If your organization uses Microsoft Office 365, you were probably already aware that Microsoft plans to replace Skype for Business with a new unified communications (UC) solution, Microsoft Teams. Last year, the company announced at Microsoft Ignite, its annual conference, that it had a new vision for intelligent communications with Teams at its core.
Microsoft Teams – which is already available to customers and currently integrates with Skype for Business – offers a range of next-gen UC features, including the following:
- Integration with other Office 365 apps
- Extensive chat capabilities (e.g. private chats, group chats, file sharing, option to co-author content)
- Online meeting options (team meetings, live streaming, and conference calls for mobile, desktop, and Skype Room Systems)
- Cross-device communications within the Microsoft partner ecosystem
- Enterprise-grade security and compliance
- Phone system and calling plans that allow for making/receiving calls via phone, mobile, PC and Mac
On August 24, Microsoft announced via its Teams blog that the company “has completed our roadmap for bringing Skype for Business Online features and functionality into Teams, and Teams is ready to meet your messaging, meeting and calling needs.”
Teams vs. Skype for Business: 9 Benefits Identified by Stratosphere
If your business currently uses Skype for Business and hasn’t transitioned to Teams yet, you might want to know what this new UC client offers that Skype doesn’t.
Some of our departments have already gone through the upgrade, and we’re glad to share their insights. Here are some things our data infrastructure team members have observed that Teams does and Skype doesn’t (or doesn’t do quite as well).
- Persistent chat: Users can easily see what was said in the past and search chat logs.
- Persistent group chats: This allows team members to collaborate even if they aren’t all online.
- Mentions: Users can mention another person to get their attention.
- A dark theme: Our team members report it’s easier on the eyes.
- Ability to paste images directly in-line with chat: This is an advantage over Skype, which requires both users to be online and perform a file transfer. Then the recipient had to open the file manually, which our team members found annoying.
- Gif integration and traditional emojis: Chatting with coworkers just got a bit more fun.
- Being able to mask links: Users can turn phrases into links to relevant URLs.
- Mobile application: With an increasing number of workers doing their jobs outside of the office, a high-quality mobile UC application can make a big difference in productivity.
- Better screen sharing options: Users can share their mobile device’s screen on iOS.
Microsoft has made an FAQ available concerning the upgrade from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams that should answer any questions you have about the process. There’s also self-serve guidance, as well as upgrade tools in the Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center. Additionally, for organizations that don’t have the necessary IT resources to tackle the upgrade, Microsoft has stated it will offer automated upgrades.
If you’d like to learn more about the transition to Teams and/or Office 365 in general, our team of expert techs can help. Contact us today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.