Our site uses cookies to make it work and to help us give you the best possible user experience. By using our site, you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more about cookies and how you can disable them, please read our cookies statement. 

Cookie Settings

You can manage your cookie settings by turning cookies on and off.

Click on the different cookie  headings to find out more about the types of cookies we use on this site and to change your settings. Please be aware that if you choose to turn off  cookies, certain areas of our site may not work and your browsing experience may be impacted.

For further information on how we use cookies, please see our cookies statement. 

Strictly Necessary Cookies

(Req)

These cookies are essential for the technical operation of and proper functioning of our site  and enable you to register and login, to easily move around our site, and to access secure areas. Without these cookies our site won't function properly.  

These cookies are required

Performance Cookies

Performance cookies allow us to collect aggregated and anonymous data on how our site is used, such as the number of visitors to our site, how you navigate around and the time spent on our site and also to identify any errors in functionality. These cookies also help us to improve the way our site works by ensuring that you can find what you’re looking for easily, to better understand what you are interested in and to measure the effectiveness of the content of our site. 

Marketing Cookies

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal information is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from Dimension Data only.

Improve your collaborative power with Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business

Blog

Collaboration relies on frequent, clear and constructive communication. With this in mind, Microsoft has announced their vision for intelligent communications- integrating Skype for Business Online, with its communications focus, into the more collaboration-centric Microsoft Teams.

Depending on whether your Skype for Business environment is on-premises or in the cloud with Office 365, Microsoft is pursuing two different strategies:

  • Skype for Business Online will transition into Teams and Office 365
  • Skype for Business on-premise will stay the same, with a new Skype for Business Server coming in 2018

As more organisations incorporate Skype for Business into their day-to-day productivity toolset, they are now considering what this announcement will mean for the continued use or planned adoption of the service.

For companies who have invested in Skype for Business, and integrated the service into their business processes there may be some anxiety around how exactly the changes will manifest. And while the changes are not going to be immediate, organisations are looking for certainty to ensure that they have the appropriate plans in place.

Microsoft has outlined the roadmap for Skype for Business and Teams and how the integration will take place.

Marrying Teams and Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams is not replacing the Skype for Business service, rather it will integrate the functionality of Skype for Business into its capabilities into a new Teams client. The aim is that the Teams client will include all the features of the current Skype for Business client before the end of 2018.

It is expected that current Skype for Business solutions will continue to work at least until October 2020.

Microsoft are transferring Skype for Business Online’s conference calling and meeting capabilities into the Teams platform, alongside data incorporated from Microsoft Graph. Having been built initially on the Skype for Business Online platform, the meeting and conference calling functionality will be delivered on a new and modern infrastructure within the Teams. This will enable enterprise-grade voice and video communication — calls, instant messaging and private branch exchange services for Teams users, taking this offering to the next level.

Over time, Teams will evolve into the primary client for communications within Office 365, rather than Skype for Business Online.

While the name Skype for Business Online will eventually be replaced, it’s core will remain intact. Users may,however, see some functionality temporaily removed especially in the area of enterprise voice (for more detail consult this Roadmap).

Clients adopting the features from the cloud with Office 365 can expect to see the communication features of Skype for Business combined with the collaboration features of Teams, operating under the familiar interface of Office 365. Microsoft believes this will help drive the speed of innovation and improve communication between team members.

Your future communications scenario

You can expect a transition process as Microsoft realigns their core communications software platform. Depending on how you currently deploy Skype for Business, this process will vary:

Skype for Business on-premises

Microsoft is not planning on changing the on-premises version of the tool at all. They will continue to offer support for Skype for Business Server ‘for the foreseeable future’. A new version of Skype for Business Server is planned for release in the second half of 2018 for those that don’t yet wish to move their communications to the cloud. Microsoft usually offer extended support on their products for up to 10 years, so your investment is secure. It has been recommended that on-premise Skype for Business customers should keep their environments current to ease later upgrades

Skype for Business via Office 365

Microsoft will provide extensive support for users during the transition to Teams, and it’s suggested that all Skype for Business customers should start evaluating Teams. Organisations should already be considering how to approach change management and ease user adoption as well as preparing application validation for any line-of-business integrations.

The start of the move from Skype for Business Online to Teams is not scheduled until 2018, so you have ample time to prepare. More information can be found in this TechCommunity Roadmap.

Meet the new team

Ultimately, Microsoft’s decision to integrate Skype for Business Online into Teams is aimed at enabling ongoing improvements to improve collaboration and productivity in your business and with social collaboration platforms such as LinkedIn in the future.

If you haven’t yet explored the collaborative functionality of Teams, now would be a good time to start. The platform has seen several improvements since its launch at the end of 2016:

  • Meetings have been upgraded with Outlook integration and mobile functionality
  • Guest Access allows those outside your company to collaborate with you, and upcoming calling features will allow for inbound and outbound calls to PSTN numbers
  • Audio conferencing enables participants to join a Teams meeting by dialling a telephone number
  • Interoperability between Teams and Skype for Business will mean organisations can message and call between the two platforms.

The interoperability between Teams and Skype for Business, was announced at Microsoft Ignite in September. Platform integration is beginning to take effect and it’s time for you to take advantage of the future of intelligent communications.

For more information on how you can take advantage of Microsoft’s intelligent communications services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

Previous Article: Bad Rabbit ransomware: cybercrime continues its exponential rise in 2017 Next Article: Top IT Trends to watch in 2018: Be prepared to take advantage of digital's opportunities

You may be interested in

Speed train
Blog

The need for the business to thrive sees speed eclipse cost

Digital disruption casts a long shadow over the business landscape. Every organisation believes that it’s under threat and IT leaders need solutions

Read blog
People working in an office
Blog

The human side of becoming a digital business

Our whole lives we’ve been programmed to avoid failure. To the point where not even trying was seen as a better option.

Read blog
Women working at a table
Blog

NTT Group achieves the highly acclaimed Cisco Webex SP accreditation

In a significant step forward in enterprise cloud collaboration leadership, NTT Group has been awarded the Cisco Webex Service Provider (SP) certification.

Read blog
Central Park New York
Blog

Why cloud costs have become an issue and what to do about it.

Initial expectations of cloud were unrealistic It’s common today to hear that more than 70% of workloads will run in the public cloud by 2021.

Read blog