As noted in the What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2020 blog, we recently started rolling out Teams and Skype Inter/Op. Today we are happy to share the roll out is complete – Teams users can now chat and call millions of Skype users around the world.
We know there is a large ecosystem of small and medium businesses using Skype as their collaboration tool. Many of our Microsoft 365 customers value being able to do business with this ecosystem. Scenarios such as securely communicating with vendors, suppliers, contractors, project managers and HR interviews are just some of the reasons why this is important. Usage is growing with thousands of messages being sent every day.
Remote workers using Teams will also be pleased to know we support this on a variety of devices: mobile (Android and iOS), Web, Windows, and Mac. For an optimal Skype experience, we recommend version 8.58 and later. We also are targeting support for Teams Phones by the end of June.
Let’s understand the capabilities that are supported.
Teams Users searching for Skype Users
It starts with Teams or Skype users wanting to collaborate together directly. Teams users can invite a Skype colleague by using the search bar or simply start a chat. The Skype user then accepts the request and both users can chat, call or share video. Alternatively, the Skype user can also block the request if they so choose.
Skype users searching for Teams users Skype users can reach out to collaborate by sending a request. The Teams user is warned this is an external user and then they can accept or block. Admins can also block at the tenant level – see below for more information.
Chatting, Audio, and Video
Once users are connected – they can easily chat back and forth. It is encrypted at rest and in transit so both parties can securely communicate. Today simple text is supported but we are looking at enhancing that based on feedback. And it’s easy to add audio and/or video to the chat for a full collaborative calling experience.
Easily Managed by Users and Admins
Individual Teams users can easily block any requests with a simple right-click. This lets them control which Skype users they will collaborate with.
Teams Administrators can also easily control usage at the tenant level. A single switch can be set to off and block all Skype users from communicating with tenant users. And for admins who prefer PowerShell this is easy to configure as well.
If you have Teams deployed in your organization and need to provide access to Skype users, please give it a try. It's easy to use and support. Be sure to read our documentation for it here. We would love to hear your use case for it – post a comment below.