Home » IT Services News » IT Services News No. 180 (Apr 2016) » Connecting Skype for Business with Public Skype

Connecting Skype for Business with Public Skype

Skype for Business was made available for use by University staff in departments on Microsoft Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) subscription (see http://www.its.hku.hk/news/news177/skype for our earlier announcement).

Skype for Business is a popular and organization-based communication tool supporting the following communication ways and features-

  • instant messaging
  • display of contacts’ presence information
  • audio and video communication (up to 5-party)
  • file transmission
  • desktop or applications sharing
  • web conferences

We are pleased to inform you that HKU Skype for Business users can now communicate with their friends and counterparts using public Skype.  

How to start?

To add a friend on public Skype to your Skype for Business contact list, simply type his/her Skype ID and click the tab ‘Skype Directory’. A list of matching Skype users will be shown. Right click the person to add and select ‘Add to Contacts List’.

Similarly, public Skype users can look up an HKU contact by entering his/her HKU email address (in the format of PortalUID@hku.hk).

Add Public Skype Contact to Skype for Business Contact List

search user

Add HKU Contact to Public Skype Contact List

add hku user

After you add a friend’s public Skype contact, a request will be sent to your friend asking him/her to accept your request to add into his/her contact list on Skype.   Once accepted, you can start communicating with your friend on public Skype using Skype for Business through instant messaging, audio or video call.

contact request

What are the limitations?

There are two limitations when using Skype for Business to communicate with public Skype users. 

1.      IM or audio/video conversations are limited to two people only and do not support three people or more in the same conversation.

2.      Desktop/program sharing is not supported.

If you would like to communicate with multiple public Skype users and/or share your desktop, please use “Skype Meeting”.

What are the known issues?

There are a few known issues when connecting Skype for Business with public Skype users, and Microsoft has confirmed that these issues can be ignored.

1.      After adding a public Skype contact, additional contact groups unknown to you may be shown in your contact list of Skype for Business.  These are proxies to the added public Skype contacts and examples are shown below-

Proxies in Contact Groups

contact group

Proxies in Contact List


2.      From time to time, you may receive dialog box alerts telling you the existence of a contact group which cannot be added.  Please ignore by clicking the “OK” button.

contact warning

The user guide on Skype for Business can be found at http://www.its.hku.hk/documentation/guide/communication/im/skype-for-business2015 where you can find more information about the use of Skype for Business.  In case you have questions in using Skype for Business, please feel free to contact our Service Desk at 3917 0123 or ithelp@hku.hk


Kenneth Yip
Unified Communications Team
Tel: 39177973
Email: kkyyip@hku.hk