Microsoft Teams, the company’s Slack competitor with deep integrations into the Office 365 apps, has seen a lot of pickup over the last few months, with over 125,000 organizations now using it in one form or another. Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that the company today announced it is going all in on Teams as its core communications platform for the enterprise.
Until now, Skype for Business was the company’s product for this. Over the course of the last few years, Microsoft improved the Skype infrastructure to allow for better and faster text chats, calls and video conferences (though some Skype users would surely argue that the quality hasn’t actually improved all that much). But as Ron Markezich, the company’s corporate VP for Office 365 noted ahead of today’s public announcement, Microsoft Teams will evolve “as the core communications client” for its cloud-connected users running Office 365. Teams will become the “hero and primary experience for all voice, video and meetings.” Over time, Teams will replace the current Skype for Business client.
Microsoft obviously knows that enterprises don’t move fast, so for those who don’t want to do away with their existing PBX systems and calling capabilities to the cloud, it’ll launch a new version of the Skype for Business server in 2018.
Given that Teams and Skype for Business use the same infrastructure, it doesn’t really come as a surprise that both will also work well together and feature universal presence, as well as messaging and calling interoperability.
For those who do make the transition to Teams, Microsoft promises lots of new calling features and meeting enhancements with outbound and inbound calls to and from regular phones, support for voicemail, call holding, call transfers and other standard telephony features.