Skype for Business has been around in various forms for ten years now. In October 2007 Microsoft Office Communicator was released. In 2010 it was re-released as Lync. It finally evolved into Skype for Business in 2015. In 2017 at the Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando Florida, Microsoft announced that Skype for Business would be replaced in the next few years by its new Microsoft Teams product, the company’s competitor to , “an excellent online communication tool” according to PC Mag.
Skype for Business is a tool that we at Veracity use every day. We use it around the office as a quick way to send links and notifications to each other, and to video conference with offsite team members and clients. We often use it instead of email. Since Microsoft announced Teams in March 2017, we have been using Teams alongside Skype for Business as a complementary product. Teams has many features that we find useful as a highly collaborative business, and it will eventually replace our Skype for Business usage entirely – which is Microsoft’s plan.
What does Teams offer that Skype for Business doesn’t?
Microsoft Teams has deep integrations into the Office 365 apps so offers a more user-friendly chat experience with fun features such as animated responses. Its flexible group chat functionality and support for dedicated ‘team’ chats is great for projects and collaboration. Further enhancing the project collaboration features is the ability to view websites, SharePoint directories, OneNote notebooks, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files within a team chat. It even integrates with Microsoft Planner for project management and task assignment, all from the one application.
What does Skype for Business have that Teams is missing?
As a much more mature product, Skype for Business has a few features that are missing from Teams. Skype has very good Outlook integration, which can show your status (away, busy, available etc.) to co-workers and adds functionality such as replying to internal emails with an instant message. Skype for Business also offers more options for voice communication, and in supported countries can integrate with phone systems to make calls directly.
We at Veracity see Teams eclipsing Skype for Business in the very near future. However, there are still some features that need to be absorbed from Skype for Business before it can be considered a complete replacement. We will continue to use Teams as part of our ‘live IT, eat IT, breathe IT’ ethos, and assist our clients with its implementation as part of the wider Office 365 suite. Click here to learn more about Microsoft Teams.
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