Instant Messaging with Skype for Business

Lync is now Skype for Business

Lync has been converted to Skype for Business, the cloud version of Lync.  While you will see some differences, functionality largely remains the same.

What you can do:

  • Chat, audio or video connect with Harvard colleagues, Skype with colleagues inside and outside of Harvard including colleagues using the consumer version of Skype
  • Hold and schedule online meetings where you can show your desktop or a program, add attachments, and create shared notes
  • Connect to Skype for Business from anywhere! Use your desktop, the Outlook Web App (OWA) or mobile devices to chat and join meetings.

What you should know:

  • PC users must be on Office 2013 for Skype for Business to work
  • Self service upgrades for Office 2013 for PC are available now for those with access to the LANDesk Portal Manager
  • Mac users must be running Lync 2011 version 14.1.1 or higher. 
  • A complete PDFguide to installing Skype for Business for Mac users is downloadable here.
  • All users will see Skype for Business available when using the Outlook Web App (OWA)
  • Username to log in to Skype for Business will be your primary email address.
  • Some users will need to change the log in name shown in Skype to their primary email address. The screenshot on the left shows an example of what you might see. Click the Change link and update as shown in the screenshot on the right
    Wrong wayRight way


  • You will need to rebuild your contacts list as your Lync contacts do not migrate to Skype for Business
  • You can also add people outside of Harvard using Skype for Business or the consumer Skype
    Adding External Contacts to Skype
  • Lync will inform you to log out and log back in. PC users will then see the Skype icon displayed on their task bar now.  Mac users will continue see the Lync icon.
  • If you currently host Lync meetings (whether a Windows or Mac user), you will need to update your meetings in O365 Calendar. Here's how:
    • Open Outlook, and go to your calendar
    • Go to the Lync meeting event
    • Delete the current Lync meeting hyperlink in the event
    • On the Ribbon, click Skype Meeting to create a new Skype meeting. This will put a new link in your meeting invite
    • Click Send Update in the meeting invitation for attendees to have the correct link
    • Click here to watch Microsoft's video on how to set up a Skype Meeting.


Visit for a playlist of using Skype for Business features.

Need additional help? Visit our training section.