I work in the One Commercial Partner (OCP) organization at Microsoft where I work with many customers and Microsoft Partners to help answer deep technical questions, review technical designs, and ensure successful implementations of Office 365 products. As part of this role, I recently worked at the Expo area for Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business at Microsoft Ignite 2017 conference held in Orlando, Florida, September 25-29, 2017.
I was asked what seemed like hundreds of great questions during the week and enjoyed helping answer the smallest concern to diagramming potential solutions for complex customer scenarios. Although there were a wide variety of questions asked, there were several common questions I identified. I have listed the questions below with additional information for all of our customers to review. If you have additional questions, please add them to the comments below and I will provide additional information.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a modern chat based workspace in Office 365 offering threaded and persistent chat for anyone working together. Instead of me quoting all of the great features of Microsoft Teams, please review the overview of Microsoft Teams here along with the embedded video. This is truly an evolution in collaboration tools, demonstrated by the popularity of Microsoft Teams being used by 125,000 organizations in less than six months since its launch.
What is the plan for Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft is taking the capabilities of Skype for Business and combining them with Microsoft Teams for a fully collaborative, single client experience (reference). Referenced from the Microsoft Teams Faq Journey site, “Microsoft has no current plans to schedule upgrades for enterprise customers. Customers can choose to move to Microsoft Teams as the capabilities meet their business needs.” For customers who wish to continue using Skype for Business Server and a hybrid model, a refreshed server version is planned for release in the second half of 2018. For a demonstration of the many new features coming in Microsoft Teams as well as great information of how Microsoft Skype for Business and Teams will work together, the upcoming administration center, the roll-out features of Microsoft Teams to Skype for Business users, etc. please review the entire announcement video from Microsoft Ignite 2017. Additionally, a new site was launched at Microsoft Ignite that contains a wealth of information on this topic. https://aka.ms/skypeandteams
When will a user in Microsoft Teams and a user in Microsoft Skype for Business be able to communicate within the same Office 365 tenant?
Also announced at Microsoft Ignite, universal presence, messaging and calling between clients is being introduced. This information as well as additional information is available here.
When will the Microsoft Government Community Cloud (GCC) offer Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is on the roadmap to be offered in the Government Community Cloud and will be available after the proper compliance has been achieved. For the latest information on the Office 365 roadmap, review this link. As of September 27, 2017, below is the latest information from the site:
Although most of my time at Microsoft Ignite was working with our many fantastic customers and partners, I was able to attend several interesting sessions about Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business that I recommend below. These videos, along with the links above, are especially informative for readers looking for more information about Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Skype for Business announcements.
Microsoft 365: Transform your communications with Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business
Session Description: https://myignite.microsoft.com/sessions/56548?source=schedule
View: Microsoft 365: Transform your communications with Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business
Skype for Business and the vision for Unified Communications
Session Description: https://myignite.microsoft.com/sessions/56565?source=schedule
View: Teams On Air: Ep 52 Skype for Business & the vision for unified communications
Note: I posted a blog about several Skype for Business futures videos released a few years ago in this link.
Migrating from your Avaya PBX to Skype for Business Voice
Session Description: https://myignite.microsoft.com/sessions/53570?source=schedule
View: Migrating from your Avaya PBX to Skype for Business Voice
Please add to this list of recommended sessions in the comment area below!
Below is a picture of me assisting our many great customers and partners at Microsoft Ignite 2017 using a 84″ Surface Hub!