The New Features Roadmap as Skype for Business Merges with Microsoft Teams

Ross MacKenzie
Tags: Microsoft Microsoft Teams

At September’s Ignite event in Florida, Microsoft announced that Skype for Business and Skype were to be gradually phased out and absorbed into Microsoft Teams. For the time being both products will run in parallel but more and more capabilities will be brought into Teams until, as the Borg once said in Star Trek, assimilation is complete.

Some Skype for Business features are already available in Teams while others are due to be introduced over the rest of this year and 2018. The dates are subject to change but, based upon information released by Microsoft, this guide tells you when you can reasonably expect some of the more important Skype for Business features to reach Teams…

Messaging features

A number of messaging features are already present in Teams, including Persistent 1:1 and Group Conversations and Team + Channels for Teams Productivity.

All messaging additions are expected to be complete by the end of Q1 next year. These will include the ability to Hide/Share/Mute Chat, Federated Chat between Teams and Skype for Business, Contact Groups, Unified Presence, Skype for Business Interop with Persistent Chat and the ability to Import Contacts from Skype for Business.

Meetings features

Again, a number of Skype features are already present in Teams, including Schedule in Outlook & Teams, the ability to have 80 users in a meeting and Audio Conferencing, which is in preview.

A number of other features will be introduced by the end of this year, including Anonymous Join, Mute Other Participants, Application Sharing and Give and Take Control in sharing. The Audio Conferencing will be available in more than 90 countries.

More features will be introduced by the end of Q2 2018, including Broadcast Meetings, Cloud Recording, Federated Meetings and Large Meeting Support. PowerPoint Load and Share and Whiteboard and Meeting Notes will also be introduced from Skype’s collaborative meetings features.

Calling features

Many calling capabilities are due to be brought into Teams by the end of this year. These include standard Skype for Business features such as Hold, Multi-call Handling, Call Forwarding and Caller ID Masking, Simultaneous Ringing, Speed Dial, Suggested Contacts, Call Blocking and Voicemail. 12c Existing Calling Plan Support will be enabled and Windows, Mac, Edge, iOS and Android devices will all be supported.

By the end of Q2 next year, a number of additional calling features are also expected to have been brought into Teams. These include Call Queues, Consultative & Safe Transfer, Boss and Delegate Support, Do not Disturb breakthrough, Forward to Group, Distinctive Ring, Organizational Auto-Attendant, Transfer to PSTN Call and Hybrid connection to Teams.

1:1 to Group Call Escalation will be introduced for Teams, Skype for Business, and PSTN participants. A number of support options will also be introduced, including Out of Office Support and Call Support between Teams and Skype Consumers.

By the end of 2018, the final calling-related features should have been introduced. These are Shared Line Appearance, Call Park, Group Call Pickup and Location-Based Routing.

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