Microsoft created an application that would have all the features of Skype for Business and much more, so they ultimately came up with Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft acquired Skype back in 2011. Skype was first released in 2003 and truly revolutionized the way that people communicated around the globe, especially for business. Microsoft does have some big changes planned for this telecommunications app that many people use for personal and daily business. So what’s the big change they will be making?
Skype for Business is going to be retired by the middle of 2021, specifically with a retirement date of July 31, 2021. Good-bye Skype for Business. Say hello to the next big thing in business communications.
As of right now, Microsoft is planning on phasing everyone who uses Skype for Business over to an application called Microsoft Teams. This was created in 2017 to be a meeting ground for teamwork within Microsoft 365. Until then customers who use Skype for Business Online will still be able to work within the application and even add new people to their teams, but not for long.
For new businesses that are trying to use Skype for Business, Microsoft will automatically convert them to Microsoft Teams users as of September 1, 2019. They won’t even get the option to use Skype for Business anymore after that date. Microsoft Teams will be able to have all the functionality of Skype, including chatting, group meetings, document collaboration, and calling with or without a video feed. Microsoft has been working hard to make it even better than Skype in many ways.
Microsoft has specifically spent the last two years putting in a ton of work to make Microsoft Teams an improved product over Skype for Business. They truly feel like it’s an “upgraded” application that will make working within a team structure on a remote basis even easier for many companies. The overall goal is to improve the way that teams work together with better workflows between collaborators on projects and day to day communications.
With more and more companies working on a global basis and outside of traditional office settings, it makes sense that having a one-stop communication app as the hub of a virtual workspace is necessary. Plus, it needs to be user-friendly to make communication among virtual co-workers and teams a pleasure to use each day. That’s why Microsoft took such care in making the new Teams function the absolute best it can be.
The reason Microsoft is going slowly to phase out and retire Skype for Business is that they know how valuable this telecommunication application has been to many businesses. Lucky for the consumers who use Skype for Business, it’s not going away so fast. Millions and millions of people have used Skype for Business since it was introduced in 2014. They do plan to help people as much as they can with the new Microsoft Teams taking over. For now, they have a number of ways to make the transition go as smoothly as possible including the following:
Keep in mind FastTrack is only available for eligible subscribers, but all the other training sessions and the guidebook is available for anyone to use. The instructor training sessions are very helpful to include education on things like, a 30-minute orientation, getting started with Teams, how to run effective meetings, and creative ways to optimize the use of Teams. All of these sessions are with the goal of helping the users make a seamless transition that will be beneficial to their daily operations.
Even though they are keeping the functionality of Skype for Business Online up and running until the end date in 2021, they ideally would like people to move over to Microsoft Teams as soon as possible. With more people using the service that includes new features like Dynamic 911, which is a Microsoft Teams Phone System safety application, they want the migration to go well. This will send a user’s location to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) handled by the local government if there is an emergency situation that comes up while using the application.
Other features of Microsoft Teams are shorter retention periods for chat storage, the use of Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams at the same time though the first part of 2020, and compliance recording.
All in all, when Microsoft went to the drawing board to create an application that would have all the features of Skype for Business and much more, they ultimately came up with Teams. They hope that by announcing this transition early, the process will be smooth sailing for any company looking to make the shift to the new application.