Microsoft recently announced that the roadmap for bringing Skype for Business Online features and functionality into Microsoft Teams is now confirmed – meaning within Office 365, Microsoft Teams is now the focus of all messaging, meeting and calling as the primary communications client. This transition represents a great opportunity for you to help your customers realise the benefits of intelligent collaboration.

By bringing Skype for Business into Teams, there’s now a single hub for teamwork with integrated voice and video and communications that combines messaging, meeting and calling with intelligence – but what does this actually mean in practice?

What’s the Difference?

Well, there’s a full list of the differences between Skype for Business and Teams here, but in summary, there’s a whole new way of working across the whole call or meeting lifecycle:

  • Before a meeting, Teams will present relevant documents and rich information about the participants to help prepare effectively.
  • During the meeting, the conversation can be captured, transcribed, and time-coded, with closed captioning and voice recognition for attributing remarks to specific individuals.
  • After the meeting, the cloud recording and transcript can be automatically added to the relevant channel, so conversations, documents, notes, and action items can be reviewed, indexed, and searched by the entire team.

What does this mean for your new and existing customers?

With effect from the 1st October, new Office 365 customers who have 500 seats or less will not have access to Skype for Business Online. Customers already using Skype for Business Online will continue to do so without interruption until they decide to transition to Microsoft Teams. From the 1st November, Microsoft will begin offering Microsoft-driven automated upgrades to Teams, communicating directly with customers regarding their upgrade options through email and in the Office 365 Message Centre.

How can you upgrade?

Customers can upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams in one of two ways:

First off, the Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business Admin Centre will enable you to upgrade individual users or their entire tenant from Skype for Business to Teams. In addition, they can define the policies that manage interoperability, messaging, and guest access for users.

The alternative for more advanced and larger installations of Skype for Business means IT teams can take advantage of PowerShell cmdlets to upgrade groups, departments, or their entire tenants to Teams, as well as define granular-level configuration of Microsoft Teams settings.

What happens once users are upgraded?

Once upgraded, Teams will become the user’s default client for chat, voice, video and meetings in Office 365, and the following will occur:

  • When users are upgraded to Teams, their Skype for Business client will be disabled and all chat and calls will go to Teams. (This won’t uninstall the Skype for Business client on users’ desktops).
  • Any Skype for Business meetings scheduled prior to the upgrade will work as designed, but all new meetings will be scheduled to Teams.
  • Previously scheduled Skype for Business meetings will connect via the Skype for Business desktop client, or Skype Web App.
  • If users attempt to sign in to Skype for Business, they will receive a notification in their client that they have been upgraded to Teams.
  • Users and/or IT administrators will need to uninstall the Skype for Business client on their mobile devices manually.

As always, if you have any questions about the migration Skype to Teams, please contact us on 03334443455 we would be glad to help.