Ignite Live Blogging: Ask the Unified Communications Experts at Microsoft


Today's session is an open mic discussion which will be driven by questions from the audience. There has been some confusion during the conference, and during my time in the booth at the Expo floor, one of the most asked questions was: Is Skype being replaced by Teams?


I think we will be reminded about the strategy I have written about in my  previous two blog posts from  other sessions. Teams is a new tool, Skype for Business Online is not going away. Skype for Business functionality will be brought into Teams, and sometime down the road, it will be so feature rich it will make sense to move all your communication to Teams. Skype for business on-premises will have at least one more version (vNext 2019), including a renewed lifecycle support. But even if Teams does not have all of Skype's features yet, start using Teams for all the other great features on collaboration.


Here are some of the questions and answers during the session


Q: Translation features: What do we have, what is coming

A: It is not available in Skype for Business or Teams. It is on the roadmap for Teams. SFB Meeting Broadcast has it


Q: Trusted application, what's the story for Teams

A: Microsoft is working on that. There are some API's already, Graph and bots are examples of that.


Q: Will there be a solution that will support all kind of 3 party devices and other meeting solutions?

A: Interop is a continueing story. There are no current interop roadmaps targeting integrations not already in place with Skype. But there will be more APIs available over time, and this will be an opportunity for others to use.


Q: What about PSTN calling and SFB certified devices

A: The sfbo calling features are coming. Specific updates can be found on the Office roadmap in October


Q: What about migrating contacts and groups from Skype consumer, and what about e-discovery options.

A: Importing Skype consumer contacts is not on the roadmap, but look out for possible APIs down the road.

A: E-discovery is available (exch dependency) for chats, but meetings are under development.


Q: Where are the data stored

A: Chat is stored in the region where the tenant is. Files in SharePoint is stored in the location where you have your SharePoint set up, can be in different countries. For apps, there is a different story, this will depend on each specific application.


Q: How to best adopt Teams? We have just started using SFB and SharePoint

A: Start playing with Teams, start afresh, and over time start migrating the masses.  Refer to successwithteams.com for planning and adoption guidance


Q: How can I monitor data and usage?

A: Use existing capabilities in the underlying infrastructure.  Look for additional reporting and troubleshooting tools to be a part of the new Modern Administration experience. 


Q: How set in stone is the 2019 roadmap for on-premises

A: What was announced here at ignite is confirmed.  Individual features may be adjusted over time but support will continue for the product for ten years. 


Q: Can I  control what guests can do and cannot do

A: There are controls for this, but think about the experience for these guests. The point of this tool is to collaborate. Restricting this will force user away to other tools.


Q: What about troubleshooting tools. CQD is the place where you can get data after the call is completed. We need live reporting

A: There are improvements under considerations regarding this.  There are also 3rd party tools currently available on the market as well as Microsoft IT developed tools on GitHub


Q: Hybrid and CCE, is there a support for this

A: No


Q: Licensing, what is the story here.

A: Teams core collaboration & communications features are included in E1 and higher. Skype for Business calling plans and features are add on's for Teams as well.  


Q: Will there be a way to for me to direct a sip-trunk to the cloud, instead of using Hybrid or CCE

A: We recognize the need, but not at this time. 


Q: Is there a migrate plan for SFB on-premises, directly to Teams or to migrate meetings

A: We are looking into both scenarios. 


Q: We're an organization with all of our solutions on-premises, but we're looking to the cloud. With all the migration required, it will take too long until we're ready. Do you have any advice?

A: If you are an on-premises customer, all you have to do is to synchronize your users to the cloud and turn the Teams on. No need to wait for other migrations to be performed first. If your mailbox is on prem you will not see calendar functionality in Teams.  All the other capabilities will work as long as you enable OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. 


Q: Is Team meeting going to be able to invite outsiders

A: Anonymous join and other guest access methods are in the works.  This will be announced in our October roadmap update.


Q: Is there a Linux client?

A: We don't have it on the roadmap, but we're hearing the feedback.


Q: We want Teams, but we're in a governmental cloud. When can I use Teams

A: We will roll out in in these tenants, look for an announcement.


My own summary

There is a lot of buzz regarding Teams, and a lot of customers wants to start using the tool right away. Today the team was asked some good and detailed questions on specific concerns. It is really great to hear this feedback, as the team can bring this with them in further development of Teams. The message stays the same. Teams is out there, start using the features already deployed, and move the other workloads when the time is right and both you and the product is ready for it. Teams is going to be a continuing story, where new features will be released as soon as they are ready.

One of the important things to remember is that Teams is not just another presence, chat and calling application. It is a collaboration space where so much more can be done, and by bringing Skype features into Teams this all becomes a natural part of the workflow of workers.



Please follow the sites http://aka.ms/ignitesfbblog and http://aka.ms/igniteteamsblog for more insight from me and my fellow MVPs throughout the week.

If you want to hear more from me, you can find my personal blog at http://uc.lawedo.net, or follow me on twitter for more unformal updates @lawedo

And please engage in the community. Now question is to short nor to long. We are all here to help each other, and not just for Ignite. The techcommunity is the place to ask questions and have them answered. It's also the place where you can contribute with your own experience and answers.