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Hallo Teams, Goodbye Skype?

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Tony Redmond
MVP

Interesting development today... https://www.petri.com/goodbye-skype-business-hello-teams  What will we hear about at Ignite?

39 Replies
Looks like this has been confirmed through the Message Center. Here we go!
this brings up SO many questions. Looking forward to ignite.
Clearly Microsoft has been wrongfooted by an early leak. Now, a clear positioning announcement is needed - well before Ignite. A Q&A will be a good start. Let's hope poor communications doesn't prevail here.

Thanks John for the MC heads up!  This is surely not that way MS would have planned to do it, with the self-inflicted leak! 

 

While I am somewhat surprised by the whole thing, I think this is ultimately a good thing, some consolation was in order with the feature overlap and which tool was best etc, this should ultimately help if done right. It's sure going to be interesting.

Major screwup by MS.

It would be nice if the link to "additional information" in the Message Center actually brought you to a page where some information was available...

Yes, the bad "additional info" link is just one of several problems with that message center notice. Is this SfB Online only? How do we opt-in? What "action" is required to be done today a year from now? (post-dating for exactly one year caused confusion with at least one user!)

Looks like a long lead in for this transition as action seems to be required by September 7, 2018, which might be the last date that a tenant can switchover.

MessageCenterTeams.jpg

The action is by September 7, 2018, a year from now.

 

Everything about this situation indicates a product team scrambling to react to the leak caused by a graphic slipping out into the wild earlier today. It's yet another indication of how difficult it is to control all the moving parts within Office 365.

I think I would have chosen the Office 365 Roadmap or the Office Blog over the Message Center as a platform to announce this though. Sure they were tripped up by themselves but might have recovered with more dignity.

It's disappeared from the Message center now, like we didn't notice but hopefully, better comms are being put together right now.  

The story gets better and better...

Absolutely, let's pretend that didn't happen :)

Tagging here @Kady Dundas

Get the right person on the job and that's @Suphatra Rufo!

@John Wynne wrote:
Absolutely, let's pretend that didn't happen :)

I wonder what can we realistically expect before Ignite? Now the cats out of the bag, I think a lot of detail has to be forthcoming, there will be a lot of frustrated customers out there otherwise that need to know what's going on.  Wait for Ignite isn't going to cut it now I think?

Haha thanks John. PR doesn't like Suphatra these days -- they nearly chopped my head off for my UserVoice updates about Guest Access. Don't worry, I'm still advocating for you guys -- I put in some new updates today! And by the way, I don't manage this forum -- my colleague Laurie Pottmeyer does. So if you don't hear from me here, that's why.

Now that the cat is well and truly out of the proverbial bag, maybe Microsoft could get ahead of the game and provide a briefing on what the path forward is for Skype for Business and how Teams plays in the transition.. There are many ideas as to what might happen, but it would be nice to have some definitive guidance...

Another case of a major code change making it all the way to customer prod tenants by mistake? This is an alarming trend.

And it is flagged as "Prevent or fix issues"! There is so much more to this than just the simple prevention of issues. We're trying to keep people together by not offering them too many options for places to collaborate, but if this means that Skype for Business is replaced entirely, then we're forced to offer yet another one. I mean, free stuff is great, just not when it causes confusion among our users about where to collaborate, how to do it, etc. As Jason Benway says, this raises a lot of questions, chief among them for us being, how this pertains to Office 365 Groups which we haven't enabled either at this point. We want to be able to control group memberships through Active Directory - and only open up for self service at a later stage. If Teams is enabled, this creates a "Shadow IT" situation, where users can start to create collaborative forums outside of our existing intranet. I realize that I sound like a sour old man! But I am trying to speak for our users, who in large part are not very technical and would feel a bit overwhelmed by this. Worst case, we might even be forced to unassign Skype for Business licenses before to global rollout.
Seems like a tiny glitch on their end. Let's just hope an official statement is being made, so we can prepare ourselves and our clients to help them the best way possible.
Hi @Laurie Pottmeyer my understanding is that you manage this community. It would be useful for Microsoft to clarify matters here and through the numerous other market channels available. Mistakes happen but how organisations recover often defines them. I am sure this incident has upset some well laid PR plans but a clear and simple Q&A article might reset matters until the formal launch. Silence doesn't cut it because it leads to speculation which is unnecessarily damaging. Thanks!

