Skype for Business replacement: Top 12 tools

Sara Ana Cemazar
April 11, 2024
min read

Businesses are investing in robust communication tools to foster quick exchanges among team members, vendors, customers, clients, and more. Skype for Business has remained one of the popular video conferencing tools for several years. 

However, Skype for Business was retired on January 9, 2024. This has motivated businesses to look for an effective Skype for Business replacement that offers similar capabilities or exceeds them. 

In this blog, we have covered the top 12 replacement tools along with their key features. 

Why look for a Skype for Business replacement?

Here are some of the important reasons why you should look for an alternative to Skype for Business

1. Retirement of Skype for Business

While Skype remained at the forefront of the communication landscape, Microsoft has announced the retirement of Skype for Business services and Microsoft Teams as the official replacement. However, several other platforms have better capabilities and innovative features than Skype and MS Teams. 

2. Data security and compliance

Also, with increasing cases of data breaches, security and compliance are paramount. This is especially true for organizations functioning in highly regulated industries like healthcare, defense, and government. 

In that case, prioritize communication tools with advanced security features like multi-factor authentication and customized user access controls. 

3. Lacks omnichannel abilities

Though Skype for Business had advanced video conferencing features, it lacked omnichannel capabilities. Switching from one channel to another results in higher employee burnout rates and impacts their productivity. 

So, if you seek omnichannel experience, you must explore an effective Skype for Business replacement. 

12 top communication tools you could use as Skype for Business replacement

Here are the top communication tools you must consider when exploring Skype for Business replacement. 

1. Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat is a secure, open-sourced chat platform for omnichannel customer collaboration and team communication. Known for offering integrated voice, video, and text abilities, Rocket.Chat can be considered a genuine Skype for Business replacement. It can be deployed on-premises and in air-gapped environments. 

In terms of security, it has more advanced abilities like role-based access, MIT open source license, and BITV 2.0 compliance. This makes Rocket.Chat an ideal platform for encrypted messaging in security-conscious organizations, operating in industries such as government, defense, and healthcare. 

For businesses looking to make their brand presence known, it can also be white-labeled to match your distinct brand identity. 

Key features

  • Open source software
  • End-to-end encryption
  • On-premises and air-gapped deployment
  • Omnichannel communication
  • Customizable user roles
  • Unlimited channels and discussions

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

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2. Element

With VoIP features and end-to-end encryption, Element has evolved to be a good replacement for MS Teams and Skype for Business. It can be integrated with a wide range of business applications. As Element is based on the Matrix open standard, it is interoperable with Matrix-centric messenger. 

The Element app can be deployed on-premises, self-hosted, or private cloud based on security needs. Team members can engage in threaded conversations and seek attention to a subject by highlighting the message in bold or italics.  

Key features

  • 1:1 and group voice and video calls
  • File and screen sharing
  • End-to-end encryption by default
  • Voice messaging
  • Read receipts and emojis
  • Flexible deployment options

3. Chanty

Skype for Business replacement

Chanty is one of the most preferred platforms for video calling, messaging, and task management. It allows 49 videos on screen and 1000 participants. Participants can share screens and files to promote quicker exchanges and immersive discussions.

Chanty allows context-based, threaded conversations when there is a need to discuss a specific topic. What makes it and interesting Skype for Business replacement are the project management features. The Kanban board simplifies task management by helping teams track status and monitor updates.

Key features

  • Group audio and video calls
  • In-built task manager
  • Voice messaging
  • Pin important messages
  • Threaded messages
  • Kanban board

4. TroopMessenger

Troop Messenger is a popular collaboration platform with integrated text, voice, and video capabilities. It offers a mobile and desktop application to support businesses with a remote workforce. It offers a chat API that can be integrated into your website or existing business application. 

The app allows team members to exchange text and voice notes. It also has bulk messaging capabilities, where users can send messages and share attachments with a larger audience group. Troop Messenger supports screen sharing, and team members do not need host permissions to initiate screen sharing. 

Troop Messenger is a good replacement for Skype for Business if you're looking for extra security features needed to communicate extremely safely.

Key features

  • Audio and video conferencing
  • Virtual whiteboard
  • Flag important messages
  • Instant messaging
  • Live location tracking
  • Advanced search filters
  • Mute conversations and respond to later options

5. Cisco Webex

Skype for Business replacement

Cisco Webex is a video-first collaboration tool that helps foster quick communication between teams in different locations. It is known for its high image and video quality. It can be easily integrated with other Webex tools, such as contact centers, workplace optimization, and third-party tools like Slack and Salesforce. 

Webex has an in-app chat and supports polling. It allows sharing files and documents without sharing your screen. The communication is end-to-end encrypted, making it more appropriate for organizations with security concerns. 

Key Features

  • Whiteboard and sticky notes
  • Text and drawing tools
  • AI-assisted translation
  • Live motion video
  • Background noise cancellation
  • Meeting transcripts

6. Hive

Hive is an integrated platform for project management, team collaboration, time management, automation, and business analytics. Its video conferencing and voice abilities allow remote business teams to collaborate seamlessly. 

