Effective collaboration is the backbone of a strong team. Nowadays, collaboration is much easier thanks to an array of productivity tools that help you stay in touch with team members and get work done quickly. Two of the biggest contenders in this market come from Microsoft. And in this article, we’ll be comparing the battling platforms, Teams vs Skype for Business, by looking at the differences between them, and helping you to decide which is right for you and your team.
Microsoft really wanted to tap into the chat applications market when it developed Teams. Teams is a cloud-based chat app that combines the functionalities of Slack and Office 365 into a single platform that can even integrate more than 150 third-party applications for increased productivity.
According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the vision is that “Microsoft teams will bring together chat, meeting, notes, Office, Planner, PowerBI, and a host of extensions and applications to help teams get work done.”
Teams functions similarly to Slack and offers a threaded view of group and private conversations. You can access these conversations through a user-friendly interface that lets you chat with coworkers, share files and notes, and even contribute to project boards.
Interestingly, Teams allows users to create sub-conversations. For example, if your development team is comprised of developers, they can form their own sub-conversations in the same channel to discuss their own independent ideas while still remaining part of the larger group.Key Features:
- Third-party apps and API integration
- Available in 18 languages
- Microsoft Office integrated
- Supports chat, calls, and video conferencing
- Attractive and agile interface
Skype for Business
Microsoft launched Skype for Business in 2015 as part of its initiative to lead the software services market, developing the app using its existing Lync communication tool. In short, Skype for Business is a cloud-based service that helps professionals get work done in their offices and homes through chat, voice calls, and video conferencing.
Skype for Business includes all the functionalities of Lync and Skype, but it goes beyond these apps to allow users to make video conferencing calls that can support up to 250 people. Fortunately, it’s actually quite easy to connect people to these group calls, so you don’t have to manage multiple screens and fumble with hundreds of buttons.
Skype for Business is considerably cheaper than its competitors, making it an attractive package, especially for small-scale businesses.Key Features:
- Supports PSTN conferencing
- Video and audio recording of calls
- Screen and computer access
Which Solution Do You Need?
Since Teams includes some of the functionality that Skype for Business offers, and there are several reasons to choose Skype for Business over Teams:
- Contact Center: Businesses that have deployed contact center applications with Skype for Business or used third-party reporting or management tools should be aware that very few of the existing tools work with Teams.
- Meetings: While Teams and Skype for Business meetings are similar, they have important differences. For example, while you could set up a dedicated Skype for Business pool to host interactive meetings with up 1,000 users, meeting size in Teams is currently limited to 250 users.
- Call Queue: Microsoft has rebuilt the call queue service for Teams, which in Skype for Business is called response groups. Currently, call queue and attendant capabilities in Teams lack some of the features available in Skype for Business.
Teams marks a major milestone in Microsoft’s ongoing effort to compete in the software and application markets - but it's not the right solution for every organization. To learn more and to see if Teams or Skype are right for you, schedule your consultation today: