Microsoft Teams Matches Skype Functionality, Ready For The Road Ahead
Last September, Microsoft made a significant announcement, Skype for Business was no longer the future and that the company was putting all their communications eggs into the Teams basket. But at that time, Teams wasn’t quite ready to fully-overtake Skype for Business but that changes today.
Microsoft has announced that Teams is now ready to become the primary client for communication inside the Office 365 platform. But, this doesn’t mean Skype for Business is going away overnight, Microsoft plans to support that plan form for many years to come.
This is an important milestone for Teams because up until this point, it was playing catch-up to Skype for Business Online, going forward it will be able to add new features and expand that app’s footprint as well. And while day one it may not have been better than Skype for Business Online, the future is clear, Microsoft is investing in Teams and you should consider switching platforms.
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Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
Of course, just because Microsoft says that it has reached feature parity doesn’t mean that customers agree. Some functionality is still in beta and others may not work as reliably as Skype for Business but let’s not let that get in the way of Microsoft’s marketing.
The big question, though, is when Microsoft will require customers to fully leave Skype for Business behind. Microsoft has yet to tell me (or Mary Jo) these details which likely means it’s not anytime soon. The company knows that switching communication platforms is not a simple task and can take years to fully migrate services.
For those looking for assistance with the migration, Microsoft has a couple of tools at your disposal to reduce the friction of this process.
This announcement comes several weeks before Microsoft’s technology conference in Orlando, Ignite. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the company announce new enhancements coming to Teams at that conference and to potentially show the path ahead for Teams.