Skype for Business is being phased out

 In Hardware and Software

Microsoft is slowly rolling out Microsoft Teams as a replacement for Skype for Business, and they are hoping it will change the way you work.

When your business switches from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams for chats and meetings you’ll discover new ways to connect, collaborate and communicate with added efficiency. But, without forethought and planning, you may also find that you’ve unwittingly found new ways to complicate things.

Implementing Microsoft Teams means implementing SharePoint and OneDrive, even if you haven’t deliberately done it yet. It also means you’ll face challenges around file duplication and version control of you don’t have a plan around how users access files when using Microsoft Teams.

What can Teams do?

While Skype is solely a communications tool, Teams is much more. Microsoft are calling it an “app hub” which is a succinct way of saying that Teams provides a single point of entry into the entire Office 365 ecosystem of your business.

Teams gives users access to SharePoint Online document libraries and site functionality, OneNote, Planner, and a whole bunch of other features.

Here’s a quick comparison.

Comparison table of the features of Skype and Microsoft Teams

When is Skype for Business disappearing?

Microsoft has not announced an end-of-support date for Skype for Business yet; but new Office 365 subscribers are no longer able to use it – they are Teams users by default.

Things to consider

Because all the file storage of Microsoft Teams is delivered by SharePoint and OneDrive, using Teams means implementing these cloud file repositories if you haven’t already.

This means that the usual considerations around content lifecycle, records management and data protection/loss prevention will need to be addressed. It’s also important to have a plan to make sure that:

  • documents are accurately labelled
  • content-level security, taxonomy, and disposition is enforced
  • labels, titles and classification accurately reflect content of documents and files.

Making the switch

Upgrading from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams has the possibility to transform the way your users communicate, but change is not always easy. Proactive IT Solutions can help with every step of this migration process, from the technical aspects to user adoption. Although there is no rush for existing Skype for Business users, Microsoft recommends upgrading as soon as possible to optimise your benefits and ease the transition.

Don’t put this on the back burner. Microsoft Teams is inevitably going to fully replace Skype for Business, and you’ll be happier knowing you’ve made the switch in your own time than being forced over at the last minute.

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