Microsoft Teams Is Replacing Skype for Business – What You Need to Know

February 14, 2018   //   Unified Communications, ,

By now, you’re probably aware of Microsoft’s plans to replace Skype for Business with Teams. Some of us saw this coming when Microsoft integrated the group chat experience into Teams, essentially making it one and the same with Skype for Business. Then again, Microsoft Teams is barely a year old, and it wasn’t more than a few years ago that Skype for Business was the latest innovation replacing Microsoft Lync. As the pace of change accelerates, IT organizations are feeling the pressure to innovate faster than ever before. But does this latest innovation in Teams really need to happen right away?

While Teams is coming, the good news is that you’ll have plenty of time to make the transition. For customers who aren’t ready to make the move, rest assured a new version of Skype for Business server will be available in the second half of 2018. That being said, there may be good reason to make the transition sooner rather than later.

Why Should I Migrate to Microsoft Teams?

As the modern workforce becomes more team-oriented and collaborative, Teams is the answer to how work gets done today. Here’s what that could look like for your business:


Teams brings together conversations, meetings, files, Office apps, and third-party integrations, enabling your workforce to participate in more productive meetings with minimal context switching.

Artificial Intelligence

Teams is built on a modern cloud infrastructure that enables organizations to take advantage of artificial intelligence, making new things possible across the entire lifecycle of a meeting. For example, Teams will automatically surface relevant documents before a meeting to help participates prepare; voice recognition capabilities can produce transcriptions and attribute remarks to the individual speakers; after the meeting, those transcripts can be automatically added to relevant channels. The possibilities are endless!

Competitive Advantage

In today’s fast-paced world, workforce productivity is the new definition of corporate competitiveness. While Microsoft may still be supporting Skype for Business, it’s clear that Teams is where the innovation dollars are going. Early adopters of teams will gain a leg up on their competition.

What’s Next?

The move to Teams will look different for each organization based on their individual users and business requirements. As you plan for your inevitable transition, here are some key things to consider:

  • Business Value: Microsoft provides a Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams capabilities roadmap. This will show you which capabilities in Teams are available today and what’s expected to come in the near future. Customers should evaluate this roadmap to determine if the capabilities will meet their business needs. If so, they should adjust their strategy to deploy Teams. If not, they should stick with Skype for Business for the time being.
  • Timing: If you’re already planning a migration to Skype Online, you’ll want to consider the move to Teams instead. If you’ve recently made a deep investment in Skype, it may be more financially responsible to wait.
  • Office 365: If you’re already in Office 365, you can start using Teams today. Since there is some overlapping functionality between Teams and Skype for Business, it’s a good idea to allow users to continue to use Skype for Business while they become more familiar with Teams.
  • Change Management: The migration to Teams is the easy part. Retraining your users is the challenge. Make sure you’re integrating a staged change management strategy into your plan. Don’t just turn things on and expect users to start using it right away.

If you’re ready to migrate to Teams or still contemplating when to make your move, SWC can help you determine the best approach to meet your business requirements. Contact us to learn more.