Skype for Business has been good to us over the years, and now it’s time to say farewell! If you haven’t heard, Microsoft has announced the end of life for Skype for Business.
New Office 365 and Office 365 Pro/Proplus customers will be directed toward Microsoft Teams starting the first of Sept 2019, and on the 31st of Jul 2021, Skype for Business will no longer be supported by Microsoft.
The Cut-off may cause some concern, hopefully, this article will give you guidance to replace Skype for Business.
We have been using Teams for over 12 months and find the collaboration features better than Skype. I believe you will find the collaboration and communication features worth it.
What is Microsoft Teams and why is it replacing Skype for Business?
If you haven’t had experience with Teams, you will be delighted with its new ways of working. Similar to solutions like Slack, GTM or Zoom, Teams brings your digital workplace applications together.
Previously, work was organised around individual applications, with Outlook for email, Skype for chat, PowerPoint to present, Excel to create spreadsheets, etc. Keeping organised in this fragmented environment impacts our workload and reduces our effectiveness.
This is where Teams shines; bringing your digital tools into one workplace for communication and collaboration. Natively integrated with Microsoft 365 and Office 365, Teams is the choice of more than 500,000 organisations globally. This connectivity means many organisations are ripping up their Slack or Zoom paid subscriptions in preference for Teams.
Built on a secure framework, Microsoft Teams at a glance:
- Centralised communications in one workplace, organised into channels for different discussions;
- Voice and video meetings connect your team members easily with meetings, conference rooms and phone meetings;
- Secure built on the Office 365 hyper-scale, enterprise-grade cloud; you get advanced security and compliance capabilities that you expect;
- Accessible from anywhere, anytime with the mobile and desktop apps, users can work from home, and keep up to date with conversations as they run errands;
- Highly customisable with extendable features. You can automate workflows and access pull reports, start calls, file tickets and a lot more.
Teams offers so many capabilities it’s hard to summarise everything in one article. If you use tools like Slack, Skype or Zoom, you will be familiar with centralised communications. Best of all its included with all Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscriptions.
Who can help you migrate to Microsoft Teams?
Migrating from Skype for Business to teams shouldn’t be difficult, and it isn’t; there are many resources available to you. The list below doesn’t provide all the options available, but there will be enough information to help you to successfully up and running with Teams.
Get expert help migrating to Teams from Skype
- Microsoft – your Microsoft customer success manager or technology specialist, will be able to help your team migrate.
- Microsoft Certified Partners – I couldn’t write this without talking about our services. If you have a challenging migration, we are more than happy to give you an obligation free Teams assessment.
Or migrate from Skype to Teams yourself
- Getting started with Teams
- Governance and Security
- Migrating Skype audio to Teams
- Phone systems direct routing with Teams
- Teams deployment checklist
Get acceptance and train your users on Teams
Many organisations are trying to understand how to encourage their users to adopt the platform. Microsoft has created a free, customizable, on-demand training framework for you to make sure users know how to get the most from Teams.
How can you make sure Teams is a success in your organisation?
Change can be difficult when people are used to working a particular way; they tend to resist change. This comes down to their unfamiliarity with the new technology and the worry that the new tool won’t do what they need effectively.
Change management is critical; creating a strategy will make sure users understand the benefits, give them adequate training, and prepare them for the cut-over.
Your change management plan should:
- Communicate early and be transparent – While you don’t need to share every detail. You should share essential information with your users.
- Build Excitement – Find pieces of functionality that will make lives people’s lives easier.
- Assemble your power users – onboard a selected few influencers who can lead the way
- Training and Feedback – ensure new users have access to ample training and support
- Make feedback easy and fun – allow your users to leave feedback directly and act on it accordingly
Getting the most from Teams…
Have you seen all the cool features Teams has to offer? It’s more than a Skype replacement, Teams is a platform for your organisation to collaborate and communicate effectively. It connects many applications, giving organisations a central place for projects or teams to work securely. Check out our favourite list of features and use cases for Microsoft Teams here.
If you are currently using Microsoft Teams or about to make the switch, drop us a line and we can help with your migration, or show you best practices for adoption.
drop us a line and we can help with your migration, or show you best practices for adoption.
Microsoft Teams FAQ
Microsoft Teams is a messaging solution for mobile and desktop. It manages conversations, meetings, files, and notes which can be accessed by anyone. Teams is a place for collaboration and work to happen in the open. Teams is similar to social media, like Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts.
Microsoft announced that mainstream support ends for Skype for Business on 31 July 2021.
Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s replacement for Skype for Business. Teams bring communication and collaboration together with a seamless solution for business across mobile and desktop devices.
Microsoft Teams comes with Microsoft Office 365 on all packages. The cost of Teams is included in your subscription.
Yes, current customers of Skype for Business can add new users to their Skype for Business tenant. However, customers need to understand there will be a forced migration to Microsoft Teams after 31 July 2021.