Microsoft is decommissioning Skype for Business online. As of July 31, 2021, Skype for Business online will no longer be accessible or supported. If you are using Skype for Business online it's time that you plan your move to Microsoft Teams quickly. Here are the three things you are really going to love after your business moves from Skype to Microsoft teams.
Teams Calling Capabilities
Microsoft has enhanced Teams with the same calling features that users enjoyed in Skype for Business by implementing Phone System (formerly Cloud PBX) into Teams. Phone System enables call control and PBX capabilities in the cloud with Teams.
With the Phone System, users can use Teams to place and receive calls, transfer calls, and mute or unmute calls. Phone System users can click a name in their address book and place Teams call to that person. Phone System users can use their mobile devices, a headset with a laptop or PC, or one of many IP phones that work with Teams to place and receive calls. Phone System administrators can manage calling options and settings from the same console used for messaging, collaboration, and so on.
Calls between your organization's users are handled internally within the Phone System and never go to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This applies to calls between users in your organization located in different geographical areas, removing long-distance costs on these internal calls.
For calls outside your organization, Microsoft provides multiple options for connecting the Phone System to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
Microsoft purchased Skype back in 2011 to help foster enterprise-level collaboration. That was a long time ago in the technology world. Today you can find the same calling services that were available in Skype for Business in Teams.
Teams Messaging Capabilities
If you have been using Skype for Business, you will enjoy the improved functionality for messaging that Teams provides. There are two types of messaging in Teams. There is peer-to-peer chat, which is more like iMessage than Skype for Business instant messaging. And there is a group chat that occurs inside a team or a channel within a team.
All chat is people-centric in Teams. Users can easily review their entire history of conversation with other users from their client or browser. It's also easy to search the chat stream.
Like Skype for Business, you can turn a chat into voice, video, or both from inside the chat. If you do, that call gets added to the history of the chat. You can also start a screen-sharing session from a chat without kicking off voice or video. If you attach a file, it uploads it to the users' SharePoint, and you'll see the file listed in line with the chat; you can open the doc in Teams with the chat dialogue also visible.
If you want to add richness to your Teams' chats, you can do this with emoji, gIFs from giphy, stickers, and memes. In addition, Microsoft has also added the option to add apps to Teams chats. For instance, by adding the YouTube app, you can search YouTube for something to add to the chat; it not only adds a link but a preview of the content and the ability to play it back from within the Teams chat. If you are used to using Skype for Business, Teams offers a huge upgrade in chat features.
Group chats in Teams are vastly different from the group chat rooms in Skype for Business. Teams' group chats are threaded conversations between a team of users in your company. Group chats happen in a team or channel, which means the whole team can talk about things relative to that team or channel. Threading means that there can be multiple conversations, or threads, inside the tab. It's possible to @ mention the whole team to ask everyone a question or target one or more users directly to elicit specific responses.
If you get mentioned in a group chat, you get alerted. Clicking on the alert will take you right to the thread where you were mentioned so that you can catch up on what is going on and reply right there in the stream. Just like peer-to-peer chats, group chats also get the rich text editor, emoji, gifs, stickers, and memes. You can upload files, chat about them, and even co-author them right inside Teams. You can also turn a group chat into a meeting using the "meet now" button.
Teams was designed for collaboration and was Microsoft's answer to Slack. It was designed from the ground up with collaboration in mind. If you have been using Skype for Business, you will really like the messaging capabilities inside Teams.
Teams Meetings Capabilities
Meetings in Teams are very different to meetings in Skype for Business. Joining a meeting in Teams is straightforward. All you have to do is click the join link from your calendar reminder. Once you're in the meeting, you can connect your mic and camera. You can also change either device at any point during the meeting. If you need to take the meeting on the go, you can join the meeting from your phone and then shut down your laptop, and you'll be ready to travel. If you are using a PC that doesn't have the Teams app, you can join from your web browser.
The big difference between Teams and Skype for Business is that there are no plugins required to get the full meeting experience in Teams. Presenters in the meeting can share their screen, upload and share a PowerPoint presentation, collaborate using a third-party whiteboard app, or interact with the group in many other ways. You can do all this whether you're using the desktop app, a web browser or a phone.
Again, remember that Teams was built from the ground up with collaboration in mind, unlike Skype for Business. So you'll find that the meeting features are richer in Teams than they were in Skype for Business.
You Are Going To Love Moving from Skype to Microsoft Teams
If you have been using Skype for Business online, you don't really have a choice; you must move on from Skype, and Teams is the obvious choice. The good news is that you are going to really love working in Teams - you'll get all the same calling functionality that you enjoyed in Skype for Business, and you'll see huge improvements in the messaging and meeting functionality that make Teams a fantastic collaboration tool. Transitioning from Skype to Microsoft Teams is simple, and you're going to love the business features it provides.