There has been a lot of movement since the announcement during Microsoft Ignite 2017 that Microsoft would be phasing out Skype for Business online and merging it with its Microsoft Teams product. The roadmap for this integration is now complete and the Skype for Business online services are now fully part of Microsoft Teams. Starting October 1 Microsoft Teams will be the primary client for customers needing messaging, meeting and calling services.
SoftwareONE reported on the progress of this initiative back in March and it is exciting to see that for this year’s Microsoft Ignite 2018 conference Teams is now a complete solution for intelligent unified communications. To break it down further on how this helps you on your Unified Communications journey we’ve outlined why this move was made, how it helps you from a business perspective and how SoftwareONE can help.
Why did Microsoft phase out Skype for Business Online?
Moving the functionality of Skype for Business Online into Microsoft Teams gives customers a single intelligent unified communications platform where users can access all of the services – telephony, video conferencing, messaging, ad hoc meetings, etc. Teams provides a single location for co-workers to store working notes, documents and all other materials related to a project – streamlining the end user communication experience. You can read the full blog on the initial announcement here.
What does this mean for your business?
Anyone currently using Skype for Business Online within Office 365 is directly impacted and you will want to think about your migration plans to Microsoft Teams, however you can continue using Skype for Business Online until the migration is complete.
In your business, successfully managing user adoption is key and should be top priority. Microsoft supports a smooth migration to Teams with the “Journey to Teams initiative” which is designed for IT to understand how to manage initial coexistence between Teams and Skype for Business and the subsequent upgrade journey from Skype for Business to Teams. SoftwareONE’s advisory service supports you on this journey following Microsoft accredited procedures.
Starting October 1st, new Office 365 customers under 500 seats will automatically be on boarded to Microsoft Teams and will not have access to Skype for Business Online. It is important to note that Skype for Business on-premises customers are not impacted by this move, however it may be in your best interest to think about moving to Microsoft Teams as well.
Microsoft has begun offering automatic upgrades from Skype for Business Online to Teams for Microsoft direct customers. Beginning 1 November, we’ll begin offering partner associated customers automatic upgrades from Skype for Business Online to Teams. Tenant Administrators will be given advance notification through email and the Office 365 Message Center.
How SoftwareONE can help
You can work with SoftwareONE and its UC team regarding Unified Communications to leverage our capabilities for Microsoft Teams Upgrade Planning. You can learn more about this process here. SoftwareONE also has a full Microsoft Advisory Services team ready to assist you with any questions regarding Microsoft Teams, your Unified Communication strategy or your Microsoft technology needs in general.
This is an exciting announcement from Microsoft as Microsoft Teams has the potential to enhance your overall Unified Communications strategy and place all of your UC needs in a single place – increasing efficiency and productivity. Be sure to reach out to SoftwareONE’s UC team today to better understand how to integrate this change with your current technology and business needs.