Microsoft does not have the ins and outs of your CallTower account or private cloud server - they are blind, mass marketing to anyone with an Office 365 license. These tactics are poorly targeted communications and we understand that they have caused undue concern.
CallTower's native Skype for Business solution will be supported through 2025.
Right now, it is important to know that we want to educate you on what Teams does and does not offer, while ensuring that you understand that there is not rush to move to Teams right now.
We have put together a white paper detailing our Microsoft Voice solutions. There are vast differences between your current Skype for Business solution and Microsoft Teams - these are two very different solutions.
Check out our White Paper on CallTower's Microsoft Voice Solutions.
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 chat and document collaboration. Teams has been further enhanced with online meetings, phone system & calling plans, and other features to mirror Skype for Business Online. Check out our video to learn more about Microsoft Teams and CallTower's Calling Plans.
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.
Click here to download the brochure
Q: Microsoft recently announced that they will no longer support Skype phones in 2023. Will CallTower’s Native Skype for Business continue to support Skype phones past July 31, 2023?)?
A: CallTower’s Native SfB Solution is on Skype for Business Server 2019. Skype for Business Server 2019 is unaffected by Microsoft decision to no longer support these devices. The Skype phones will continue to be supported by CallTower in our private cloud environment.
Q: Is my Skype for Business going to be retired July 31st, 2021 (Microsoft's Announcement)?
A: While Microsoft's Skype for Business Online will be sunsetting on July 31st, 2021, CallTower's Native Skype for Business will be supported through 2025. CallTower's global private cloud operates on Skype for Business Enterprise Server Edition rather than the Skype for Business Online Edition. CallTower is continuing to invest in Skype for Business Server Edition 2019 to better serve and connect customers.
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 to Microsoft Teams. Skype for Business online is not the same as CallTower's Hosted Skype for Business. The Microsoft Teams 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: CallTower's Skype for Business (SfB) customers will not have their services affected by this Microsoft transition, because our SfB customers are on CallTower's private cloud. Our cloud operates on Skype for Business Enterprise Server Edition (rather than the Skype for Business Online Edition affected by the change) which currently is and will be supported for years to come.
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. CallTower's 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 Microsoft Teams, they also announced the release of Skype for Business Server Edition 2019. CallTower is investing in updating our Skype for Business Server to the 2019 Edition to better serve and connect our customers for the future.
Q: What is Skype for Business Server Edition 2019? How long will it be supported?
A: CallTower is invested in Skype for Business as the proper UC solution for many of our customers despite the changes and challenges faced by the Microsoft Teams transition. We want to enable our customers to connect and the best way to do that is to invest and upgrade to Skype for Business Server Edition 2019.
Skype for Business Server Edition 2019 is the latest and greatest software for on-premise or hosted S4B Server services. Alongside dynamic new features like Cloud Voicemail, Call Data Connector and side-by-side migration, it will bring the optimization and quality improvements that were the result of running Skype for Business in Microsoft's cloud. Skype for Business Server 2019 will be supported by Microsoft through 2025.
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 customer's current environment is running CallTower Skype for Business Server Edition, there will be no impact. CallTower enables customers to bring their current voice serves into the Microsoft Cloud through Direct Routing. Direct Routing ensures the ability to leverage CallTower’s preferred rates and unlocks the full potential of a Microsoft Teams Phone System.
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. CallTower has invested in Microsoft Teams and delivers an integrated Office 365 Microsoft Teams experience with global calling plans empowered by a US-based client services team, ensuring a personalized implementation, adoption, training and support strategy.
CallTower has been voice enabling Microsoft solutions for years. As a Microsoft Gold Partner providing cloud voice solutions, our monitoring and management services ensure the highest quality user experience. The Microsoft Teams Phone System powered by CallTower enables customers to bring their current voice serves into the Microsoft Cloud through Direct Routing. Direct Routing ensures the ability to leverage CallTower’s preferred rates and unlocks the full potential of a Microsoft Teams Phone System.