Since Microsoft Teams has been introduced two years ago, the product has evolved in a reasonable way. Yet, there are still some difficulties to overcome with Microsoft Teams. There are many questions that need to be answered prior moving to Microsoft Teams when coming from Skype for Business.
Let’s say you are working for an international organization and you didn’t implement Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams yet, but the company needs a communication client to communicate with employees all around the world. Currently some departments within the organization are using different communication clients with potential employees, or are communicating with external clients with different tools.
Microsoft Teams seems to be THE tool, right? Possibly, I would say.
Depending on the requirements for your internal business it can be a problem. When you want to communicate with external parties, are you going to ask every external person to install Microsoft Teams? Even when it is not an External Client? I don’t believe so!
Currently, many organizations are using the Skype consumer client for external communication. Why? Because people are used to use Skype consumer everywhere around the world for communicating with potential new employees or external clients. And people are using it to communicate with friends and family around the world. It is easy to install, it is a lightweight product and it works on everything: from a simple tablet to phones and notebooks. It doesn’t consume a lot of bandwidth and it doesn’t need a lot of resources to operate smoothly. Next to that, it has persistent chat which stays available.
Are you going to ask a single person to install Microsoft Teams for just a one-hour call, and the hazzle that comes with it? Since not every person is handy with computers and software, you need to guide them with them. With Skype for Business you can communicate with Skype consumer, but it lacks many options that come with Microsoft Teams. Also, Microsoft decided that we need to move to Microsoft Teams, and Skype for Business will be deprecated.
But there is also an issue with Skype consumer version. You cannot use it in a very strict environment with Proxies. Skype consumer doesn’t like Proxies, and yes, in version 7 you can still use it, but in version 8 it isn’t possible to set a Proxy. And when you have configured a Proxy there is still no guarantee it will work.
So, let’s go back to Microsoft Teams. You would think that Microsoft Teams will support external communication with Skype consumer, since Skype for Business has it? Well, no! After investigating I found out that Microsoft rejected the implementation of integration with the Skype consumer version. The only part that Microsoft will introduce is the PSTN calling from Microsoft Teams to Skype Consumer, but not the ability to chat or send files.
Microsoft is limiting organizations to use Microsoft Teams with no possibility to communicate with external parties that don’t use this app. But nothing to say about the future, Microsoft is still learning from its own mistakes.
Yet there are no decent solutions for organizations who rely on communication with external parties when you are moving to Office 365 and Microsoft Teams. MS Teams is nice for internal communication and organizations who are using Microsoft Teams.