#1 Alternative to Skype for Business
December 10th, 2020 | 4 min. read
If you’re a Skype for Business user, you’re probably aware that Skype for Business will be discontinued at the end of July 2021. Today, communication is vital to all businesses, so it’s crucial that businesses find an adequate alternative that meets their communicative needs in order to keep their businesses running efficiently.
What to Look for in Alternate Communications System
When looking for a comparable solution to Skype for Business, the following features must be addressed:
- Cross-platform collaboration including Windows, Android, iOS, or Mac
- Integration with Outlook & calendars
- Syncing across devices (mobile, desktop)
- Video and voice calling options
- Adequate security
These are a few of the biggest features that accompany Skype for Business. Because it is being discontinued in a few months, many businesses are looking for the top Skype for Business alternatives. One option is Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams: The Best Alternative to Skype for Business
As businesses look for an alternative to Skype for Business, one option that has been consistently discussed is Microsoft Teams. As companies start to think about the process of moving from Skype for Business to another platform, it is important to take a deep dive into MS Teams and figure out why so many businesses are touting this as the top alternative to Skype for Business.
What Is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a platform that has been designed to streamline all communication processes that take place at work. MS Teams comes complete with a wide variety of features that are designed to make it easier to communicate with business partners, colleagues, and employees. This includes document storage, meeting rooms, chat streams, and more. Microsoft Teams has been designed to make it easier to communicate during the course of the day. Furthermore, it is possible to use Microsoft Teams to replace Skype for Business thanks to the numerous features that this platform provides.
What Are the Main Features of Microsoft Teams
There are a number of major features that make Microsoft Teams the top alternative to Skype for Business. These features include:
- Office 365 Integration: Microsoft Teams is able to integrate easily with Office 365. This is perfect for anyone who is already using Office 365 programs such as Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. Microsoft Teams fully integrates with all of these programs, allowing companies to transition without having to miss a beat.
- Conversation Channels: It is easy for businesses to use Microsoft Teams to dedicate channels to certain topics. This makes it easier to keep conversations on point. Channels can be separated by topic and by participants, allowing users to find exactly what they are looking for with ease. There is even a Conversion tab that shows up in the Microsoft Teams General Channel: With the General Channel, employees can find just about anything they need to contribute to whatever channel they require. There is also a Files tab that allows businesses to share files with ease as well.
- Real-time Collaboration: Finally, it is also possible for businesses to communicate live in real-time, speeding up the pace with which tasks get accomplished. This is particularly helpful for those who are moving from Skype for Business, as the presence of persistent chat ensures that this transition happens smoothly.
- Access Across Devices: Teams allows you to collaborate or answer a teammate’s question on the go with the Microsoft Team’s mobile app.
- Convenient Video Calling Feature: Video conferencing can take place directly though Microsoft Teams. Employees can make one-on-one calls or hold a call with entire chat groups.
- Direct Access to Email, OneDrive, and more: Microsoft teams allows businesses to access Office 365 applications from one location, making for more efficient operations. Files can be accessed in OneDrive and SharePoint.
- Easy Third-Party Integration: Third party apps like Asana and Zendesk can be easily integrated with Microsoft teams, giving businesses the ability to tailor the platform to their specific needs.
Because Microsoft Teams also allows businesses to access this platform across all or their devices, it is easy to see why so many companies have already started making the move from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.
A Comparison of MS Teams vs Skype for Business
In order for businesses to decide if moving from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams is really the right move, it is important to take a look at a few of the main areas of comparison. These include:
- Persistent Chat: As alluded to above, both Skype for Business and MS Teams use real-time chat. This means that there is no interruption during the course of the day and fewer unproductive phone calls. Even the chat history is MS Teams is familiar to Skype for Business users. When you log in to MS Teams, their chat from the day before will remain, which makes MS Teams more efficient than Skype for Business.
- Team Messaging: MS Teams can be used to segment information into a desired topic. Teams can be set up for individual customers, projects, and departments. This makes it easier for businesses to keep track of what is going on. This is another feature that will be familiar to Skype for Business users.
- Meetings: Many of the meeting features in MS Teams resemble those of Skype for Business. This includes screen sharing, file uploads, and call recording, making the switch from Skype for Business to MS Teams seamless. At the same time, MS Teams does have some added features as well, including background blur, customized backgrounds, live captions, and whiteboard masking.
The Top Factors to Consider When Moving From Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams
When businesses are making the switch from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams, it is important to remember that Microsoft Teams is not just a replacement for Skype. Microsoft Teams is a messaging and collaboration platform. Therefore, to truly take advantage of everything that Microsoft Teams has to offer, it is important to have an open mind and use the new features as well.
Microsoft Teams comes with a ton of new functions that have been touched on briefly in this article; however, every company is different. Therefore, companies have to figure out how to use these advanced features to best meet their needs. It is possible to use Microsoft Teams to segment communications without impacting the flow. This means that it is easier to keep track of topics without making it harder to communicate.
When it comes to the physical process of moving from Skype to Microsoft Teams, it is a good idea to set up a few teams that have been specifically designed to help with the rollout. This could include setting up a separate team for general questions, infrastructure questions, and help desk issues. While companies should expect there to be some learning curve when moving from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams, the process as a whole should be relatively straightforward. The ease of this move is another reason why Microsoft Teams is the top alternative to Skype for Business.