Not all of us are keen on change - some of us, in fact, are staunch traditionalists. Starburst will always be Opal Fruits. Snickers will always be Marathon. And VoIP chats among employees will always be done in Skype for Business.
Microsoft have other ideas though, and as you might expect from the company who went straight from Windows 8 to Windows 10 and called their third Xbox the “Xbox One”, they’re eager to break convention. Skype for Business is entering End of Life, and will be discontinued entirely in July 2021. Microsoft Teams is its all-new, all-singing, all-dancing replacement.
Naturally, not everyone’s thrilled with the change – and much like all new software, Teams wasn’t averse to the odd teething problem when it was first released. Yet the app has seen plenty of upgrades over the years and is now more than just a Skype for Business replacement; it’s a fully-featured app that not only supports your office chats, but allows you to cooperate and collaborate in a way Skype never could.
As if anticipating some resistance, Microsoft have ensured Teams is as user-friendly as possible. The interface’s clean, list-like approach makes it easy to see your most recent messages, whilst the ability to ‘react’ to certain messages with emojis and share gifs with team members gives the app a familiar, less formal vibe. All very cute - but don’t underestimate just how powerful Teams can be. Where Skype created an easy way to instigate office chats and meetings, Teams takes the concept further, letting users cooperate on shared projects across all of Office 365’s apps. It also keeps everything consistent – so unlike Skype, your conversations, meetings and conferences have permanence, as do any files you share.
This is what separates Teams so strongly from Skype for Business; yes, both have the full suite of conversational features, but only Teams is designed to integrate all other Office 365 apps into its environment. Anybody with the privileges to create a Teams group (or ‘channel’, as they’re known) can also designate access to specific files for everyone in the group. Teams, handily, allows you to sync your files with a number of cloud storage applications to make access as seamless as possible.
There’s still over a year left of Skype for Business, but with Teams now a major player in the Office 365 environment, there’s never been a better time to make the leap.
If you’re new to Teams, fear not...
Our resident Office guru Iain Kendrick has previously recorded this handy Teams tutorial to get you and your colleagues started!
Watch the Webinar now: