Have you noticed the new wave of Microsoft apps and functionality slowly being rolled out and replacing aging products? With cloud-enabled software becoming the Microsoft default, and older products being phased out (like modern Sharepoint replacing the classic experience), the company is once again becoming an innovative player in the organisational software space.
A recent change that may affect you as a business customer, is a change in the online conferencing space. Skype for Business online is being phased out, replaced by the multi-functional Microsoft Teams. If you’re purchasing a new Office 365 subscription (and have fewer than 500 users), there will only be the option of Microsoft Teams.
What, Where’s My Skype?
Skype has never been a particularly well-loved product, save for perhaps when it was one of the first players in the video-calling space. These days, apps like Slack, Zoom meetings, and even Facetime are surging ahead in their popularity. While there’s still a large community that are used to Skype for Business, the product is showing its age.
This seems to be the reasoning behind Microsoft rolling Skype for Business functionality over into MS Teams. The Teams app is an all-in-one communications platform which now incorporates all the tasks you’d find in Skype for Business.
Microsoft Teams is a new-wave communication app – one built from the ground up. It looks sleek, has various different communication and sharing functionality, and rivals hot tools such as Slack.
In short, it’s a huge departure from legacy-style single-function apps, and is bound to make communication more fluid – by condensing the functionality of chat, audio calling (including to phones), video conferencing, email, file sharing, meeting scheduling, and team wikis into the one app. You’re even able to collaborate on shared files with others in a team at the same time all from the app.
With Microsoft Teams, you’ll never be wondering which app you used to send which file, or which app you used to message someone about the latest task you’ve been working on.
Video calling from MS Teams
The video conferencing facility in Microsoft Teams explains itself: “HD 1080p video and high-speed, low-bandwidth screen sharing put you and up to 250 people all at the same table. Participant pictures with job titles and video that locks on whoever is talking helps everyone know who’s who.”
You can easily project to a room, use one-touch join for meetings, call in people who aren’t in the team, and the opportunity to use a whiteboard, polls, Q&A, and built-in IM during your meetings. The app allows screen sharing and even recording, so those who couldn’t be present (or those who might’ve fell asleep!) can catch up on what was covered later.
Microsoft Teams is available on both desktop and mobile, so the whole team is available anytime, anywhere.
Try it out!
If you haven’t yet switched over to Office 365, but you’d like to try out Microsoft Teams to see how it works for your business, then give the free version a try first. There are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube to get you started with everything that Teams has to offer. While it’s not the Skype you know of the past, it’s far more powerful and far more useful for collaboration in the workplace.
If you’d like help transitioning to Office 365 for the cloud, or even a walkthrough of Microsoft Teams, then make sure to get in contact with us at A1 Technologies. We’re Microsoft Certified IT Professionals and Partners, who are experts in business Microsoft solutions.
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