Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s modern answer to team communication and collaboration. Built expressly to take advantage of and integrate with the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, MS Teams is likely to surpass and replace Skype for Business in terms of functionality and adoption. Upgrading from Skype for Business to Teams may not mean a 1-to-1 transition, so there are some things you should know about the move — but ultimately, it’s a move that will deliver a lot of value.

Why switch from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams?

Skype for Business will eventually be discontinued. MS Teams is the spiritual successor to all of Microsoft’s communication technology, intended to support accessible, cloud-based, integrated communications. MS Teams works closely with the rest of Microsoft 365, supporting teams and groups, and making it easy for employees to communicate.

In MS Teams, employees can create channels per project or per team, chat one-on-one, initiate video and audio calls, and hold large team meetings. All content can be referenced later, and files can be attached and transferred. MS Teams is gaining new functionality all the time and evolving in a way that Skype for Business will not.

Thus, business owners should invest in Microsoft Teams not only because it offers enhanced functionality, but also because eventually Skype for Business is going to be obsolete.

What are the major benefits of MS Teams for your organization?

Microsoft Teams is a platform that is built for the modern workforce. In the past decade, the traditional office has changed: it has evolved into something far more adaptive, remote, and agile.

To that end, MS Teams provides some major core benefits:

  1. Improved mobile security. Microsoft has been working to improve the security of their solutions across the board. MS Teams can integrate with Microsoft Intune and Microsoft’s EMS solution to make sure that data is protected throughout your system.
  2. Microsoft integrates MS Teams seamlessly with many other aspects of the Microsoft Ecosystem, including PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. Further, Microsoft Teams can use third-party solutions, which includes things like planning and CRM products. Integration means better efficiency and productivity.
  3. This is where MS Teams really shines. By providing multiple ways for team members to communicate, MS Teams makes it easier than ever for remote employees, employees from multiple offices, and in-office employees to connect with each other.
  4. MS Teams is a singular communication resource – all of a company’s communication can occur through one platform. That means that employees will always know exactly where to look when they need to find something, and they can easily search for files and documents through a consolidated system.
  5. Finally, MS Teams is Microsoft’s flagship communication solution, and will have support and development for many years. Skype for Business is likely to be discontinued within the next few years; it will no longer be updated with new features and it will slowly become less secure, due to a lack of patches and improvements.

Microsoft Office Teams provides an advanced collaboration technology that can be used for practically all a company’s needs and can enhance a company’s overall productivity. By integrating with Microsoft’s other cloud solutions, MS Teams creates a simple, easy way to upgrade a company’s communications.

How can you upgrade from Skype for Business to MS Teams?

Microsoft makes the process of upgrading to MS Teams easy. After MS Teams has been installed, you can go into the Admin Center and select the Org-Wide Settings. There is a Co-existence Mode there that allows you to use both Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams for a transitional period.

At this time, your business should notify its key stakeholders and its employees that it will be transitioning to MS Teams. Active engagement, training, and Q&A sessions will help the organization to better adapt.

Once the transition needs to be effective, setting the Coexistence Mode to “Teams Only” will officially shift the business away from Skype for Business and to MS Teams. From there, most of the process will involve supporting users in the transition. A Microsoft Partner or managed service provider can help.

Taking the next steps

While the transition from Skype for Business to MS Teams may not be a direct one, MS Teams ultimately delivers all the functionality of Skype for Business and more. With integration into Office 365, better collaborative tools, and superior security, Microsoft Teams is the communication solution of the future.

Working closely with cloud service providers or managed service providers can ease the transition for Caribbean business leaders looking to improve their technology without disruption. Companies do have some time to complete their transition, but Skype for Business Online has already reached feature parity with MS Teams, and will likely be discontinued in the next few years.