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Skype for Business becomes Microsoft Teams…or does it?

Microsoft announced this week at the Microsoft Ignite conference its “new vision for intelligent communications in Office 365”, which will see Microsoft Teams sit at the heart of communication and collaboration in the Office 365 suite. 

Over the past month or so, there has been much speculation that Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business would become one. And whilst that’s not too far off the mark, it’s a little more nuanced than that.  

Since its introduction, it has been clear that Teams was set to become a key communication tool within Office 365. In fact, it’s already taken centre stage of internal communications at TSG; and with the new ability to add external users, we’ll be using it to communicate with customers, suppliers and partners. Everyone, from our Marketing department to our NAV specialists, Finance to Account Directors, is using Teams to effectively collaborate both with team colleagues and cross-team. 

If you’ve never used Teams before, or if you’re looking for some top tips on getting the most out of Teams, check out some of our previous blogs: 

Microsoft will be integrating the calling and meeting functionalities associated with Skype for Business into Teams. Some Skype for Business capabilities are already embedded into Teams, including instant messaging, presence availability and a basic conference call functionality. Teams’ status as an ‘intelligent communication’ and primary client tool will be cemented with these new additions, as it already brings together chat, conversations, meetings, various Office and external apps and files.  

The new calling features in Microsoft Teams will allow customers to call, or receive calls from, landline or mobile numbers, hold or transfer calls and access voicemail. It will also make ‘universal presence’ available; currently in Teams, a person’s presence (whether they’re online, available, busy or in a meeting) isn’t updated real-time. 

Eventually, Microsoft Teams will supersede the Skype for Business client as we know, and all VoIP calling and instant messaging functionality will be available in the Teams app. 

Microsoft’s intention is also to have Teams serve as a meeting platform. In addition to the further Skype for Business functionalities that will be added, intelligent new tools will make meetings more effective than ever.  

Teams will help you prepare ahead of a meeting, by presenting you with relevant documentation and “rich information” about your meeting members to support the discussion, as well as allowing attendees to present using PowerPoint. You can capture, transcribe and time-code your meeting conversations thanks to voice recognition that will attribute comments to the correct contributor. Real-time close captioning can be utilised, and the transcription, documents and recordings will be added to the channel following the meeting. 

With all of these upcoming additions, Microsoft Teams will become Office 365’s “single hub for teamwork, with built-in, fully integrated voice and video.” Microsoft will soon be releasing timelines for these integrations on its Office 365 roadmap. 

These significant improvements prove once again that Microsoft is dedicated to improving Office 365 continually, and that it is truly a leader in digital transformation. More services than ever integrate richly with Office 365; the latest will be Sage 200c. We’re hosting an exclusive event with Sage to showcase the brand-new platform and give you an exclusive first look at the combined power this can bring to a business. Don’t miss out – sign up now. 

We're also showcasing the genuinely revolutionary Office 365 solutions we've put in place for customers, and showing you how you can apply the use of tools like Teams, PowerApps and Flow to your own job at Futuretech. Digital Transformation. Now. We're hosting this event across the country – book your place now. 

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