“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. “*
A sentence with a big impact. At this year’s Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft announced it would gradually replace Skype for Business with Teams. This news caused a sudden increase in incoming calls and emails at IP Dynamics, as many of our customers have replaced their old phone system with Skype for Business and don’t want to or can’t just lift their IT into the cloud.
- At Ignite, Microsoft itself reiterated (starting at minute 44) that the Skype for Business client will remain an integral part of the product line as an on-premise product. Teams is purely cloud-based, runs in parallel with Skype for Business and will be integrated into Office 365. There is no compulsion or the like to use Teams.
- A new version of Skype for Business Server has been announced for later in 2018.
- Support will be provided by Microsoft until at least 2022 (in line with the five-year commitment for each product). In the case of Skype for Business On-Premise, Microsoft has even promised support until 2028.
Wladimir Ped, our Skype for Business Team Lead and expert, summarizes, “All this suggests that its replacement will not happen immediately. Companies have enough time to think about whether they want to switch to Teams. For those companies that don’t want to use Teams, everything remains the same.
All in all, I think Teams addresses a different target group than Skype for Business. Companies use the latter primarily for telephony. Teams, on the other hand, is aimed at collaboration. Also, I don’t think Microsoft can buck the current of the market: Businesses will continue to demand on-premise, and they will continue to do so for a long time.”