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Top 20 Skype for Business Alternatives for 2019 and Beyond

Blog How We Chat July 30, 2019
Skype for Business alternatives
Dominic Kent

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Top 20 Skype for Business Alternatives for 2019 and Beyond

Skype for Business alternatives

Looking for Skype for Business alternatives?

We hear you.

As Skype for Business Online goes end of life on 31st July 2021, and Teams becomes the focal point of Microsoft’s collaboration offering, it’s the perfect time to shop around.

We’ve gone out to market and reviewed 20 alternatives to Skype for Business.

1 – Microsoft Teams is the most obvious of the Skype for Business alternatives

Teams is the natural next step for users of Skype for Business.

Whilst it is not the straight forward replacement, Microsoft admins will be pleased to see plenty of features are carried forward.

As well as the features carried over from Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams introduces a new way of working. A sample of the additional features you can expect from Microsoft Teams include:

  • Persistent team messaging
  • Persistent one to one messaging
  • New meeting experience with customized backgrounds, live events and live captions
  • Integrations that enable tabbed working so apps like Trello, Asana and all your Microsoft productivity apps can be accessed within your client
  • Automatic file storage and management

For a full comparison of Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, you can check out this article.

Microsoft Teams

2 – Cisco Webex Teams

Cisco Webex Teams is the natural step into cloud collaboration for users of Cisco Jabber.

Formerly Cisco Spark, Webex Teams offers full team messaging functionality. This includes one to one persistent chat, team messaging and interactive meetings inclusive of Cisco whiteboard experiences familiar to users of the Cisco Spark Board, now the Webex Teams board.

For users with Cisco VoIP handsets, conferencing solutions and telepresence devices, Webex Teams integrates with most devices in the portfolio to provide a streamlined, consistent experience.

New features recently announced for Webex Teams include:

  • People insights
  • Live motion video
  • Share anywhere with Webex Share
  • New VDI client
  • Improved video
Cisco Webex Teams
Cisco Webex Teams

3 – Slack

Slack is often touted as the pioneer of team messaging. As one of the first persistent chat platforms, Slack has the upper hand when it comes to user experience and integrations as they’ve had longer to experiment and get it right.

Even down to the recently introduced Slack dark mode, Slack is always striving to improve it look and feel.

Another recent introduction is Enterprise Key Management (EKM). This has been introduced to satisfy security requirements of large enterprises that had previous concerns over data retention. Slack describes EKM as “providing all of the security of an on-premise solution, with all the benefits of a cloud tool.”

Key features of Slack include:

  • Automated reminders
  • Task list management
  • Custom shortcuts
  • Many, many bot integrations
  • Search channels for keywords and important documents
Slack

4 – Chanty

Chanty markets itself as a simple AI-powered team chat. Taking the premise of team chat like you had in Skype for Business and empowering it with artificial intelligence can only be a good thing.

Chanty creates an open channel for a project, team or whatever you want to discuss. It makes your team communication transparent, accessible and searchable and even comes with pre-installed integrations to Zapier, Tasks and Giphy.

Other Chanty features include:

  •         AI-powered replies and messaging
  •         File sharing
  •         Unlimited messaging history
  •         Simple team chat
  •         Search your entire workspace
Chanty

5 – Hive

Hive combines a unique blend of project management and team collaboration to provide teams the ability to manage their projects in the way they work best.

Configurable views are available to switch easily ultimate flexibility.

Supporting Gantt, Kanban and an assortment of tables, Hive then integrates into over 1000 other productivity apps like Salesforce, HubSpot and Marketo.

Key features include:

  • Direct and Group Messaging (Private and Public Groups)
  • Task Management
  • File Integration with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and One Drive
  • Email Integration
  • Notes
Hive is one of the top project management Skype for Business alternatives
Hive

6 – Viber for Business is one the most consumer-friendly Skype for Business alternatives

Viber for Business completes the Skype for Business alternatives when looking for a collaboration or team chat environment.

Viber should be considered for businessesthat have large presence in Russia or the APAC region. Viber’s consumer app has over 1 million users and users will benefit from the familiar look and feel – remind anyone of Skype before Skype for Business?

Key features of Viber for Business include:

  • HD voice and video
  • Texts, photos, GIFs and stickers
  • Voice and video clips that can be sent later
  • Call recording
Viber for Business completes the list of chat based Skype for Business alternatives
Viber for Business

7 – Lifesize

Lifesize describes itself as a purpose-built video conferencing solution for the modern business.

Lifesize video conferencing app for desktop, mobile and browser delivers high-quality video and audio. With a focus on ease of use and reliability, Lifesize has quickly become one of the leading video-based Skype for Business alternatives.

Key Lifesize features include:

  • Integration with Outlook, Slack, HipChat, Cisco and Polycom
  • Present wirelessly with Lifesize Share™
  • Simple management and administration
  • Screen sharing, chat, meeting recording and event live streaming
Lifesize

8 – BlueJeans

BlueJeans comes in three varieties: Meetings, Rooms and Events. Whether your meetings-first solution is for conferencing inside, outside or to another organization, BlueJeans is packed full of functionality out of the box.

