- What is Microsoft’s new vision for Intelligent Communications (aka Unified Communications vision)?
Microsoft is now aiming to bring the capabilities of Skype for Business in the cloud into Teams to deliver a single hub for teamwork, with built-in, fully integrated voice and video. By tightly weaving communications into the apps teams use to collaborate every day, alongside AI, Microsoft Graph, LinkedIn, and other data and cognitive services, Microsoft will enable Intelligent Communications, revolutionizing calling and meeting experiences.
- Is Microsoft replacing Skype for Business with Teams?
As Microsoft announced at Ignite 2017, Microsoft Teams will be replacing Skype for Business as the communications client for Office 365. Over the past year, Microsoft has rapidly added – and continue to add – new capabilities to Microsoft Teams to help customers achieve more. With the June 2018 roadmap update, Microsoft is announcing that Teams is now ready for messaging, meeting and calling for most organizations, and Microsoft is actively encouraging users to upgrade to Teams.
- Why is Microsoft planning on bringing Skype for Business and Teams together?
As users are working on more teams, Microsoft see the opportunity to more seamlessly integrate the communication capabilities into Teams so users can have a single place for their conversations, contacts, and content. Teams also provides a modern cloud infrastructure that enables us to take advantage of Microsoft’s assets for artificial intelligence such as AI, Microsoft Graph, and LinkedIn to deliver Intelligent Communications. With Teams, Microsoft can create new experiences for meetings and calling, including preparation, delivery, and post follow-ups.
- Are customers able to upgrade to Teams today?
If a customer is already familiar with Teams and ready to go, they can start the upgrade process today. It is important to note that upgrading from Skype for Business to Teams is more than just a technical migration. It represents a transformation in how users communicate and collaborate. An ideal upgrade approach should address the technical aspects of an upgrade as well as encourage user acceptance and adoption of Teams, driving a positive user experience and business outcome realization.
Customers can upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams in one of two ways:
- The Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center will enable IT Pros to upgrade individual users or their entire tenant from online Skype for Business to Teams. In addition, they can define the policies that manage interoperability, messaging, and guest access for users.
- For more advanced and larger installations of online Skype for Business, IT Pros 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.
- Is there a firm deadline by which customers need to move from Skype for Business Online to Teams?
Microsoft Teams is publicly available so customers can assess the capabilities for Teams relative to their needs and plan their move to Teams accordingly. Customers can determine the timing for moving to Teams that best meets their needs. A great way to stay on top of news about the move to Microsoft Teams from Skype for Business is the Skype for Businesses to Microsoft Teams Capabilities Roadmap that gives Microsoft’s current expectations about Skype for Business capabilities coming to Teams.
- Will Microsoft be requiring customers to upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams?
Customers will be able to upgrade on their own terms as Teams meets their business needs and based on Microsoft’s roadmap evolution. Microsoft is empowering IT with resources, tools and guidance to support them in their upgrade to Teams. Based on customer feedback, some customers also want Microsoft to assist them with their upgrade, especially if they have minimal IT support.
Based on customer feedback, Microsoft will be offering to assist smaller customers with their upgrade by upgrading their Office 365 tenant from Skype for Business to Teams. Microsoft also have dedicated resources to support corporate and enterprise customers in planning their upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams. Microsoft realizes that for many organizations the upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams will require a longer period to plan and implement.
- What assistance is Microsoft offering to customers who wish to move to Teams, especially those who have made significant investments in Skype for Business in Office 365?
Customers can continue to use Skype for Business in Office 365 until Microsoft Teams meets their business needs. All customers will have access to self-serve tools and guidance to control and manage the process to move users to Teams. Prescriptive guidance, templates, and best practices will be available this summer at https://aka.ms/skypetoteams. Microsoft will help ease the transition for users new to Microsoft Teams with a specialized first-run experience and in-product coach marks. FastTrack, customer support, and partners will be available to help guide customers through the transition.