As you are working to set up the communications system within your business, you are going to find that you have a variety of options at your disposal. There are plenty of voice-calling and video-calling services available today, each with its own set of features – and costs. Before you rush into the process of setting up one of these services for your business, it makes sense to take a step back in order to evaluate your choices.
In this article, we are going to look at two of the possible directions you can go with your communications – Nextiva or Skype for Business. Each of these options are relatively popular, and while Skype has more name-recognition because of its popularity in non-business applications, Nextiva should not be quickly dismissed without a closer look.
Similar Across the Board – with One Exception
Anytime you compare two services that offer the same general capabilities, you are going to have to look at the details before you can settle on a winner. There isn’t going to be much between these two when it comes to basic features, because they offer the same basic service. If you need to communicate with people in a remote location on a regular basis, both Nextiva and Skype are going to do an effective job at handling that task. As long as you have a reliable internet connection, you should be able to count on either of these services to offer up consistent, clean communication with the person on the other end of the chat. Of course, with Skype, you will have the option of using video, which is something not available through Nextiva’s VoIP service. So, if video is necessary for your needs, you will have a pretty easy choice to make.
When you start to look at pricing models, you will be able to begin to pull these two apart a bit in terms of which one will be right for you. It isn’t as simple as just picking out which one is ‘cheaper’, as there are various price levels depending on your needs. For Nextiva, you will be looking at a monthly subscription rate of $19.95 for the base-level service. If you would like to add on to that service by picking up other features – such as use of a mobile app – the price will climb slightly. At the top level of service, you will be paying $29.95 per month.
Turning our attention to Skype, we find a pricing model that is a bit more flexible, especially for smaller organizations or even freelance workers. At its most basic level, Skype is a free service if you are making simple voice or video calls. If you would like to add business-level capabilities like online meetings and secured communication lines, you will need to pay $2 per month/per user. Paying per user may be desirable if you only have a couple of people who need access to this service, but it obviously would not be as effective for a larger business. At higher subscription levels, you can roll your Office 365 membership into your Skype account, meaning you will have access to things like MS Ford and Excel in addition to Skype.
The Power of Popularity
One of the important points to consider in this debate is the ease-of-use of a communication systems for the person on the other end of the call. Who are you going to be communicating with on a regular basis? If you will only be chatting with those from within your company (who are located in another office, or perhaps in a home office), you don’t need to worry so much about the platform you pick. However, if you are going to be using online calling to talk with potential or current clients, ease-of-use and convenience is a key topic.
When that is the case, Skype is going to be the easy winner. You want to make your calls as easy as possible for everyone involved, and Skype is going to be the easiest to use simply because so many people already use it. When you plan a call or meeting over Skype, there is a good chance that most of the people involved will already know how to operate the application. Skype can be used on nearly every mobile device as well as through any web browser, so compatibility isn’t going to be an issue.
Overall, you can successfully meet your communications needs with both Skype and Nextiva. While Skype is going to be the winning choice for most businesses – especially those with small numbers of employees, Nextiva is a worthy contender that may be the right choice for bigger companies want to stay on budget.