BlueJeans allows you to schedule and start live video meetings instantly from the collaboration and calendaring tools you use every day.

IT teams are empowered with a holistic view of your organization’s meetings, with real-time analytics and intelligent meeting management.

Key features include:

  • Free 30 day trial
  • Productive video, audio and web conferencing meetings from anywhere
  • Powered by Dolby Voice
  • One-click scheduling
  • Compatible with Dolby, Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize, and other H.323 or SIP-based room systems with one-touch
BlueJeans

9 – Zoom is one of the leading video-first Skype for Business alternatives

Zoom is consistently recognized by Gartner as a leader in meeting room solutions, alongside Cisco and Microsoft.

With solutions for simple meetings, video webinars, room systems and a phone system, Zoom prides itself on being optimized and engineering for reliability and its simplicity to use, scale and manage.

Key Zoom features include:

  • Syncs with your calendar system and delivers streamlined enterprise-grade video conferencing from desktop and mobile
  • Internal and external communications, all-hands meetings, and training through one communications platform
  • Screen sharing and co-annotation
  • Streamlined calendaring
Zoom Meetings

10 – appear.in

appear.in brings teams and clients together over video. By creating and sharing a room link, colleagues and guests can join easily to create a meeting environment.

With appear.in, there are no downloads, no registrations and secure meeting rooms with up to 12 participants.

Key features include:

  • Personal and team rooms
  • Custom domain  
  • Conversation recording
  • Calendar integration
  • Priority support with pro licenses
appear.in concludes the meeting-first Skype for Business alternatives
appear.in

11 – Fleep

Fleep makes collaboration simple. This app offers instant messaging, file sharing, task assignments, and productivity tools. Overall, you get a similar experience to Skype for Business.

The main difference is that Fleep doesn’t restrict you to a team-only space. You can communicate with anyone, including suppliers and contractors, as long as you have their email address.

Companies that spend a lot of time interacting with third-parties will appreciate the security and versatility of Fleep’s cross-border communication strategy.

Key features include:

  • Team communication and chat
  • Collaborate and communicate with any Fleep user
  • Invite anyone to a secure meeting with just their email address
  • Simple task management and assignments
  • Pin important messages to conversations
  • Integrate with tools like OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive
Fleep makes the list of Skype for Business alternatives
Fleep

12 – Mattermost is one of the on-premises Skype for Business alternatives

Mattermost is a team collaboration tool and a Skype for Business alternative designed for the flexible modern workspace. Equipped with support for the highest standards of security and compliance, Mattermost is ideal for companies that have to keep their information as private as possible.

Mattermost is an open-source alternative to Skype for Business, so companies can host within their own protected environment. There’s a free trial to get you started, and enterprise-grade encryption.

This app also works well with a range of compliance and mobile security systems. Some of the key features of Mattermost include:

  • Complete open-source customization
  • Enterprise-grade security and availability
  • Custom emojis and unique workflows
  • Multi-language support
  • Private cloud and on-prem deployment
  • Integrates with popular DevOps tools
Mattermost
Mattermost

13 – RingCentral Glip is one of the leading UC Skype for Business alternatives

Glip is RingCentral’s offering to the enterprise chat environment. An excellent alternative to Skype for Business, Glip offers easy file sharing, task management and state-of-the-art chat.

Intended to make teamwork faster and more efficient, Glip integrates with everything you need to get the most out of your team, including document sharing and calendar tools. There’s also access to video and audio conferencing.

RingCentral also offers access to accompanying services like cloud PBX support and contact centre technology. Features of Glip include:

  • Team chat and instant messaging
  • Screen and file sharing
  • Task management with integrated team calendar
  • File storage
  • Video and audio conferencing
  • Productivity software built-in
RingCentral Glip
RingCentral Glip

14 – Fuze

With the Fuze cloud-based app, you can tap into everything from real-time calling, to video meetings, instant chat, and file sharing.

Created with a state-of-the-art modern interface, Fuze is easy to use, and an excellent alternative to Skype for Business for those hoping for fast adoption among teams. The collaboration centre offers HD video which works with leading hardware providers like Cisco, Lifesize, and Poly thanks to patented Telepresence Connect technology.

Fuze also bridges communication gaps with external teams by allowing you to invite anyone with an email address to your meetings – no matter if they’re part of your team or not. Features include:

  • Guest support
  • Instant messaging
  • Video and audio calling
  • File sharing
  • Browser-based access
  • Integrations with hardware from leading vendors
Fuze
Fuze

15 – Unify Circuit

A collaboration tool designed by leading UC company, Unify, Circuit is an app intended to help dispersed workforces work better together. The simple app brings everything from content storage and voice chat to instant messaging and video together in the same unified environment.

