Skype for Business: The Final Countdown
When Skype was initially released 17 years ago, it became one of the primary channels we used to get in touch with our friends and relatives. The main advantage of Skype was that you could call, share files, and exchange messages with people around the globe without having anything more than a stable internet connection.
Skype was a great solution for growing teams scattered around the world, too! However, now, as we live in an increasingly remote world many found the Skype we loved and used for so many years lacking.
The functionality needed for bigger businesses was added with the creation of Skype for Business, which had all the standard features we were used to, but also came with an advanced functionality aimed at business communication.
Good things don’t last forever!
… because greater ones are stepping in place.
The departure of Skype for Business didn’t come as a shock. Its shutdown was announced almost four years ago, simultaneously with the appearance of Microsoft Teams. However, many had their hopes high up until the final announcement. The announcement also confirmed the information that the server edition of the platform would continue to be supported until 2025.
Why did we love using Skype for Business?
Skype for Business combined different ways of communication into one single platform. That way, employees could use several communication apps through a single interface, through different devices, and in multiple locations.
Skype for Business brought a wide array of benefits, including its integration with Office 365 which allowed us, for instance, to remind our coworkers about the meetings by using Outlook. Furthermore, this app made collaboration much easier since it allowed users to share presentations via the PowerPoint app, browse attendees, mute and/or block anyone, and use virtual whiteboards teams can use during brainstorming sessions.
What’s the difference between Skype and Microsoft Teams?
If you’re saddened by the departure of Skype for Business, you might be wondering which communication app your team should use next. Somehow, Microsoft Teams seems to be the obvious choice. If it was proclaimed the winner over Skype Business, there might be a few things that help this app earn its prize.
But, how similar are Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business? Will users lose something by switching to Microsoft Teams? Probably not. In fact, they’re more likely to gain much.
The main point was that Skype for Business was always considered as video calls and chat app – not the app that will meet the team’s collaboration needs to the fullest. However, the switch to Microsoft Teams opens up new possibilities, with features aimed to improve team collaboration through different chats meant for different projects. Furthermore, the team’s collaboration is improved since there’s a possibility of real-time collaboration through Microsoft Office documents.
The improvement, compared to Slack for Business, hides in an ever-growing list of Microsoft apps such as Lists, Forms, To-Do, or Whiteboard. There are also plenty of integrations with Microsoft Teams that make workdays much easier such as Asana, Zoom, or Vacation Tracker.
Should we feel sad about the loss of Skype for Business?
In our opinion, definitely not.
Skype was a useful tool for many years. However, the team’s needs (especially with the increase in remote work) have changed and many are desperately looking for a better and more robust solution that will be able to cover several aspects of a business.
With Microsoft Teams, we’ll be able to choose from a wide array of tools that can help us scale up our business including:
- Vacation Tracker. Leave management is one of the most dreaded tasks of any HR manager. Luckily, with Vacation Tracker organizations can automate their leave tracking and let it run on autopilot. With this app, organizations can choose among 9+ different leave types and customize them according to their needs. Via its intuitive dashboard, managers can easily see their staff’s availability, avoid employee overlapping and burnout.
- Asana. Asana is a great task-management tool that helps businesses easily streamline their operations. With it, teams can easily create, assign and track tasks that need to be done, ensuring the team’s productivity remains intact.
- Givitas. Givitas is an app that helps employees ask for help in the most efficient way. It allows employees to get easy access to collective knowledge in the workplace by making it easier to find and unlock data. What’s more, employees can even ask for help from other experts around the globe, helping them fix complex problems quickly.
With all of this being said, we see the obvious benefits Microsoft Teams has over Skype for Business. Instead of lamenting over the sad end of this app, we can get pumped up about the wide variety of benefits that are waiting for us with a switch to Microsoft Teams.
A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.