Beginning October 1, 2018, Microsoft began converting Office 365 accounts to Microsoft Teams.
For most organizations out there, adopting Teams won’t be a huge deal. Well, it’ll be a deal because it’s a significant interface change. However, there are some organizations out there that rely on certain features that Teams just doesn’t have yet.
Unfortunately, we have not yet reached true feature parity between hosted Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. Call queue agents cannot answer calls from a desk phone if they are in a full Teams environment. The calling client is missing several features many have grown used to in Skype for Business. We don’t have Skype’s Better Together over Ethernet (BToE) which allows management of desk phone and call queues from the app.
Aside from lack of featureset, the other problem we face is getting phones Teams ready. All the mainstream Microsoft voice phone vendors have not yet rolled out many Microsoft certified phones (we expect we’ll see more starting in March this year). Some phones can work in a Teams environment to a degree but won’t experience full functionality. Existing Skype-certified phones will only work in Gateway functionality mode.
Change is painful, as always. But for some, being forced to adopt Teams now may present some serious challenges. We figured out that there is a chance that you can petition Microsoft to roll you back to hosted Skype for Business. Here’s what we did for a client:
We logged into the Office 365 console and opened a ticket with Microsoft.
A week later we got this message. Looks like great news, right?
Except when we logged into the tenant, we saw this:
We put another ticket in to Microsoft who subsequently informed us that although the service has been rolled back, it has not propagated through all of their systems. This took another week to finally complete. After one more call to Microsoft support, we were informed that the client was fully converted back to Islands, the hybrid mode we need for Skype phones to work with call queues.
In a few months we expect many of the challenges we are experiencing with Teams will be remedied, the features will be there, and there will be plenty of Teams-ready devices! Until then, let us know if you want us to help you with your Teams environment.