In July 2021, Microsoft Teams will replace Skype for Business completely, after merging for the last few years. Here’s what you need to know about the switch, and why Microsoft Teams is a significant improvement.
Why will Microsoft Teams replace Skype for Business?
If you are already using Office 365, the fact the Microsoft Teams is replacing Skype for Business makes great sense. Its extensive functionality allows it to act as a centralised hub and single platform for users to collaborate, communicate and work together.
Microsoft has developed Office 365 to enable businesses and their staff to communicate and work in a single cloud-based solution. Many of us have used Skype to communicate with friends and family, and Skype for Business has become an integral component of the Office 365 suite.
However, to refine collaborative working capabilities, Microsoft has focused on making Teams the primary app for chat, audio and video calling. Whilst the two can currently be integrated, Microsoft Teams will replace Skype for Business entirely in the future.
When will Microsoft Teams replace Skype for Business?
Microsoft have announced that Skype for Business will be retired officially on July 31st, 2021. However, the switchover has already begun, with all new Office 365 users being onboarded directly to Teams for chat, meetings and calling.
What are the benefits of Microsoft Teams replacing Skype for Business?
Teams offers unparalleled centralisation of your document storage, contact information and communication tools, all within the same window.
An advantage of Teams becoming the dominant conferencing tool is that, in the long-term, it will mean a shared familiarity between businesses and staff.
Communication tools within Teams include:
• Teams – Teams itself holds the chat, audio and video conferencing functionality you need to conduct internal ‘face-to-face’ discussions and meetings with global stakeholders.
• Outlook – you can enjoy your regular email service from Outlook within Teams, with the additional benefit of it sitting alongside your other communication tools.
• Yammer – a private social networking system that allows colleagues to utilise purpose-built instant messaging to share ideas and choreograph projects.
Security and mobile device management
As a Microsoft product, Teams offers excellent security features (when used in conjunction with Intune, Microsoft’s cloud-based management solution) to enable users to access corporate data in complete compliance with your security obligations. It does this by protecting and managing your employees’ devices and the applications used to access data, allowing you to put rules and restrictions in place on data access and use.
Teams, Office 365 and much more
Teams enhances productivity. You can access the entire Office 365 suite of programs including Word, Access and Excel within the Teams window, but it will also accommodate all the tools you use to work, whether they’re Microsoft-based or not, putting them all in one place. The Microsoft Teams applications store also makes it easy to move your frequently-used apps to Teams.
Seamless file sharing while you talk
The integration of SharePoint and OneDrive with Teams makes file sharing and collaborating on files simple – whether users are at different sides of the room or the globe.
• SharePoint makes the documents that need to be seen and adjusted by teams and individual stakeholders easy to access and adjust.
• OneDrive for Business allows users to store and work on documents in the cloud privately, either as an individual or with a small group of stakeholders chosen by the individual.
Want to find out more?
If you have an Office 365 subscription for your business, Microsoft Teams comes as standard. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Air IT is perfectly positioned to advise you on business communications tools like Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. If you’d like to find out more about our managed IT services, please don’t hesitated to get in touch.