Hive Notes allows team members can edit the document in real time during and after the meeting. Users can initiate a video meeting directly from chat, make notes, and chart further steps.

Key Features

  • Task management
  • Integration with Google Drive, DropBox, and more
  • Direct and group messaging
  • Time management tools
  • Kanban board
  • Notes and meeting summary

7. Slack

Skype for Business replacement

Slack is one of the most popular collaboration tools used by business teams. Though it is a messaging-centered platform, Slack has advanced voice and video capabilities. It also has advanced search, screen, and file-sharing capabilities. 

Moreover, Slack integrates well with over 2,400+ business tools and can help automate your workflow. 

On Slack, team members can convene a meeting directly from the chat. They can initiate one-on-one and topic-based channel discussions. If your workplace demands regular coordination and communication, Slack can be a suitable Skype for Business replacement.  

Key Features

  • Automated reminders
  • Channels and threaded conversation
  • File and screen sharing
  • Translation support for 10 languages
  • Meeting transcription and recording
  • Audio and video conferencing
  • Access to full message history

8. Wire

Wire is one of the most secure collaboration platforms for businesses. It has advanced features for voice messaging, text messaging, and video calls. It is open-source software and can be customized to a greater degree. Wire provides on-premises and cloud deployment and so works well for organizations that demand data sovereignty. 

Wire allows secure video and audio conferencing for up to 100 participants. It can be accessed on web, desktop, and mobile applications. Business teams can collaborate with external vendors using its ‘guest room’ feature, which is also end-to-end encrypted. Its security features make Wire a good Skype for Business replacement after its retirement.

Key Features

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Group and one-on-one messaging
  • File sharing
  • Self-destruct messages for privacy
  • Voice and video conferencing
  • On-premises and cloud deployment

9. Zoom

Skype for Business replacement

Zoom is a cloud-based collaboration platform that facilitates communication via voice and video. Participants can use chat to communicate one-on-one or in group meetings. It allows hosts to start an instant meeting or schedule one at a fixed time later. The free service allows 100 participants, but the time is limited to 40 minutes. 

Zoom can be accessed via desktop, mobile app, or web browsers. In Zoom video meetings, business teams can exchange their ideas quickly and effectively by whiteboarding and screen sharing. 

Organizations should be aware that Zoom is a video-first platform, and as such is a specific kind of tool to replace Skype for Business.

Key features 

  • HD video and audio quality
  • In-app chat functionality
  • Meeting summary
  • Multi-language support
  • Whiteboarding
  • Screen share controls

10. Ryver

Ryver is a collaboration platform with built-in management tools. Similar to Skype for Business, It allows instant, one-on-one, and group messaging. The platform also has forums that promote open discussion between team members. Ryver offers advanced security for login and data storage. 

With an extensive suite of features for productivity management and team collaboration, Ryver helps streamline end-to-end business tasks and avoid switching between multiple channels.  

Key Features

  • Video and voice calls
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Secure login methods
  • File sharing and screen sharing
  • Advanced search
  • Topic-oriented discussions

11. RingCentral

Skype for Business replacement

RingCentral is a popular Skype for Business replacement supporting omnichannel communication across voice, video, and chat. It has advanced AI features that enhance the quality of voice and video meetings. 

RingCentral has an interactive whiteboard that allows for an immersive experience. Team members can access RingCentral using browser, desktop, and mobile applications.  It is also a popular VoIP-based phone system and instant messaging platform with advanced call management features. 

Key Features

  • Innovative telephony features
  • Break-out rooms for focused discussions
  • Single click scheduling
  • Live chat and voice abilities
  • Auto attendants and IVR
  • Email and calendar integration

12. MS Teams

Microsoft Teams is a leading collaboration tool and an official recommendation for replacing Skype for Business. An evaluation of Skype vs. Teams shows that the latter has more advanced features for messaging, calling, and video meetings. 

MS Teams works best with other Microsoft products, including Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Recently, Teams was unbundled from the rest of the Office globally. It syncs with the Calendar and lets team members schedule appointments and meetings quickly. They can also upload and access files across OneDrive and Sharepoint. 

Key Features

  • Seamless Microsoft 365 integration
  • Threaded conversations
  • Sharepoint storage for documents
  • Calendar sync and appointment scheduling
  • Project-specific thread
  • Custom access controls

Secure, compliant Skype for Business replacement

As Skype for Business retires, businesses are looking for an effective replacement. Though several platforms have similar or exceeding features to Skype, you must choose the right one. 

Rocket.Chat works best if you are exploring a flexible and collaborative Skype for Business replacement. It is one of the most secure messaging apps and encrypted collaboration tools with custom user roles and multi-factor authentication to ensure secure communication. 

As it is open source, the team communication app can be customized to meet specific business needs.  

Rocket.Chat is a GDPR-compliant messaging tool. It also complies with industry-specific laws like HIPAA. It supports on-premises and air-gapped deployment which is a prerequisite for organizations operating in highly regulated industries. 

To learn more, contact Rocket.Chat team.

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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