Skype for Business meeting you create more secure. You will control exactly who has access to your meeting and what level of permission they have during the meeting.

On a macOS machine:

  1. In Outlook create a new calendar item.
  2. Under Organizer Meeting, click on Online Meeting in the Ribbon. 

access-and-permission-control-mac-1.png

Choose Set Access Permissions…

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3. Check off Customize access levels, presenter options, and phone settings and choose the settings you want.

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4. Check off Remember Settings.  This allows for more privacy and access control for your scheduled meeting and will make each Skype for Business meeting you create more secure. You will control exactly who has access to your meeting and what level of permission they have during the meeting.

 

Set up and test your computer audio settings before you call

On a Windows machine:

Before starting a call, configure your audio settings:

  1. Open Skype for Business and click on the small down arrow beside the gear icon in the top right corner of your window and select Audio Device Settings.

    gear, tools, audio
  2. Under the Audio Device section, ensure you are using the correct audio device and make a test call to test your microphone and speaker settings by selecting Check Call Quality. Take care that your microphone volume isn’t set too low as to not be heard or set too high as to cause distortion for other participants of your Skype for Business meetings.

    check audio quality
  3. When you are finished, click OK.

On a macOS machine:

Set up and test your computer audio settings

  1. Choose Preferences from the Skype for Business menu
    macos-audio-for-mac-1.png
  2. Click on Audio/Video and choose your audio devices.

macos-audio-for-mac-2.png 

3. When you are finished, click DONE.

 

 

 

Avoid microphone feedback and noise during Skype for Business meetings

To avoid audio feedback during a Skype for Business meeting, make sure to only have one live microphone active in each physical location. Mute microphones during the meeting to reduce noise and echo effects.

Ensure you have a strong internet connection

Skype for Business works best with a strong internet connection. When you connect to a Skype for Business meeting, you'll see a connection indicator in the top right hand corner of the Skype meeting window.

skype-check-connection-with-box.png

This indicator will show five white bars for a strong connection and will turn yellow or red if the connection is weak. If your connection is weak, consider changing your connection, moving closer to the router, or connecting directly to wired Ethernet.

Share documents and your screen carefully

During a Skype for Business meeting, take care when sharing your screen or documents. Only share your screen with trusted users and keep in mind that everything on your screen is visible to the viewer. Ensure that any applications that may contain sensitive information are closed before sharing your screen and always make sure to stop sharing your screen at the end of a Skype for Business meeting.

Remember that other participants can take screenshots of any shared content and can save copies of shared documents for future use. 

Avoid recording Skype for Business meetings

The recording of meetings is generally discouraged. If you choose to record audio/video calls or conferences, always check with meeting participants to make sure that all participants consent to the meeting being recorded. Meeting participants are notified by Skype for Business when a recording starts.

Recordings should only be stored on a departmental network share or on an encrypted laptop or desktop computer. Skype recordings are university records and therefore fall under the policy requirements as set out in the University of Victoria’s Records Management Policy IM7700. For more information, contact rmhelp@uvic.ca.

 

End Skype for Business meetings when they are complete

As the host or organizer of a meeting, when the meeting is completed, make sure to select the End Meeting option instead of simply closing the window or hanging up.

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This must be done to properly end the audio/video conference. Failing to do so may interfere with other meetings being held that day. Properly closing the meeting will also ensure that users cannot re-enter the meeting once closed and that all connections and users who have shared their screen have been disconnected.

Note: There is no End Meeting option in the Skype Meetings App web client.

Pre-install the Skype Meetings App web client before your meeting

If you are not enabled with Skype for Business, you can join a Skype for Business meeting using the Skype Meetings App web client. 

To do this, you must install the corresponding plug-in for your browser ahead of time to ensure a fast and simple connection to your meeting. For assistance, please contact the Computer Help Desk. If your department has Desktop Support Services, contact your departmental personnel.

Mac users should consider using the Skype Meetings App web client

Currently, the MacOS Skype for Business app is limited in functionality. If your meeting may require advanced functionality such as whiteboard, file sharing, or polling, consider joining the meeting with the Skype Meetings App or booking an “online” meeting in the Outlook Web App instead of the MacOS Skype for Business application.