After one year to the announcement Microsoft Teams to become the primary client for Intelligent Communications in Office 365, replacing Skype for Business Online, Microsoft completed the roadmap for bringing Skype for Business Online features and functionality into Teams, and Teams is ready to meet your messaging, meeting and calling needs.
The latest communications features added to Teams are the following:
- Messaging: Teams now offers unified presence, federated chat, and contacts, as well as in-line translation capabilities that allow team members to converse in their native language.
- Meetings: Cloud-based meeting recording, support for larger meetings of up to 250 participants; federated meetings, which provides the ability to host meetings across multiple organizations; meeting lobby so you can qualify dial-in callers before they join your meeting; and dial-in fallback support to ensure people can join a meeting even in the event of network issues. For additional information on new meeting capabilities in Teams, check out Meet Now with Microsoft Teams.
- Calling: Boss and delegate support, call queues, auto-attendant, consultative transfer, do-not-disturb breakthrough, the ability to forward a call to a group, and out of office support. In addition, Direct Routing enables you to bring your own telephone service to Teams, which along with Calling Plans provides you additional choice for dial tone in Microsoft Teams.
- Enhancements to the devices ecosystem for Teams: An update for Skype Room Systems that enables them to join Teams meetings; Teams app for Surface Hub in the Microsoft Store; Teams Conferencing Gateway, which allows you to use existing Skype for Business certified SIP-based phones with Teams; and USB HID Support for Teams, enabling customers to answer, end calls and control mute and volume using USB peripherals. In addition, cloud video interop services to support Teams meetings with existing VTC systems are underway with offerings from Pexip, Polycom, and Blue Jeans to be generally available later this calendar year.
Microsoft also released documentation to migrate from Skype for Business to Teams: you can found it here.
In my opinion, some features are not ready to “replace” Skype for Business as they are still in “rudimentary Stages” and also the phone support isn’t nearly ready for prime time.
So I’m a little bit sceptical and I think also Microsoft is: they just released the preview version of Skype for Business 2019 on-prem.
I sure anyway that, by the end of the year, Teams will be mature enough to take fully over Skype and we will able to use just one enterprise communication tool for IM (Finally!)