Microsoft has been very busy today—the Redmond Washington-based tech giant has announced that it will be replacing Skype for Business with Teams. Teams is barely a year old, and Microsoft is already finalizing plans to give it a big push to. The app was first announced back in November 2016, with only a handful of users able to access it at the time. It was and still is the biggest threat to Slack despite being less than a year in existence.
Teams has the advantage in terms of its deep integration into Office 365 apps, and has succeeded in winning the hearts of over 125,000 organizations. That perhaps, explains the reason why Microsoft is providing the app with all the backing it needs to replace Skye for Business.
Teams enables users to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve into Microsoft Teams. Built on Office 365 Groups, the app is a cross-application membership service that allows users to move from one collaboration tool to another.
Prior to today’s big announcement, Skype for Business was the app known for collaborating. As a matter of fact, Microsoft has over the last couple of years improved and added some new features to Skype to allow for faster text chats, video conferences and calls among users.
Microsoft, according to TechCrunch, is promising its users that anyone that makes the switch to Teams will enjoy loads of new calling features and meeting enhancements with both outgoing and incoming calls to and from regular phones. It is also promising every user that transits from Skype for Business support for voicemail when making and receiving calls, call holding, call transfers and other telephony features.
Also on the card, is a new Skype for Business server, which is expected to be rolled out in the second half of next year. This new server will serve all customers that are not ready to move to Teams. However, what Microsoft wants to do is to push Office 365 users to move over to Teams. This is based on the fact that the company wants customers to see Teams as the main communications client instead of relying on Skype for Business. It’s probably the best way to get people to transit to Teams—and regardless of how some customers feel about the quality of Skype, it still has some loyal customers.
Another most remarkable thing about Teams is that it has integration with third-party companies. This provides information about the collaboration through the Microsoft Teams Developer Preview program, allowing developers to extend Microsoft Teams. Microsoft partnered with some company last November when it first announced the availability of the chat-based app. Some of these partners include, Zendesk, Asana, Hootsuite and Intercom.
Teams is free to any organization that has Office 365 subscription. For those who don’t have the Office 365 subscription, only the limited version of it will be available.
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