I just noticed Microsoft is
(1) retiring Skype for businesss July 2021 for existing clients and effective immediately for new one and
(2) making Teams a default part of O365
My initial thoughts:
Skype for Business was both difficult to use and frequently did not work properly. My previous firm was a MS development partner so SFB was a free application that we tried to use but eventually moved on from. It’s tough to give up a free tool but this just did not work as expected - complex and unreliable. So while it wasn’t really a strong competitor its disappearance is another possible boost for ZOOM.
I’d think that by adding TEAMs to its default roster of apps within 0365 it has just become harder for Slack to win new deals in companies solidly behind 0365.
Great observations! The writing was on the wall when Microsoft gave the following guidance that acknowledged redundancy, “By default, users can run Teams alongside Skype for Business as two separate solutions that deliver similar and overlapping capabilities such as presence, chat, calling, and meetings.” Thus, they are cannibalizing an unnecessary appendage, and clearly have some confidence that their new solution will be good enough to retain those customers. [I agree 100% that Skype for Business was/is terrible, even regular Skype works better IMHO].
I’m more worried that the description of Teams as having “presence, chat, calling, and meetings” significantly overlaps the goals that Zoom’s CEO has spoken of, basically minimizing the effects of distance on business. I haven’t yet used Teams yet but it sounds like it’s time to start doing some research.
I will miss SFB, I am on the phone most of the day on meetings and that’s what I use. We have both SFB and teams, and somehow, I like SFB better than teams. But with teams, you can have chats, files collaboration, etc. I think, it will be very difficult for ZM to compete with MSFT teams at enterprise level. MSFT has deep presence with their office suite.
ZM price has too much expectation build into. It will be interesting to see whether they can come anywhere closer to that.
Really… my companies have been using Skype for … 10 years? 8 years? It’s been an incredibly reliable video & audio conferencing service, at least for internal company networks (>10K user base).
It was itself a big step forward in interstate (and global) teams communication. We’ve only started scratching the surface of Teams. Onward!