Learn more about how Skype for Business will be affected by the new Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is based on the chat collaboration tool from the Office 365 suite of services. Teams enables groups to work together and collaborate through a common workspace, using features such as team chat, one-on-one cat and document collaboration. Teams has been further enhanced with online meetings, phone system & calling plans, and other features to mirror Skype for Business Online.
CallTower is a Microsoft Gold Partner with extensive experience in the UC and collaboration space. CallTower is closely aligned with Microsoft Teams timeline and strategy.
Q: What's happening with Office 365 and Skype for Business?
A: In 2017, Microsoft announced they will transition from Skype for Business Online Edition (not to be confused with the Server Edition) to Microsoft Teams. The Microsoft Roadmap for this transition is linked here. As stated on the Microsoft document, the dates and individual features may change and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions.
Q: Are we going to be forced to Microsoft Teams by either CallTower or Microsoft?
A: If using Skype for Business Online Edition, users will eventually be required to move to Microsoft Teams. Skype for Business Server Edition users will be unaffected.
Q: Are we losing Skype for Business online?
A: If you are a current Microsoft Office 365 customer using Skype for Business Online Edition, you will eventually be required to transition to Microsoft Teams or move to a Skype hosting provider (like CallTower) for Skype for Business service. The date for this change has not been published; we believe that Microsoft will continue to run Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business Online in parallel for several years. Skype for Business Server Edition will remain unaffected.
Q: Are we losing CallTower Skype for Business?
A: No; CallTower runs Skype for Business servers in multiple data centers. The server licensing for CallTower Skype for Business is separate from the Skype for Business Online Edition service. The primary similarity between CallTower Skype for Business and Microsoft Skype for Business Online Edition is the end user client. Both utilize the same end user client.
When Microsoft announced the transition from Skype for Business Online Edition to Microsfot Teams, they also announced the release of Skype for Business Server Edition 2019. This is the next release for CallTower Skype for Business Servers. Microsoft will continue to support and invest R&D into Skype Server Edition.
Q: What is Skype for Business Server Edition 2019? How long will it be supported?
A: Skype for Business Server Edition 2019 is the Microsoft licensing for premise-based Skype servers. CallTower runs Skype for Business Servers in multiple data centers. There is not an end-of-support or end-of-life date for Skype for Business Server Edition.
Q: Are Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams license models changing?
A: No; Teams & Skype for Business Online have been and will continue to be included with Office 365 for the foreseeable future.
Q: What does Microsoft Teams offer that Skype for Business does not?
A: Microsoft Teams offers persistent and searchable threaded chat and content that is easy to follow and reference. Microsoft Teams also has integrated access to the entire Office 365 suite, including SharePoint and OneDrive, to allow for single client to manage groups, meetings and projects.
Q: Will this impact my customer's daily workflow?
A: Impact will vary by customer. For example, if the customers' current environment is running CallTower Skype for Business Server Edition, there will be no impact. CallTower is working closely with Microsoft to support hybrid Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams environment, including interoperability and PSTN enablement for the full tenant.
Q: Who is Microsoft Teams best suited for?
A: All Skype for Business Online Edition customers should consider an evaluation of Microsoft Teams and CallTower can assist with this evaluation. Office 365 customers not currently using Skype for Business Online Edition should also consider an evaluation to determine if Microsoft Teams can improve productivity and deliver ROI.
Q: What is CallTower's strategy for Microsoft Teams enablement and hybrid requirements?
A: CallTower believes in providing our customers with choices. We do not believe that a single solution, a single end-user client, or a single suite of applications is the right fit for all organizations or even all users within an organization. To enable the continued expansion of available solutions, CallTower has invested in a Microsoft Teams evaluation and enablement service offering. This offering is for customers considering the transition to or adoption of Microsoft Teams. CallTower is also currently in a pre-release testing program with Microsoft for voice-enablement of Microsoft Teams through Direct Routing. Direct Routing will allow customers to utilize CallTower for all their PSTN enablement requirements, both for CallTower Skype for Business and for Microsoft Teams. Customers will be able to rely on CallTower's dedicated implementation, support, and logistics teams to fully manage all services.