Interlink Cloud Blog
Aaron is a Senior Consultant at Interlink Cloud Advisors. His specialties include Microsoft unified communications and core infrastructure solutions: Lync Server Enterprise Voice with full PBX integration AudioCodes/NET VoIP media gateways OCS 2007 Exchange Office 365 Active Directory Windows Server Teams  
Aaron Seals

New Ways to Empower & Connect Your Firstline Workers with Microsoft Teams

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Microsoft Teams has introduced three new ways to help organizations grow by improving the way their firstline workers become digitally connected.

Are your firstline workers valued, connected and empowered in your organization? If not, that may be the factor holding your company back from further annual growth. Firstline workers are people who work in service or task-oriented roles across a variety of industries such as retail, hospitality or manufacturing. Empowering these workers with the digital tools and platforms they need to serve customers, share information and improve productivity creates competitive advantage. Studies have shown that organizations that empower their firstline workers receive huge benefits. Firstline workers consist of more than two billion people worldwide but they are often overlooked in the majority of organizations. However, according to this Forbes & Microsoft Insights study, when firstline workers are given full technology capabilities, greater autonomy and higher levels of information sharing, the company is three times more likely to be a high-growth company. More than 80% of companies see higher levels of customer satisfaction and higher levels of job satisfaction among employees when their firstline workers are digitally connected.

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Aaron Seals

Microsoft Teams is Replacing Skype for Business - Are you Ready?

Microsoft-Teams-Replacing-Skype-for-Business

There’s a major shift coming up for companies using Skype for Business, and whether they’re ready or not, Microsoft Teams will be taking over. There has been a lot of improvement since Teams first rolled out, and Microsoft announced they would be phasing out Skype. The roadmap for this integration is complete, and Teams is now the go-to solution for collaboration services. However, we know that with this big shift companies will inevitably have questions and concerns.  What is the future for Skype? Can the two tools coexist? What does this transition mean in terms of licensing? Not to fear—Interlink is here to guide you through the transition and answer any questions you may have. Here are some common questions and concerns that we’ve seen.

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Aaron Seals

Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams Parity – True or False?

skype-for-business-microsoft-teams

Are you currently using Skype for Business and skeptical about a move to Microsoft Teams? You aren’t alone. Ever since Teams was released, there has been a huge push for feature parity between the two technologies due to concern that Teams will lack the same capabilities.

It’s been just over a year since the Teams launch, and Microsoft claims to have reached a true parity with Skype for Business (SfB). In the Microsoft July Update, Microsoft stated that most features minus a few Enterprise Voice features are still pending on the roadmap. However, upon close inspection, several native features are now referred out to 3rd party solutions (e.g. Whiteboard).

According to reviews and our Interlink experts, there is not a true parity between the two – yet. Teams has recently added a few key elements from Skype Online, that had previously been missing:

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Aaron Seals

Microsoft Teams | Improve Productivity & Enhance Communication (with Infographic)

microsoft-teams-infographic

Connect. Communicate. Collaborate.

That’s what it comes down to in today’s hectic working environment with more mobile workers and remote teams. You need to get more done and you have less time in which to do it. Increasingly, you need the cooperation and input from fellow employees who could be located anywhere in the world. Getting together can be difficult in a tangled environment of disparate applications, platforms, and communication options.

Microsoft simplifies the chaos with Microsoft Teams, the collaboration solution that consolidates applications and communications in one place. Teams makes it easy to:

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Aaron Seals

New Skype Teams Application Promises to Pick Up the Slack!

New Skype Teams Application Promises to Pick Up the Slack!

Microsoft is reportedly going one-on-one with Slack...

and the outcome is looking promising for both dedicated Slack and Microsoft users.

With Slack recently announcing the addition of video and voice chat to its team messaging and content management platform, Microsoft appears to already have put in motion the development of a new messaging application, Skype Teams.

Microsoft plans to use the existing features of Skype for Business to provide additional value for large and small teams, newsrooms, and other organizations that need the ability to communicate efficiently and share files. Migrating Slack users will be able to harness the existing powerful features of Skype along with the new channel messaging functionality Skype Teams will offer.


According to MSPowerUser, Skype Teams will include all of the tools Slack users are familiar with, including:

  • Dedicated team channels
  • Private messaging groups
  • Cross channel and private channel file sharing


However, the real value added by Skype Teams is how Microsoft plans to build on top of the existing Skype platform. One of the coolest new potential features is the addition of Threaded Conversations. With the simple click of a “reply” button, Skype Teams users will be able to respond to a conversation. Slack currently does not offer this to its user base.

Users will also be able to start voice and video chats within shared and private channels.

In May, Microsoft released an overhauled, mobile-friendly version of its existing content and document management platform, SharePoint. Microsoft SharePoint offers individuals, teams, and organizations the same content management tools as Slack.

Though Microsoft has not officially announced Skype Teams as part of its Microsoft Office services suite, if rumors are true, the additions to the already widely used Skype will be welcomed by those seeking a more functional group communications platform.

Skype Teams is shaping up to be a messaging app that makes content management and organizational collaboration a more efficient process than competitors offer. And as always, expect seamless integration with other Microsoft Office apps.


Want to learn more?

We can help you figure out which collaboration tools you should use when! We may also have more information that we can share, but only if you have a Microsoft Non-disclosure Agreement in place. 

Contact Interlink to learn more about Skype Teams.  

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