Communications Blog • 4 MIN READ

Has Microsoft Teams Race for Feature Parity with Skype for Business reached the Finish Line?

Richard Smith

Written by Richard Smith

Since Microsoft announced that Teams would replace Skype for Business Online at Microsoft Ignite in September 2017, the race has been on for Teams to be feature comparable with Skype for Business Online. However, this race was always going to be more of a marathon and changes wouldn't happen over a short period of time. 10 months later, at Microsoft's key partner conference Microsoft Inspire, various officials stated that there was now feature parity between the two solutions; despite the official roadmap at the time suggesting there is still a little way to go. The online reaction from customers on the claim was mixed and seeking clarity on the roadmap. Microsoft committed to update its April roadmap by the end of July, which we have linked here.

Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams Roadmap

Microsoft divides the roadmap into 3 categories: Messaging, Meetings and Calling.

Microsoft Teams Messaging Roadmap

The Messaging roadmap had plenty of green ticks highlighting the features already released. The updated view (below) remains the same; but with several features within the Skype for Business interop and federation still to be made available to Government and Go Local (UK & India) tenant customers.

Source: Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams Capabilities Roadmap, July 31st, 2018.

Source: Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams Capabilities Roadmap, July 31st, 2018.

Microsoft Teams Meetings Roadmap

The Meetings roadmap had a much larger set of available features back in April and of the fifteen items scheduled for an end of Q2 CY18 delivery, only ‘Outlook meeting scheduler for OWA and mobile' remains outstanding (coming soon) and ‘Enable VTC interop services' is currently rolling out. ‘Outlook meeting scheduler for Mac' was added to the April list after publication and is currently in the process of also rolling out now.

Source: Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams Capabilities Roadmap, July 31st, 2018.

Microsoft Teams Calling Roadmap

Lastly, Calling Roadmap; probably the most critical to users. While Microsoft has delivered many features, there are still a few to be rolled out in CY18 Q2 and more in CY18 Q4. Of these, the nine features called out for delivery in Q2 were delivered. The question marks around Call Park, Group Call Pickup, Location-Based Routing [preview] and Shared Line Appearance that came up at the time of the parity announcement in July have been clarified, these remain as stated for delivery by the end of CY Q4.

Source: Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams Capabilities Roadmap, July 31st, 2018.

There is much to celebrate on the Microsoft Teams to Skype feature parity front but there is still a little way to go before they cross the finish line and fingers crossed, they won't encounter any hurdles.

Finally, as companies forge ahead with digital transformation initiatives, efficiently managed UCC environments are crucial to success, Nemertes Research* recommends customers evaluate and leverage performance management tools early in deployment planning to maximize operational cost savings.

So, as you work towards your goal of Digital Transformation in UCC, consider the actions you can take today with tools such as Prognosis to help you prepare for that migration. You can also keep pace with the latest Teams feature releases and news, via the Microsoft Teams Blog.

*Source: Optimal UCC Performance Vital to Digital Transformation Success Performance Management Tools Reduce Opex, Boost Adoption. Nemertes Research, 2017.

Topics: Communications Microsoft - Teams - Skype

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