Microsoft's instant communications platform for enterprise appears to be on the way out. Skype for Business is to be replaced by Microsoft Teams, the company's Slack competitor. Skype for Business has barely had time to establish its own brand name after previously being known as Lync until 2015.
Like many other announcements about changes from Microsoft, the roadmap is not clear. We do not know when Skype for Business users can be migrated over, or when they will be required to make the switch. However it does appear that Skype for Business won't be disappearing soon. Companies looking to stay with Skype for Business in the short-to-medium term will even be able to purchase a brand new server edition in 2018.
Instead of an abrupt switch, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Office 365, Ron Markezich, said the move to Teams will be gradual.
“Microsoft Teams will evolve as the core communications client,” he said. “We will make Microsoft Teams the hero and primary experience for all voice, video and meetings.”
Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business already share the same communications platform; meaning compatibility issues should be minimal.
Office 365 users are expected to be the first to be pushed to make the move; server based Skype for business users will then follow.
Microsoft Teams, in both features and appearance, is a clear competitor for the highly successful Slack platform. Teams is included for free with many Office 365 subscriptions. For many existing Microsoft Office 365 customers, Teams will be a highly attractive option given it will come at no extra cost.
Microsoft Teams is included in Office 365 subscriptions which include cloud services. If you'd like to learn more about Microsoft Teams, or if it's already included in your subscription, contact your Sentrian Client Services Manager.