Skype and BMW Bring Productivity to Your Daily Commute

You spend a lot of time commuting—Don’t let this time go to waste! Skype and BMW want to help you be more productive while driving.  

How much time do you spend behind the wheel each year? If you’re like the average American, you drive an incredible 290 hours annually! This is almost seven, 40-hour work weeks!

BMW and Skype

And, it’s only getting worse. According to Newsweek, drivers in the U.S. spend over 40 hours per year STUCK in rush-hour traffic!  Plus, this number is expected to rise as the economy grows.

What a waste!

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

As you probably know by now, my favorite business management solution is Microsoft Office 365 Business Suite. That’s why I was so excited to hear that Microsoft and BMW are teaming up to turn drive-time into productive-time. They’re doing this by bringing Skype for Business to the popular BMW Series 5.

Today, drivers of vehicles equipped with BMW Connected Drive (which already offers one of the widest ranges of digital services available through a driver-accessible touch screen) can now add the power of Skype for Business to their “road-warrior arsenal.”

Drivers of the BMW 5 Series can attend meetings, or chat with colleagues no matter where they are, and without taking their eyes off the road! To prevent accidents, the BMW Connected Drive version of Skype for Business allows you to keep your hands on the wheel while joining or ending a meeting.

With more than 100 million worldwide subscribers to Office 365 Business, the collaboration between Microsoft and BMW makes a lot of sense. Besides Skype for Business, BMW Connected Drive also allows you to access calendars, to-do lists, and contacts using Microsoft’s Exchange.

Is Skype for Business Really Worth It?

I bet a few of you are thinking: “This is fantastic! I can now use Skype for Business in the car. But, I wonder if I can use other versions of Skype, as well?”

My clients often ask me if it’s worth paying a little extra each month to use Skype for Business, or if they can “get by” with the free version of Skype. What I tell them is that they can get by with a free version if their business isn’t that important to them!

Seriously, Skype for Business starts at just $2 per month, per user— Just two dollars! A better way for your business to communicate is surely worth more to you than a cup of coffee, right? But when you subscribe to any Office 365 Business Plan, you also get Skype for Business.  In this sense, Skype for Business IS FREE! 

Maybe you still don’t want to subscribe to an Office 365 Business Plan, and aren’t sure if Skype for Business is a small-business essential. This brief rundown of the differences between the Skype versions may change your mind.

  • Skype (free) is a standalone text, voice, and video-chatting program. Although Skype advertises it as being “great for smaller businesses of up to 20 employees, it really isn’t. In reality, this version is only good for one-to-one casual conversations. Learn more about the free version of Skype.
  • Skype for Business ($2 a month per user) is available as a standalone application, or as part of any Office 365 Business Plan. Skype for Business integrates completely with Office 365 applications so you can incorporate calendars, data storage, PowerPoint presentations and other solutions, seamlessly. When it comes to meetings, Skype for Business is “King.” Skype makes it easy, whether you’re presenting or attending. Learn more about Skype for Business. 

Here are 3 Things You Can Do Today to  Increase Productivity During Your Commute.

Maybe you don’t drive a BMW with BMW Connected Drive to work each day. But that doesn’t mean you have to waste your time. Here are three ways to benefit from your commute time.

  • Create a to-do list. Use your commute to organize your tasks and set goals for the day. Use a voice recorder if you’re driving, or an app on your smartphone if you’re a passenger.
  • Listen to something to make you a better person. Catch up on your favorite podcast, learn a new language, or take an audio course.
  • Prepare for that big presentation. When you drive to work, why not use the alone- time to rehearse for that big presentation coming up?

BMW, Skype and Microsoft continue to look for ways to increase our productivity. I’m always happy to hear when companies collaborate to make our work lives easier—Especially for the busy small-business owner.