Just in time for the launch of the New Year, Microsoft revealed that they’d be connecting teams even more efficiently in their Office 365 Teams application, with the help of features from Skype for Business. By shifting more solutions from Skype into the Teams app, Microsoft has ensured that enterprises can have the calling facilities they need for a more complete UC experience.
As you might have guessed already, the delivery of new Skype solutions into the Teams system is part of Microsoft’s overall plan to phase out Skype for Business entirely in the years ahead. As part of their Intelligent Communications makeover, Teams will soon become the primary client for chat, while Skype for Business products continue elsewhere.
What’s New to Teams?
Though this is unlikely to be the last of the changes that we see to Teams in the months ahead, you can find the following updates in the system now:
- Text telephone support
- Simultaneous Ringing
- Multiple-call handling
- Extension Dialling
- Speed dial
- Call History
You’ll find each solution under the “Calls” section in your Teams client, so long as you’ve got the right system in place. For instance, you’ll need the Phone System Feature, which was formally known as Cloud PBX, installed as an additional plugin to the Office 365 plan. You’ll also need the PSTN Calling Feature, which is now known as “Calling Plans”.
The Calling Plans feature will allow end-users to receive and make calls from within the Teams application, whether you’re talking to someone inside of the business, or out. It also works across a range of devices, and through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions. The audio conferencing feature also allows people to use telephones to dial into a conference.
What about Skype for Business
If you’re concerned that the recent update to Teams is bad news for Skype for Business, then there’s no need for panic just yet. Microsoft has continued to develop it’s Skype for Business products, even as we move into 2018. Recently, the company announced the creation of “Call Queues”, a feature which allows you to automatically distribute incoming calls according to pre-set rules. The feature will be getting three brand-new solutions for Skype for Business users online that have enabled the Phone System.
The development of a new Serial Routing capability means that calls can be distributed to queued agents one by one, and IT pros can also specify their preferred maximum waiting times. Microsoft also noted that the Holidays system in the feature for Auto Attendant will now be available to all customers with Phone System enabled.
If you’re feeling confused, there are unified guidance materials available for Skype for Business online users, and Teams users available on the Microsoft website.