So today the cat is out of the bag with regards to the future of Skype for Business and Teams (sort of).
Check out this blog from Lori Wright (general manager for Microsoft Teams and Skype product marketing) – A new vision for intelligent communications in Office 365
The key parts of the message here are:
we are bringing comprehensive calling and meetings capabilities into Teams, along with data and insights from the Microsoft Graph, and a strong roadmap of innovation to empower teams to achieve more.
All of this is being built on a new, modern Skype infrastructure for enterprise-grade voice and video communications. Our next generation, cloud-born architecture is already powering communication experiences in Teams, and is evolving rapidly.
As we build out these capabilities, Teams will evolve as the primary client for intelligent communications in Office 365, replacing the current Skype for Business client over time.
This fits with the leaks and information that came out a few weeks ago where some O365 tenants got notifications informing them that they needed to migrate from SfB to Teams.
Todays announcements do not have any indication of timelines or the approach that Microsoft will take here but as a strategic vision and direction Teams is certainly the right place to start pushing SfB’s voice technology. Don’t forget that Teams has been built from the ground up to be a flexible platform and can share the same core code base across all clients and platforms. This client is extensible in many ways so you will be able to customise your workspace to show what you need in your day to day work life. Remember how Outlook became the go-to application for your work day? Well soon that will be Teams – your documents, your colleagues, your phone calls, your chat all in one place.
The things to figure out over the coming weeks (and I’m sure we will learn more over the next few days) will be:
- How can you migrate from SfB into Teams
- How does Teams fit with Hybrid environments
- What does the feature set look like compared to Cloud PBX today
Also lets be very clear here, this is NOT the end of Skype for Business – they will be announcing the next generation of the server product this week also, but the signs are pretty clear that future innovation and effort are to be focused about the chat and voice functionality in Teams.
Ping me on twitter if you are here this week and we can speculate over a beer, or join us for MSUC.Chat from the show floor on Thursday…