Earlier this year Microsoft announced that Skype for Business Online would no longer be available by July 2021, thereby encouraging the solution’s users to migrate to Microsoft Teams.
Since its release in 2017 as part of the Office 365 suite, Microsoft has been adding new capabilities to Teams to create a single hub for teamwork that brings together conversations, meetings, files, Office apps, and third-party integrations.
Just two years after its launch, the solution is being used by over 20 million users on a daily basis. But why has it gained such success?
One very simple reason is that it is part of the Office 365 suite and so companies who have an existing Office 365 Business Premium and E3 subscription can use it free of charge.
Another reason for its success is that it provides an intuitive workspace with flexible tools and a wide range of customisation and integration options that enable employees to communicate and collaborate in a more productive way. The chat-based interface and the conversational nature of collaboration makes it much easier and compelling for team members to participate in decision making than via e-mail.
Teams can also bring significant financial benefits to the organisations using it. In April, Microsoft and Forrester Consulting conducted a study to quantify the economic impact of Teams. The results showed that for a standard 5,000-user organisation, there were cost benefits of around US$27.1 million.
Skype for Business and Teams are used for different purposes, but to achieve high user adoption and realise all the benefits, companies should plan their Teams upgrade with care, considering change management from a technical and human perspective.
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Gustavo Perez-Lopez is the head of AI at communications firm Geomant
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