Following on from Microsoft’s announcement in September that Teams would replace Skype for Business and become the main hub for their UC solution, many of us have been waiting with bated breath to see what other changes are set to occur.
In an article released on the Microsoft blog at the back end of last year, we can see that many new features on the Messaging, Meetings & Calling roadmaps were set to be added by the end of the first and second quarters of 2018, with even more being added by the end of the year.
According to the blog, it is claimed that Teams will enable users to utilise Hide Share & Mute Chat features, access Contact Groups and Unified Presence Federated Chat between Teams & Skype for Business all within the Messaging platform by the end of the second quarter.
Moreover, we can expect Teams to provide support for Broadcast Meetings, Cloud Recording, Federated Meetings and support for much larger meetings of up to 250 participants by the end of the second quarter.
Being first a foremost a tool to help improve collaboration within the digital workspace, Microsoft also announced that users will be able to organise collaborative meetings via PowerPoint Load & Share and share ideas using the innovative Whiteboard Notes & Meeting Notes tools via Surface Hub.
What’s more interesting is that numerous call control features such as Blind Transfer, Hold, Call Blocking, Call Forwarding, Multi-call Handling, Simultaneous Ringing, Speed Dial, Voicemail, Call Queues, Forward to Group and numerous others are set to be added – leading many to believe that the arrival of the newly refurbished Teams signals the start of a new dawn in the world of communications and the end of the PBX.
However, though this may seem like a new revolution, it would be unwise to assume that Teams will be in a position to replace the PBX in its entirety anytime soon, and though there have been many ‘new’ features set to be added to Microsoft’s UC hub over the next few months, many of the features you would typically require from a phone system remain absent.
Considering this, we would advise our readers to tread carefully when thinking about leaving their PBX behind and wish to remind them that, although Microsoft have the ability to dazzle and impress, they still have a long way to go before they can match the functionality of a traditional PBX (telephone system to the layman).