Not only can you log into Unify on your PC or Smartphone, but you can also connect from your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or even your Apple watch!

For those who want to take their collaborative meetings to the next level, Unify Circuit also comes with hardware solutions to explore, like the Circuit Meeting Room – complete with digital whiteboard support. Key features include:

  • Circuit Meeting Room integration
  • Access on any device
  • File sharing and storage
  • Video and voice conferencing
  • Instant chat messaging
  • Powerful contextual search
Unify Circuit

16 – HiBox

There are plenty of apps that integrate with virtual assistants, chatbots and other AI tools intended to improve productivity. Hibox sets itself apart from the crowd by putting AI at the core of it’s offering.

Like most collaboration and team chat tools, Hibox comes with task management features, company and private chat, video conferencing, and file sharing. However, it also offers a personal AI assistant that helps users to manage their schedules more efficiently and enjoy more productive meetings.

The Hibox AI even ensures that you can find the information you need from previous messages much faster than usual. Key features include:

  • Intelligent file storage and search
  • Individual AI assistant for each user
  • Instant messaging and team chat
  • File sharing
  • Integrations with Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box
  • High-level security and encryption
HiBox
HiBox

17 – Hubgets

Like most SfB alternatives, Hubgets promises real-time communication opportunities to teams of all sizes. You can connect with your staff members through voice, video, and instant chat – all from your browser. There’s no need to download any external software.

Unlike the majority of collaboration tools however, Hubgets focuses more on boards, and topic-sharing than real-time chat. Although instant messaging is available, the center of the app revolves around a knowledge base, and file-sharing options.

Think of Hubgets as your workplace tool for making sure that everyone has access to the same information in your group. Features include:

  • Separate pages for working with external partners
  • File sharing, and storage
  • Instant messaging
  • Voice, and video conferencing
  • Team boards, and forums
Hubgets
Hubgets

18 – Workplace by Facebook is one of the community-based Skype for Business alternatives

Workplace by Facebook is a collaboration and productivity application designed by one of the world’s best-known social media companies. Intended to give your workforce everything they need to communicate, Workplace offers video, group chat, instant messaging, and voice.

All you need is an email address to start using the service, which feels much more like a social media tool than a standard enterprise chat tool. It’s essentially your opportunity to build a brand-new Facebook, just for your business interactions.

Although Workplace by Facebook is more of a social media tool than a collaboration app, it still offers most of the tools you’d need from a Skype for Business alternative, including:

  • Instant chat and group messaging
  • News feeds with taggable posts
  • File sharing and real-time editing
  • Live stream videos
  • Video and audio conferencing
Workplace by Facebook

19 – Wire

Wire has evolved into a secure collaboration platform, with everything from video conferencing to voice calls, and file sharing.

Wire is one of the few team collaboration apps online today that puts security first in everything it offers. The solution provides end-to-end encryption for all your messages, which is excellent for compliance.

Additionally, with Wire reporting, you can track the adoption of your collaborative tools, and see how well people are communicating online. Features include:

  • Voice and video conferencing
  • Group conversations and one-to-one messaging
  • Self-destruct messages for extra privacy
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Quick image editing with sketch
  • File sharing
Wire
Wire

20 – Ryver

Ryver is productivity-focused team collaboration tool best known for its built-in task management system that feels similar to Trello. Drag and drop tasks into the appropriate environment, and assign them to specific users.

Like Skype for Business, Ryver allows users to communicate via instant messaging, and group chat. However, there’s no audio or video conferencing unless you adopt the native integration with FreeConference. Users with a Zapier account can also expand the functionality of Ryver by connecting it to their favorite apps.

Ryver comes with workflow automation tools, which helps to reduce human error when completing complex tasks. Features include:

  • Workflow automation and Active Response Technology
  • Trello-like Kanban boards
  • Integrations with apps like Dropbox, Evernote, and Mailchimp
  • Instant chat and group messaging
  • Available video conferencing
  • Task lists and personal checklists
Ryver
Ryver

What is the best Skype for Business alternative?

It’s impossible to choose one best Skype for Business alternative.

Requirements differ between businesses and each organization, or even each department, will have apps and hardware they need to integrate into and work with.

Whatever choice you make when it comes to replacing Skype for Business when it goes end of life, make sure integration and interoperability is top of your agenda.

Choosing a replacement app is the perfect time to bring your teams together and ensure they are in sync across all messaging apps.

If your choice is likely to involve Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams, Slack or a combination of all three, this video below is just for you.

Mio provides messaging interoperability across your combination of platforms. In turn, this keeps your teams in sync, using the app of their choice and de-risking loss of information and productivity by constantly switching between apps.

To find out more about getting started with Mio, hit the button of your choosing below.

Get started with Slack and Teams
Get started with webex and teams
Get started with Slack and Cisco Webex Teams
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  1. […] is the choice to move to. Microsoft Teams may be the obvious choice for some, but there are many Skype for Business alternatives for businesses to […]