When people think of the term of video conferencing before COVID-19 hit, the first thing that came to mind was Skype.  This has been an institution in and of itself, with not only businesses, but literally millions upon millions of people worldwide depending upon this platform to communicate with family and friends for virtually pennies on the dollar.

But as time passed, other video conferencing platforms came into the forefront, most notably Microsoft Teams.  Because of this, Skype has now reached the end of its useful life, and will soon be terminated, and thus, no longer in use.

This article addresses the top four concerns of this event, in an effort to help you get prepared to migrate to your new video conferencing platform.

The Top Four Questions That Are Asked & Answered

1. When is the official end date for Skype?

There has been a lot of confusion about this, but the official termination date for Skype is now set for July 31, 2021.  After this, the entire platform will cease to work, as well as any add-ons that you may have used with it.  Also, it will no longer be supported.  But don’t wait until the last minute to move to your next video conferencing solution.  Microsoft Teams is the most logical replacement, and you can start using this new platform with just a flip of the switch, as illustrated below:

By taking this step now, all calls and meeting reminders will be automatically transferred to Teams.

2. What is so special about Microsoft Teams versus Skype?

The bottom line is that Teams has a lot more to offer than Skype.  It has been transformed into a one stop communications shop for the remote workforce of today and can be accessed from one single point in your M365 account.  Also, Teams integrates with a wide number of third-party apps, which Skype was not able to achieve during its lifetime.  A listing of these apps can be seen here.

3. How can the transition to Teams be fully achieved?

Going from Skype to Teams is nothing like an entire On Premises migration to Azure.  The technology is actually in existence from within each end user’s M365 account, but the IT Department of your company should confirm first that each and every employee that needs it actually resides in their account. Although the technical transition is extremely easy, it is the psychological transition that could take some time.  After all, humans are creatures of habit, and moving from one thing to a newer one could face some serious resistance at first.  In order to help out with this process, Microsoft has provided a template that you can use, as well as a series of training videos that are available on demand for your employees. Don’t wait until July 31st 2021, to do all of this, it is absolutely imperative that you start now.

4. Is it possible to use Skype and Teams side by side?

In an effort to help ready your employees for the full usage of Teams, Microsoft has also created the functionality to let the end user use Skype and Teams at the same time, so that they can get used to the latter.  For example, as your employee navigates through Skype, the same actions will be mirrored in Teams simultaneously, on a real time basis.  There are two options for enabling this particular functionality:

  • Overlapping Capacities: This is where the two platforms are mirrored (as just described);
  • Select Capabilities: The employee can learn certain parts of Teams that are relevant to their daily work objectives, while using Skype at the same time to finish other job tasks before the End of Life (EOL) actually happens.

Conclusions

Although there may be some resistance to using Microsoft Teams at first by your employees, according to a study conducted by Forrester:

  • Your company should realize an increase of 8 hours of more productivity per week.
  • Businesses that are 5,000+ and up in terms of employee size, will witness gains of up to $27.1 million over a three-year time span.

(SOURCE:  2).

Also, keep in mind that you are not alone in this process, we are available to help you out as well.

Sources