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Communication is key to the success of modern businesses. From instant messages to video calls and conferences, a lot goes into keeping the lines of communication open between executives, employees and other stakeholders. That’s why businesses often invest in tools and software to streamline these conversations.

Of the many tools available, Skype for Business enjoyed high adoption rates because it was one of the earliest remote communication tools. Alas! Putting it bluntly, Skype is dead—officially as of July 31, 2021—and it’s time to transition to Microsoft Teams.

The use of cloud infrastructure presents new opportunities for interaction and communication. It enables you to take advantage of your time and resources. So this move to Teams is a natural transition and nothing to worry about. Microsoft has tons of resources available to help you deal with the migration well before July 31, making it easier for you to move to Teams before then—if you haven’t done so already.

Many businesses have welcomed this change. Microsoft Teams centers on collaboration, offering businesses a unified platform for group work. It assimilates the sharing capabilities, collaboration tools and integrations of Skype for Business, and is an all-around improvement compared to its predecessor in many ways.

Microsoft Teams vs. Skype for Business

For its part, Skype for Business supported the communication requirements of modern businesses. It enabled users to send messages and set up video  and voice calls for about 250 people. Skype for Business also allowed users to dial an actual phone number and transfer calls if the other person wasn’t active on the app. Across the board, the platform was a handy and robust communications tool.

Microsoft Teams has similar capabilities, but it goes a lot further to facilitate collaboration and help businesses enhance their productivity.

Skype for Business was mainly a communications tool. Microsoft Teams, however, offers users better integration with Microsoft products as well as an in-depth, collaborative environment for teamwork.  While there’s considerable overlap in the features, the design idea is very different.

Microsoft Teams offers various features integrated external applications to make the most out of Microsoft Office 365 packages. As a leading platform for productivity tools and office applications, Microsoft Teams has created a unique position to support communications that integrate seamlessly with its rest of the product range.

All in all, with Microsoft Teams, you can take your organization’s communication and collaboration to the next level and intends to be an application that helps you organize your employees and augment productivity tools and scenarios. Additionally, the platform ensures data security and safety through Microsoft’s stringent enterprise-grade protection and compliance.

Why do you need to upgrade to Microsoft Teams?

It’s time to bid farewell to Skype for Business and begin the bittersweet process of migrating to Microsoft Teams.

These two platforms have coexisted for the longest time while offering somewhat similar functionality, such as calling and instant messaging capabilities. However, the transition to Microsoft Teams is a significant step to even greater connectivity due to its integration with multiple Microsoft 365 and third-party applications.

Teams extends and enhances the functionality of Skype for Business, bringing together meetings, chat, calling, app integration, file storage and collaboration into a unified interface.

All in all, Microsoft Teams allows you to streamline the way you carry out tasks, accelerating business outcomes and ultimately improving user satisfaction. The platform continues to expand its capabilities that enable you to collaborate and communicate in unique ways, breaking down geographical and organizational barriers and driving efficiency in decision making and overall processes.

How to switch from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has been encouraging all Microsoft 365 users to get started with Microsoft Teams for some time. Once you’re prepared to switch entirely to Microsoft Teams, the platform has two distinct upgrade routes to help you with easy migration.

If you’re still currently using Skype for Business, your transition to Teams may take some time. But you can begin to explore the value of the Teams platform today by leveraging it together with Skype for Business.

Given the overlapping features of the two apps, it’s imperative to combine both to solidify your upgrading paths and determine the right way to roll out Teams within your organization. If you’re considering migrating now, or have plans to do it soon, Microsoft has an upgrade success framework to help structure your migration as seamlessly as possible.

Microsoft also offers interactive workshops meant to facilitate and support your upgrade planning and execution. These allow you to get accustomed to the platform’s upgrading framework, prepare employees for the transition and determine your company’s path on your Teams upgrade journey.

Organizations using Skype for Business may qualify for Microsoft-assisted advancements to Teams, making the transition smooth and successful before Skype’s retirement on July 31. Assisted upgrades minimize technical tasks and processes required of you and allow for enhanced focus on user awareness, organizational preparedness and training. You can also schedule Microsoft-assisted upgrades to get notifications in both the Microsoft 365 message center and Teams admin center three months before your upgrade date.

Change management is key for your transition to Teams

Switching to Microsoft Teams from Skype is an evolution with a learning curve from the user’s perspective, as the UI is entirely different. If you’re going through or are about to experience this transition, ensure that you have a change and adoption management plan ready to educate and train your workforce accordingly. This should include provisions for internal support to field any user questions you’ll probably receive.

If you need additional guidance and resources, an expert Microsoft partner can help. Irrespective of whether you are just planning the move, already running Teams in controlled areas, or troubleshooting after widespread adoption, leveraging outside expertise can make the transition from Skype for Business to Teams a lot more simple. Don’t hesitate to contact Sherweb if you have any questions about your Skype-to-Teams journey!

The most important thing to remember is that come July 31, Skype for Business is officially dead. By taking the time to carefully plan your transition to Microsoft Teams, your organization can ensure that its communication, collaboration and productivity tools remain in working order, and your business can continue activities as usual. Long live Teams!

Looking for an experienced cloud provider to help your business grow? Explore how Sherweb can help with our Partner Guide

Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb