Business messaging has come a long way since the Google Wave experiment. The demo for Google Wave promised to be somewhere between email and chat. It was a hybrid system that allowed teams to stay in constant communication and see conversation history. But Google’s vision didn’t work out.
It did, however, show the professional world that there is a better way to communicate than endless email chains. Google Wave paved the way for future communication platforms like Slack.
Slack’s multi-billion-dollar valuation has turned workplace chat into a must-have. It turns out providing effective communication tools for teams, especially remote or telecommuting teams, is worth a lot to businesses. Now, the professional world is full of options for workplace collaboration. Do you use Hangouts or Hipchat? Slack or Skype? Yammer or Voxer?
The question is even more confusing when the same company offers multiple chat solutions. (Google is notorious for this – just this year, it launched Allo and Duo to compete with its own Hangouts and Google Messenger apps. That’s four apps from the same company!)
Since Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype, many have wondered how Skype for Business would be integrated into the suite of Office products. Surprisingly, Microsoft did not simply build new functionality into Skype for Business. Instead, the company launched a new product, Microsoft Teams. This new application is positioned as a closer competitor to Slack.
You may be wondering if your organization needs to use yet another chat application. You might also wonder how to integrate Microsoft Teams into your workflow. Should it replace Skype team chat? Or should it be used as a separate solution? How can your team gain maximum usability from each solution?
Learn which communication system makes sense for your business. Contact us online, or give us a call at 240.348.5208.
Here’s what Microsoft Teams means for Skype for Business and when you should use each to maximize productivity.
How and When Skype for Business Chat Should Be Used
Skype has always been a communication tool. From video chat to instant messaging functionality, the core of Skype for Business is enabling communication between team members.
Skype’s communication tends to be urgent. A face-to-face video chat or VOIP call requires both parties to participate at the same time. Though it has instant messaging capabilities, navigating old messages isn’t as seamless as Microsoft Teams. Skype integration with third-party apps isn’t as strong, either. However, there’s no substitute for Skype’s excellent video chat abilities.
How and When to Use Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams has only been available for a month, but it’s already receiving plenty of attention. Rather than trying to awkwardly integrate Slack into Office 365 apps, you can make team chat a central part of your workflow.
Microsoft Teams, like Slack, is a persistent searchable chat application. This means you can easily go back and find previous conversations from days or even weeks ago. Do you remember a co-worker saying something about an upcoming project, but you weren’t quite sure what it was? With Microsoft Teams, you can easily search your chat history, and connected documents, to find relevant information.
This makes Microsoft Teams an ideal solution for collaborative work. If your team frequently shares the same documents, collaborates through conversation, and works together in different time zones or schedules, Microsoft Teams could be a great addition to your virtual workspace.
Teams vs. Skype: Your Team is Different, So There Isn’t a One-Size-Fits-All Communication Solution
Which communication platform you use depends entirely on how your team works. Do you prefer brief, face-to-face meetings before getting to work? Then, Skype for Business might be the solution.
But if your team prefers quick check-in’s and persistent, ongoing conversations (especially about information that isn’t time-sensitive), then Microsoft Teams would probably be the best fit.
Ultimately, it’s not so much a matter of which tool your team uses, it’s a matter of how well you use the tool. If your team functions well with one solution over another, then use the solution that works.
If you still feel a little unsure of how Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business could help your organization, we can help. Portal Solutions is experienced at creating custom deployments for new software solutions like Teams and helping organizations like yours understand the changing ecosystem.
Contact us today, and we will help you understand how to leverage both Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business in a way that’s right for you.
Still not convinced that Skype or Microsoft Teams is the best option? Check out Microsoft’s new enterprise social network, Yammer.