Since its initial release in June 2011, Office 365 has become the industry standard in workplace productivity. Built from the ground up with the goal of being a flexible and collaborative platform for businesses of all types and sizes, the suite is constantly evolving as part of an ever-changing technology ecosystem. Among these changes is the recent addition of the Microsoft Teams platform.
Microsoft teams has come a long way since its launch last year, and it’s poised to replace Skype for Business. Given that Skype for Business already replaced Microsoft Lync just a few years prior, it presents yet another major change in the world of workplace collaboration and mobility. However, the change is unlikely to cause disruption thanks to the gradual pace of its introduction over the next year.
Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to prepare your business by staying updated with the changes and roadmaps concerning one of the most important applications in the industry. To that end, let’s look at the role of Microsoft Teams in the changing Office 365 platform:
How Is Microsoft Teams Better than Skype for Business?
When Microsoft introduced Teams in 2017, it was immediately made clear that it would eventually replace Skype for Business. After all, there wouldn’t be much point in one company developing two competing products. Teams already integrates many of the Skype for Business features that companies have been used to for quite some time. The merging and rebranding of the two is just the obvious next step.
Effective collaboration as the backbone of an effective team has been a key goal in the development of Office 365. Teams merges the chat- and collaboration-based functions across the wider Office 365 system into a single platform, which can itself be integrated with a growing repository of 150+ third-party applications. Like Skype for Business, Teams also supports calling and video conferencing.
While Skype for Business isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, Teams possesses virtually all of its functionalities plus a whole lot more, effectively rendering Skype obsolete. Furthermore, chances are you would end up using Teams anyway even if only for setting appointments, listing events, sharing files, and performing various other collaborative tasks.
What Does Your Business Need to Do?
As is often the case when a vendor announces a major change, business leaders may be anxious that it may lead to disruption. However, the whole point of taking the Office 365 platform toward a fully integrated and unified system is to simplify a range of core business processes, such as document co-authoring, collaboration, and document management.
For the time being, you should be just fine doing what you’re already doing. Microsoft has not set any deadline for customers to make the move and the migration should, for the most part, happen automatically. Furthermore, the Skype brand will remain unchanged for both consumers and Skype for Business Server users, at least for the foreseeable future.
Over the course of the next year, Microsoft will continue rolling out new features to the Teams platform, with many of these functions being imported directly from Skype for Business. The whole process is expected to last until the end of the year. On top of that, you can also expect to see continued development of third-party integrations with Microsoft Teams, thereby creating a fully versatile and customizable unified communications ecosystem.
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