Technical and deployment most common questions about Microsoft Teams
Skype Server is still a priority for Microsoft, in order to support advanced and complex use cases. Development on Skype Server 2019 will conclude at the end of 2018, though Server 2019 will be supported through at least 2029. Microsoft is encouraging Skype Server customers to upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2019 to leverage hybrid cloud voice services with Teams. Arkadin agrees with this recommendation; we want customers to be able to take advantage of Microsoft’s vision for Intelligent Communications and collaboration, which is focused within Teams.
Don’t fear! Based on the current Microsoft Roadmap, Skype Room Systems will integrate with Teams by mid-year. Your existing Skype-certified handsets, headsets, speakers and audio devices will work with Teams just fine.
Per the Microsoft roadmap, not all features available in Skype for Business are currently available in Teams, but they’re evolving rapidly. We estimate that there will be full parity between Teams and Skype for Business by the end of 2018. Recently added features in Teams include calling plans (U.S. only), voice call functionality (calling people outside Teams or Skype for Business, personalized voicemail greetings, the ability to transfer calls and more), as well as audio and web conferencing.
Most organizations in this situation are encouraged to deploy Skype for Business Voice now, and transition to Teams at a future date. Your time and efforts to do so will not be wasted. You can, of course, choose to wait until Teams voice functionality is fully available. Preview the Teams roadmap and confirm if and/or when the voice functionality you require will be available in Teams.
Teams benefits from centralized management, but administrators manage individual rights, preferences, and privileges. It’s the best of both worlds, in our opinion.
Microsoft has confirmed that there is no plan for further development of CCE (past version 2.0). There is a path for CCE clients looking to connect on-premise PBXs or deliver voice to hard-to-reach places with Skype for Business Online, through at least 2019-2020. Skype for Business Server 2019 will have a hybrid co-existence with Teams, which will support PBX coexistence and local call breakout via gateways. A new model for Skype for Business Online calling integration has been introduced that is an alternative to CCE for complex use cases. Without proper planning and on-staff expertise, digital transformation journeys may be knocked off-course or plagued with costly delays.