Skype For Business FAQ

Here you can find answers to some of the most prevalent questions seen by campus.

General Questions

Why is UWM switching from its current landline telephone service (AT&T Centrex) to Skype for Business?

  • The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee is in need of modernizing its communications systems to meet current and future faculty, administration, and staff needs and expectations. The University’s current, voice-only service, AT&T’s Centrex, has not changed much in the past few decades, is approaching end of life, and the cost of the service was increased for the 2018 fiscal year. As a voice only product, the Centrex service does not provide any opportunity to integrate with modern communication technologies (such as e-mail, instant messaging, or video, for example) or other educational or operational critical services.

Why are we moving to Skype for Business and not any other VoIP services?

  • It is said that the key to a true Unified Communications solution is software. Without intuitive, user-friendly software, a Unified Communications solution cannot be successfully deployed. When compared on paper, the Unified Communications solutions from companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, Avaya, and ShorTel have nearly the same features. These solutions can perform the functionality that any organization needs for Unified Communications. The key difference between Microsoft and the other vendors is the software. Microsoft is a software company and the others are hardware companies.
  • Skype for Business has a more intuitive user experience and more importantly, the integration with Microsoft Office applications cannot be overlooked. Microsoft Office is the primary business application for many end users at the University. Having communication capabilities integrated into your business applications is a major factor for driving usage and enhancing productivity. Microsoft Skype for Business Server integrates Unified Communications capabilities into Office applications, reducing the amount of effort required for end users to collaborate with their peers.

What is Skype for Business?

  • Skype for Business is an easy-to-use interface that allows users to communicate through text chat, voice calls, video calls and online meetings. You can use Skype for Business from nearly any Windows PC or mobile device, on campus or anywhere in the world you have Internet access.

What is the difference between Skype and Skype for Business?

  • Confused about the differences between Skype and Skype for Business? These applications are similar, but not identical.
    • Skype is the commercial version and is for personal use.
    • Skype for Business is for organizations and lets you add more people to online meetings, gives you enterprise-grade security, and is integrated into Microsoft Office.

Will my phone number be changing?

  • No, UITS is working closely with AT&T to port over all used phone numbers for this implementation. We are also working with them to block off a range of numbers should a new faculty/staff member join UWM in the future.

Does Skype for Business integrate with other Microsoft applications?

  • Yes, Skype works with other Microsoft Office applications to allow cross-application integration, feature access, presence visibility, and scheduling. Not all integration features work with the MAC version. While the Mac version has most of the same features as the Windows version, some features like presence and recording are still missing. Microsoft has not announced a timetable for including these features.

What headset or other devices should I use for Skype for Business?

  • As campus is transitioning to a VoIP solution, new equipment (headsets/phones) will be needed. University IT Services (UITS) is currently in the process of choosing which devices will meet the needs of faculty and staff. UITS will be working with the UWM TechStore to provide a retail space to sell the equipment to campus. UITS will be providing financial assistance for the purchasing of this new equipment. This financial assistance is a one-time, non-transferable dollar amount. More information on this will be made available in the upcoming months.

Can I share HIPAA, FERPA or other sensitive data using Skype for Business?

  • Instant Messaging or Skype for Business file transfer should not be used to transmit data that falls under UWM’s Data Classification and Security Policies.

Can I change my photo in Skype for Business?

  • Yes, please refer to the Skype for Business user guide.

Will Skype for Business calls work over UWM wireless networks?

  • UITS always recommends a wired connection instead of wireless, as it will provide a much more consistent and reliable experience with real-time audio and video applications. With that being said, Skype for Business audio and video can work well over wireless networks given sufficient signal strength and available capacity.

Does changing my email address affect Skype for Business?

  • Skype for Business uses your primary UWM email alias (also known as a SIP address or Skype for Business address) for log in and in place of a phone number for Skype-to-Skype voice calls. Changing your primary email address (Skype for Business login) can cause issues with Skype for Business’ “presence” function and with reoccurring Skype for Business online meetings you have already scheduled.

Can I place and receive calls from home/off campus?

  • Yes. There are two options to place calls off campus:
    • 1) If you have a laptop computer, you can place calls via Skype for Business anywhere you have an Internet connection using a Skype for Business headset, or other compatible device, or your computer’s microphone and speakers (not recommended due to sound quality).
    • 2) You can also download the Skype for Business mobile app to place calls from your work phone number via your mobile device.

Can I invite people to a Skype for Business meeting even if they aren’t using Skype?

  • Yes. Microsoft offers a Skype for Business web application that allows people to join a meeting via a web browser.
Rollout Process

When will I get Skype for Business phone service?

  • We plan to bring Skype for Business to campus on a building-by-building basis. More detailed plans will be shared once they are further refined, and will include information on when the pilot will be launched.You will receive notification via email in advance of your building’s transition and as new developments occur we will post progress and updates on the project website so please keep checking back.

How will I know when my building will transition to Skype for Business phone service?

  • You will receive notification via email in advance of your departments transition to Skype for Business phone service. UITS will work closely with your department’s ‘Migration Liaison and Partner’ to establish plans for your department’s transition.

What is a ‘Migration Liaison & Partner’ (MLP) and who is my departments ‘MLP’?

  • A ‘Migration Liaison & Partner (MLP) is an individual appointed by a decision-maker in your respective area to assist the UITS Project Manager handling the Skype for Business implementation with work including but not limited to:
    • Technical point of contact for any information that the UITS Delivery Team requires
    • Provide the Project Manager the lay of the land for the department and any special handling needs to assist with the implementation
    • Schedule department meetings for general overview and training for Skype for Business
    • Perform department audit (current individuals/phone numbers, software versioning for Skype for Business to be implemented successfully, etc)
    • Determine calling plan for each individual in department
  • Essentially, their collaboration with the Project Manager and Delivery Team is essential for a successful implementation for your department. UITS is in the process of determining who your area’s MLP will be, please check back soon for an update.
  • To see the full list of Migration Liaisons & Partners, visit the Skype for Business roll out planning table.
    • If your area has been highlighted in yellow, then an MLP has not yet been appointed by your department head. Please work with members of leadership to appoint one in a timely manner.
    • Once appointed, please take the survey so your department receives updates on the project.