What's Happening with Microsoft Skype for Business and Teams?

You may be aware that Microsoft are currently holding their annual conference, Ignite, for Enterprise IT and business executives. As a service provider, you have probably seen the announcement about Teams and Skype for Business, and you may be wondering how this is going to affect you going forward.

If you were thinking about, or are in the process of a Skype for Business deployment through Office365, the news may have set off alarm bells, or made you think about putting the project on hold until everything has been clarified.

Microsoft have stated, ‘As we build out these capabilities, Teams will evolve as the primary client for intelligent communications in Office 365, replacing the current Skype for Business client over time.’

‘Office 365 customers can take advantage of the capabilities in Microsoft Teams starting today. We are committed to providing visibility into the Teams product roadmap, so our customers can assess when Teams is right for them. We intend to make an updated roadmap for Teams available in October.’ 

‘We plan to continue to offer and support Skype for Business in Office 365 and Skype for Business Server on-premises. For customers who are not yet ready to move their PBX and advanced calling capabilities to the cloud, we will release a new version of Skype for Business Server targeted for the second half of calendar year 2018.’

‘Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business clients can be run side by side to evaluate and explore what’s best for your organization.’

‘We encourage every Office 365 customer to begin using Teams today. Office 365 customers currently using Skype for Business can find guidance and resources on the intelligent communications page in the FastTrack portal.’ 

What does this mean exactly to you as an enterprise business? 

This process should be seen as a positive. Microsoft’s collaboration strategy up till now has been fragmented and disjointed requiring users to have multiple applications open to complete tasks. With Teams now becoming the main focus for intelligent collaboration at Microsoft HQ, you can expect all the features of Skype for Business to be added to Teams to create a frictionless application that integrates with the rest of your Microsoft business estate, and through service providers like Videocall, with your traditional video conferencing technology as well.

Certainly, from what we saw at the demonstration, Teams is maturing into an excellent intelligent collaboration application. It’s native interaction with Microsoft Outlook, looks particularly fantastic, allowing for easy scheduling of meetings from inside Teams itself. Of course it offers persistent chat, team spaces, file sharing and a lot more.

With no exact timeframes announced other than the mention of a new Skype for Business Server in the second half of 2018, we would expect that the migration to Teams will be a patient process and companies will not be forced to move across any time soon. Right now, we will just wait for the Teams roadmap next month.

If you are interested in finding out more about Microsoft Teams, or want to discuss your migration to Office365 and Skype for Business and what you should do then do not hesitate to contact us. Use our contact form, email information@videocall.co.uk or call us on +44 (0)1276 706 706.