Hello readers. Nice to see you. Hope you’re well.
This is just a quick opinion piece to elicit some debate.
Given that Microsoft has announced that all of the features of Skype for Business Online in Office 365, including telephony features of Phone System (formerly Cloud PBX) and Audio Conferencing, are coming to Teams. I ask, would you use the Teams client for telephony if you could?
The answer for me is less simple since I use Skype for Business Server on-premises. But the question still stands.
I really like the simplicity of the Skype for Business client. There isn’t much to look at in the client itself. Unless you have Persistent Chat, there’s no reason to stay in the Skype for Business client for very long. It’s an application you go to to start a communication.
Once you do start a dialogue, the conversation window pops out of the client as a self contained entity. The conversation window has all of the buttons for controlling or changing that single conversation. Start with IM and escalate as you see fit, adding voice, video, people and content with the click of the mouse.
Since the conversation window floats above the client, I’m free to go back to the client and start a new, separate conversation and put the two side by side if I wish. One with voice and video and the other with IM only.
If I turn off tabbed conversations I can fill my screen with conversations in tiles if I want.
Teams, by comparison, is containerised. Everything happens inside the application rather than floating above it in a separate conversation window. You can still initiate a chat and escalate to voice/video, add people and share your screen in that conversation, but if you want to have another conversation at the same time, you have to click away from the first one and into another one.
Teams does currently have a nice little party piece in that if you do click away from a voice/video call, you get a little peek window at the top showing the video for the active speaker with call controls floating over the top.
UPDATE: Microsoft rose to the challenge and delivered everything they said they would and more. Have a look here – https://ucstatus.com/2019/03/07/microsoft-teams-the-unstoppable-juggernaut/
Back to the original question.
Me again. I couldn’t resist tinkering when I found this ‘old’ post. I have changed my answer in a big way. I’ve been using Teams for telephony for a few months now and it is fair to say that I absolutely love it. I still like the relative simplicity of the Skype for Business client, but there is supposedly a compact view coming for the Teams client that could address that.
I wrote here for Practical 365 that “The biggest difference between Skype for Business and Teams is you, the user.” And I agree with that statement. Teams has grown up a lot since I wrote this post and as I used it more and it got more useful, I came to appreciate the differences and improvements.
My answer = YES
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