Given it's 17 days until Ignite, I'm sure we'll know soon. In the meantime ... https://medium.com/@smcollier/dont-panic-about-unannounced-office-365-updates-8c6c243f8daa

All good points Steven but when one of the biggest changes in Office 365, for a while at least, gets leaked by Microsoft themselves and it all goes rather quiet afterwards, it's not reassuring.  There are just too many questions that need answering sooner rather than later.  Keeping customers in the dark, however this happened, now we know has to be acknowledged.   

 

It's not ideal but if we have to wait until Ignite, that's damaging I think, to some extent anyway.  Let's get some clarity today, even if it's only the basics, so customers minds can be put at rest and we can look forward to Ignite even more. 

@Allan With SørensenTeams is built upon Groups, if you implemement the controls to limit the creation of groups to specific groups of users, your are also limiting the creation of Teams. Change is happening in Office 365 all the time, if you delay the introduction of incremental features each of them grow and by the point you introduce them they feel massive.

 

 

I agree with your points Steven but though this might appear as impatient kids waiting for Christmas that's not the case. Beyond this specific issue is how Microsoft responds to situations.

 

As you yourself mention, Office 365 is in a state of constant change. This requires Microsoft too to be agile with their PR and acknowledge, for the right reasons, what's happening even if it's embarrassing.

 

This is not a spoiler for a Hollywood blockbuster, it's the day to day of running of businesses and stakeholders having to manage Shadow IT and the general rumour mill.

Why do you need answers today @Cian Allner? Is it really likely that an additional 2 weeks of knowledge will be essential for this scale of change. Previous experience would be that there's plenty of time and information when sizeable changes are made. Since Teams was lauched various blogs have queried the overlap between the two products in terms of meetings, presence and IM capabilities, and Team uservoice is awash with request for Teams to work like Skype.

 

In the past Microsoft used to announce their roadmap and strategy pretty much before they built anything, I remeber lots of time spent talking about how we would react to new plans to then find they didn't actually make it into product, anyone else get the briefing on 'Longhorn' about 18 months before Vista shipped. So now they build things first, and tell us when they are ready for us to preview, seems to work much better.

Not to keep going on about it, as I'd rather wait until we have something concrete to discuss but Microsoft brought this into the public domain, accidentally or not and now we don't know what is going on.  I think it's reasonable, under the circumstances to hope for some additional information, however basic, there was that MC post after all, however short lived.  Some customers will have heard the news and not know what to make of it, what do we tell them in the meantime, wait for Ignite, like the last 24 hours didn't happen? Either way, let's wait for some actual news.

 

My (public) view on the issue:

 

The Teams-SfB Fiasco and What Might Happen Next
On September 7, Microsoft inflicted a PR fiasco on themselves by leaking the imminent replacement of Skype for Business by Teams. But what does this really mean? I think we will see a Teams-lite client replace the current SfB client with a formal announcement at Ignite. Although the leak was bad, some goodness does exist in what might happen.
https://www.petri.com/teams-sfb-fiasco


@Tony Redmond wrote:

My (public) view on the issue:

 

The Teams-SfB Fiasco and What Might Happen Next
On September 7, Microsoft inflicted a PR fiasco on themselves by leaking the imminent replacement of Skype for Business by Teams. But what does this really mean? I think we will see a Teams-lite client replace the current SfB client with a formal announcement at Ignite. Although the leak was bad, some goodness does exist in what might happen.
https://www.petri.com/teams-sfb-fiasco


Creating a single chat client for Office 365 by ending the current duopoly of Teams and Skype for Business is a good thing. The interoperation between the two clients is not seamless in terms of status and chatting. It is also easier for both users and tenants if only a single client exists.

Try three - you forgot about the stepchild "Yammer Chat" :)

Given the numbers that use Yammer chat, I am comfortable with leaving them to use that client.

If you're using Office 365 and not using Groups yet, well, that's really swimming upstream at this point.

 

Merging Teams and SfB would reduce one workload for some customers, like us.

The "chat" feature in Yammer already has a different UI now, and is positioned as Private Messages.


@Allan With Sørensen wrote:
And it is flagged as "Prevent or fix issues"! There is so much more to this than just the simple prevention of issues. We're trying to keep people together by not offering them too many options for places to collaborate, but if this means that Skype for Business is replaced entirely, then we're forced to offer yet another one. I mean, free stuff is great, just not when it causes confusion among our users about where to collaborate, how to do it, etc. As Jason Benway says, this raises a lot of questions, chief among them for us being, how this pertains to Office 365 Groups which we haven't enabled either at this point. We want to be able to control group memberships through Active Directory - and only open up for self service at a later stage. If Teams is enabled, this creates a "Shadow IT" situation, where users can start to create collaborative forums outside of our existing intranet. I realize that I sound like a sour old man! But I am trying to speak for our users, who in large part are not very technical and would feel a bit overwhelmed by this. Worst case, we might even be forced to unassign Skype for Business licenses before to global rollout.

As I tried to explain in https://www.petri.com/teams-sfb-fiasco, I think that Microsoft will simply swap the existing Skype client for a lightweight Teams client that does not require Groups to be deployed. It seems like this is the simplest and easiest route for them to take. In any case, you can already control Group creation very easily and manage them reasonably effectively from that point using tools like the expiration policy to remove unused groups (and teams). See https://www.petri.com/group-expiration-policy-preview.

 

But then again, I don't have the information about what Microsoft is planning and we shall have to wait and see what's announced at Ignite.

Yammer seems to be more and more the **bleep** child of Office 365 (apologies if I offend anyone) as it becomes increasingly detached from the mainstream. Five years after its acquisition, Yammer still lacks enterprise search, compliance functionality, and is barely connected with Office 365. Having its own private chat is just another example of detachment.

Sure, that would make sense and also take care of our worry.

We have already disabled creation of groups except a few people, and I was worried that rolling out Teams instead of SfB would overrule that setting.

Yammer is getting SfB chat according to the road map, so one would have to assume that becomes Teams as well.

I am also curious about connecting with normal Skype users. Today this does not work ideally. But if it is true that Teams and Skype was built on the same backend architecture, then perhaps it will finally work as it should? One can only hope.

Regarding the lack of information, then it might have been a mistake, but when people start to see it show up in the news section of the office 365 administration portal then I think they ought to get out in front of all the rumors and say something. At least to the tune of "relax people, we won't do any harm... more news will come at Ignite." So yes, I guess we will have to wait until Ignite to see.

>Yammer is getting SfB chat

This probably isn't going to be what you think it is. Yammer team did a lot of work transitioning away from "chat now" in the UI and making it a Private Message UI. And of course, who knows at all now that SFB becomes Teams.

This is the feature I meant:
https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office-365-roadmap?filters=yammer#yammer&featureid=14805

Turns out I remembered it slightly wrong. It doesn't mention chat, but is about audio/video.

I am guessing, that since Skype and Teams are already sort of compatible, whatever integration Yammer makes will also prepare it for Teams or Teams Lite if such a thing will exist. But it will be interesting to see how Microsoft decides to handle the whole transition... if such a transition is coming.

Have you noticed that there are at least 4 or 5 Ignite sessions that ends with something like in/for Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams?