Are you still sticking with Skype?
Statistics on the number of people using Skype for Business are harder to come by these days. As Microsoft prepares for the day when Microsoft Teams will completely replace the previous Skype for Business (SfB) offering, all eyes are on what Teams can do.
The good news for Microsoft fans is that Teams is proving to be a valuable alternative to Skype. From day one, Microsoft promises feature parity between the two solutions before customers would have to shut down their Skype accounts for good. It wasn’t long until Teams reached the parity goal either. Microsoft announced Teams was a complete calling and meeting solution in 2018.
Of course, the tech giant isn’t content to stop with Teams just being as good as Skype for Business. Over the last couple of years, more new features have appeared within Teams continuously, largely outshining anything that Skype for Business is capable of.
With Teams, you have everything from virtual backgrounds, to Together mode meetings and direct routing. Yet, despite all these wonderful benefits, there are still companies refusing to let go of SfB.
So, what gives?
Teams becomes a more comprehensive and appealing collaboration tool for business leaders by the day. It’s no secret that Microsoft has gone full throttle into making this solution the leading offering on the market. Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, even said it will soon be as “significant as internet browsers and operating systems” in the business world.
So why are companies still holding back? Here are some of the reasons we can think of.
Human beings don’t like change. We get comfortable using a specific software or service, and we stay with it for as long as possible. That’s why so many companies make their fortune on recurring subscriptions – because people are too nervous to make a switch. Although Teams promises to have all the same features as Skype for Business and then some, some companies are still unwilling to put the technology to the test.
There are dozens of collaboration and communication tools available on the market today. Some of these offerings even integrate with Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. Unfortunately, the breadth of options means that a company making the switch from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams may need to once again “sell” the Microsoft offering to their employees. Getting everyone on board with the migration may not be as simple as it seems, particularly as collaboration preferences seem to differ depending on things like generation.
Making the switch from one solution to another (even when the service is offered by the same company) can be a complicated process. Moving from Skype for Business to Teams means planning a complete migration strategy. While Microsoft and its partners have a range of strategies available to assist with this shift, the move could still lead to unwanted downtime and confusion for some brands. Nobody wants to go through a complex business change if they can avoid it.
Both Skype and Microsoft Teams allow users to chat through instant messaging technology. With Skype for Business, you can add multiple contacts to a group chat. On Microsoft Teams, you use channels and direct messages. For the most part, the chat experiences are quite similar. However, on Skype, chats disappear when the user closes the window. While some companies found these disappearing messages frustrating, others say it’s an easy way to share private and confidential information.
Speaking of privacy and confidentiality, Microsoft has always had a strong focus on ensuring the safety of all users. Unfortunately, some companies are likely to be particularly concerned about making the switch from one solution to another. Micro IM security is something that Skype for Business users particularly appreciate about the service. Teams takes a slightly different approach to security, but it can also offer role-based access.
Skype for Business Pricing is linked to the Microsoft 365 suite of products. There are various plans to choose from, which can work out a little cheaper than paying for Microsoft 365 with access to Teams. For instance, the Microsoft Business Essentials plan with Skype was $2.50 per user per month annually, but the Microsoft 365 Business Essentials plan with Teams is $5 per user per month. There is a free version of Microsoft Teams available today, however.
Microsoft Teams is an easy-to-use solution that many people around the world love. There are more than 115 million daily active users on Teams that appreciate its clean and simple user experience. However, there are still bound to be people in the business landscape who prefer the Skype for Business interface instead. Skype comes with a minimalist and clean interface that may appeal more to people who aren’t fully comfortable with the comprehensive features offered by Teams.
One of the biggest reasons that companies resist change to the technology stack, is that they don’t want to lose out on investments they’ve already made into crucial technology. With Teams, users can use direct routing to stick with their existing telephony provider if they’re looking for a reliable and flexible UCaaS offering. However, if you already have investments in solutions for Skype for Business, then it may be hard to make the switch. Companies with Skype for Business UCaaS and Contact Centre setups will need to work with the right partners to migrate.
There are still several companies out there who don’t fully understand the features and functionality of Microsoft Teams, and what it can do for their business. It takes time and careful planning for any business to confidently make an investment into a technology that will be crucial for the productivity and efficiency of the entire team. Businesses that don’t fully understand the potential of Microsoft Team may be unable to get buy-in from the full company.
What’s your reason for sticking with your Skype for Business investment? Are you planning on moving to Teams soon? Join the conversation on social media.