Skype for business will be discontinued – here’s why that’s a good thing
The end of Skype for Business will help you simplify sales, improve collaboration, support digital transformation and offer a fresh approach to non-cloud users. But let’s take a moment to make one thing clear. Skype won’t vanish overnight.
What exactly will happen next?
Of Microsoft’s four main collaboration tools – Skype for Business, Sharepoint, Yammer and Teams – it has decided that Teams is the most suitable tool to amalgamate all the functions. While not all tools will end, plug-ins will make the change as easy as possible.
Like many discontinuations, Skype for Business’ withdrawal will take time. Firstly, you’ll no longer be able to buy it. Then, it will close down. This gives you plenty of time to make the most of the opportunity Microsoft Teams presents.
Microsoft Teams is on your side
Teams lets users work together and share information easily in the workplace, making it a great addition to any partner's portfolio.
As a business expands, team communications can become tangled and unmanageable with endless emails, conversations and texts. This is where Microsoft Teams excels. It keeps everyone posted on what’s going on across all departments with centralised communication. It also offers peace of mind with modern security and compliance features and, because the tool is built on Office 365, it delivers the advanced capabilities customers expect.
Teams boasts a mobile app, ideal for remote operations. The tool also integrates easily with some of the web services customers commonly use, such as Hootsuite and Survey Monkey. Of course, it also integrates seamlessly with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Office apps.
Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration
To collaborate effectively, the first step is for everyone to use the same tool, managing multiple applications only creates complication.
As for digital transformation, you may feel pressured to advise on the best approach. But with one unified collaboration tool, you can simplify what you sell and provide a clear answer to the collaboration conundrum, because it’s easier to manage and pay for one application.
Why not start by asking what your customers can remove first? They might be able to remove their file transfer subscription and take away their instant messaging tool. Microsoft Teams can then unify it all in one place.
Confidently open the cloud conversation
In our experience, partners can find opening the cloud conversation difficult because the end user finds it daunting. Plus, sometimes the link between products such as Teams and Office 365 isn’t made – so the end user might not think they are a cloud user when they are!
Begin by identifying any existing communication problems the team has. Communication is central to all businesses, so they’re going to have some challenges. Then, explain how Teams will alleviate the issues.
Teams is simple to grasp and its link to the cloud is clear. What’s more, the tool is cost effective. Business Essentials on Office 365 is just £3.80 per user per month*. As if that wasn’t enough, Microsoft is offering it to Office 365 subscribers without any additional charges.
Look forward to further sales opportunities
Microsoft has said 200,000 organisations are now using Teams, across 181 markets and 29 languages^. Promoting the adoption and benefits of Teams to your customers could be the approach you need to sell cloud to non-users.
By conveying the importance and benefits of simplified collaboration, you can quickly educate customers to pull in more cloud products, starting them on the cloud journey.
Not only will you have the chance to increase attach sales, you’ll be able to establish yourself as a trusted cloud partner – building a deep relationship that lasts.
Don’t wait until the bitter end, act now
Skype for Business might have a couple of years left, but the time to act is now. Tell your customers what’s happening in case they don’t already know and open the conversation about what they’re going to do next.
By adopting Teams sooner rather than later, it’ll give their people time to adapt. It’ll help them start collaborating more effectively and it’ll set you up as the go-to for anything cloud-related.
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*Price correct at the time of this article’s publication