Skype was purchased by Microsoft in 2011 for $8.5B, and the company announced in 2015 that it would replace its Lync unified communications product.  In March of 2016, Microsoft was considering the purchase of chat-based Slack for $8B, but its founder Bill Gates felt that they should be improving on its Skype for Business product. On March 14th, 2017 two years ago, their own chat-based Microsoft Teams was launched with very close ties to Skype for Business and Microsoft’s objective for Intelligent Communications:

“Intelligent communications delivers immersive experiences that help organizations boost productivity. People can work more efficiently across teams and stay connected wherever they are, on any device. You can make the most of this opportunity by offering integrated messaging, calling, and meeting solutions built on Microsoft 365.” – Microsoft

A little over a year later, Microsoft announced that 200,000 organizations were using Microsoft Teams. By September of 2018, that number was up to 329,000. That number could now be well north of 400,000 in March of 2019, especially as it has officially become interoperable with Skype for Business in Q1 of 2019, and new launches of Skype are discouraged by Microsoft. As these Skype for Business organizations transition to Teams, the adoption numbers will continue to blossom.

Microsoft Teams has become an integral part of Resolute IT. Each of our clients maintains an RIT Support Team within their own Office 365 tenant, while I am a guest member of each of these Teams. We can chat back and forth, or we can begin an ad hoc meeting where I might share my desktop or vice versa.

And now, we’re pleased to say that Resolute IT has moved to the full-fledged capability of Microsoft Teams as a business telephone system, so we can place or receive phone calls over the public switched telephone network (PSTN) using only internet access and Voice over IP (VoIP). And it doesn’t matter whether we’re using an Android phone, an iPad, a Mac or a Windows PC as a device; and it makes no difference whether we remain within the confines of the office – or not.

The nature and beauty of Microsoft Office 365 is that it is cloud-based. There are no geographic boundaries – you can be anywhere with internet access and be virtually down the hall from your office.

And like the cloud-based service itself, support for Office 365 (or other plans such as Microsoft 365 Business) can happen from anywhere. As long as we have internet access, we can communicate with you and remediate your devices and services without having to spin our wheels – this is quite a ‘green’ business model.

Remote tools are plentiful these days, many of them available for free. As a rule, we try to maintain three different remote methods as three layers of backup for remote remediation. If one isn’t working, then another will. These little remote programs run in the background – or not – sometimes people prefer to start an ad hoc session.

And it isn’t only about remote control. Over the next few years, you’ll see that our primary support method will take its form in Microsoft Teams. Not only can we chat by text through Teams, but we can initiate an impromptu meeting with audio (and video as an option). And during such a meeting, you can share your desktop (circled icon above) on one monitor, two monitors, or you can share an application that you are running on your computer, such as Outlook or your line-of-business application.

With Microsoft Teams, there will be no reason to use a conventional telephone, cellphone, or even email, although both phone and email systems will be around for a long time – Skype for Business, the enterprise telephone system for Unified Communications, is now deprecated as a service and Microsoft Teams will become the default client for its new Intelligent Communications. Look for a not-too-distant announcement from us about Phone System and Calling Plan becoming our new voice solution as an integral piece of our Microsoft 365 tenant.