Many of us use Skype for Business Online in our daily interactions within our organization. It’s been a staple of remote and interconnected work since the software was introduced in 2015 and has become more prevalent with the need to work remotely in 2020.
Times are changing, though, and Microsoft Teams (Teams) is the logical cloud collaboration tool of choice when Skype for Business Online retires. Teams offers an integrated way of working together with hundreds of options. Now is the time to partner with Intrado to make sure your migration to Teams from Skype for Business Online brings the optimal benefits to your business and employees.
When Is This Happening?
On July 31, 2021, Skype for Business Online retires. This means it will no longer be accessible or supported, and businesses must migrate to another collaboration solution. Teams is the easiest solution. (Skype for Business Server customers will be supported until October 14, 2025, so they have a few more years to make the upgrade to their on-premises equipment.)
What Does This Mean for You?
This is the perfect opportunity to upgrade to Teams, where chat, meetings, calling, collaboration, app integration, and file storage are brought together into a single interface. Teams offers your organization an all-inclusive tool that streamlines the day-to-day interaction for enhanced business operations and efficiencies. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Audio conferencing: If you have third-party audio conferencing integrated with Skype for Business Online, you will no longer be able to use it once Skype for Business Online sunsets. Intrado's audio conferencing service will still be available to use as a standalone tool with no loss of service.
- Cloud voice strategy: While upgrading to Teams, develop your cloud voice strategy. Cloud telephony includes PBX functionality such as call recording and call forwarding, as well as access to cost-saving features such as virtual phone numbers. Cloud voice can integrate with your collaboration tools, contact center solution, and CRM technology while providing a clear path to the future with artificial intelligence, automated assistants, and more.
- External calling: Migrating to Teams will only enable you to make, receive, and divert internal calls. To make external calls through Teams, consider one of three calling options: Microsoft Phone System with Calling Plan, Phone System with Direct Routing, or Operator Connect—all of which are available through Intrado.
Where Do You Start?
Your upgrade journey will be unique to your organization based on your requirements and current competencies. Microsoft and Intrado are committed to helping you through the upgrade journey. Visit the handy Microsoft library to learn more about the importance of creating an upgrade framework, planning your upgrade journey, and implementing your upgrade. Here are a few things to remember:
- Stakeholders: To start, bring together the right stakeholders and define your upgrade plan in terms of scope, goals, and timeline. Obviously, there are numerous technical aspects to any upgrade that require a sequenced set of events based on your situation. You’ll also need to consider how you will engage your workforce in learning, adopting, and using Teams.
- Licenses: Do you have the right licenses in place to support your Teams requirements and different user types? Take this opportunity to perform a thorough license review. Microsoft licensing is complex, with hundreds of options that can be purchased in different ways. Intrado's License Advisory Service can take this burden off you and provide insight and recommendations on which licenses you should have. Companies typically save 10% to 20% and in some cases as much as 50% when Intrado carries out a Microsoft license review.
Scott Paul, Senior Director of Strategic Business Development at Intrado, recently discussed Microsoft licensing complexities with UC Today. Read Microsoft Licensing Is a Problem for all Businesses to learn more.
Who Can Assist?
Microsoft hosts complimentary live Teams upgrade planning workshops to help you pick the right path for success. Assisted upgrades are also available for eligible organizations making the transition prior to July 31, 2021. These upgrades reduce the number of technical tasks required of customers.
If you need a more hands-on approach to sifting through Teams options and making the move, Intrado is here to help your organization. Intrado's professional services help to ease the transition, which is especially helpful for those businesses that don’t have the skills, resources, or time to manage their own migration.
Our experienced team is ready to handle the complicated behind-the-scenes migration steps and tailor the process to your timeline and needs. Our hybrid approach allows businesses to integrate their existing on-premises infrastructure with cloud technology all at once or over time. This helps to protect and make the best use of your existing investment.
Intrado is a Microsoft Gold Partner.