Over the past year, Microsoft Teams has expanded with new messaging, meeting and calling capabilities that make it the primary client for Intelligent Communications in Office 365. Today we are pleased to share several updates, including:
Microsoft Teams continues to grow as the hub for teamwork in Office 365. We are continually adding new experiences, including those previously found in Skype for Business, as well as features new to our online meetings offering, such as background blur.
Now Teams includes several features previously available only in Skype for Business Server: Group Call Pickup, Call Park, Shared Line Appearance, and Location-Based Routing (public preview). These features give organizations flexibility in how calls are handled and routed in Microsoft Teams. We’ve also released enhancements to Cloud Recording, Outlook Meeting Scheduling for OWA, and Surface Hub Support.
Today, we are pleased to announce that “Upgrade to Teams-Only mode” functionality is now available for all tenants. Tenant administrators can now easily upgrade specific users or their entire tenant to Teams, with a few clicks in the Teams Admin Center. This new functionality makes the technical elements of the upgrade easier.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that the move from Skype for Business to Teams is much more than a technical upgrade. A successful, user-centric rollout begins with educating users and encouraging adoption of Teams’ collaboration and communication capabilities, often through a period of coexistence of both Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. We encourage you to make the move to Teams-Only mode after validating Teams meets your needs by monitoring the Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams capabilities roadmap, initiating Teams pilots within your organization, and driving Teams usage to 100% saturation with your user base.
In August 2018, we began offering Microsoft-driven automated upgrades to our smaller customers who may not have the dedicated staff or resources to upgrade their Skype for Business Online tenants. Tenants that are selected to participate in the automated upgrade process are notified through the Office 365 Message Center and email to the IT administrator. Customers who receive an offer for an automated upgrade do have the option of performing the upgrade on their own or to defer the automated upgrade. Details of the process and next steps are provided in the communications to tenant admins.
Larger Skype for Business Online customers and those with complex implementations may also be eligible for upgrade assistance. If your organization has already adopted Microsoft Teams and you are interested in upgrading from Skype for Business, get in touch with Exactive. You can also leverage the expertise of Microsoft partners to help map and navigate the journey to Teams.
Last week we announced we are rebranding Skype Room Systems to Microsoft Teams Rooms. The new name comes on the heels of recent improvements to the meeting room experience, including proximity detection for Teams meetings, and dual-screen support to optimize content and video for rooms with dual displays.
Keep watching our blog to stay up-to-date on the latest Microsoft Teams news.