A report earlier this month suggested Microsoft will integrate its Skype for Business tool into Microsoft Teams. We understand the transition would be staged, starting with an opt-in for Skype for Business users. It seems Microsoft is preparing for the first stage with a new preview feature in Teams.
Skype for Business Technical Consultant Jeff Brown found a feature and blogged about it yesterday. He says there is a Skype for Business dial-in number that is in public preview.
Meeting descriptions now have the conferencing feature labelled “Join by Phone”. This section has a dial-in number and conference ID information. Joining a Microsoft Teams Meeting through PSTN, a user will be identified by their phone number.
“The dial-in conferencing is a welcome feature and only goes to show that Microsoft Teams is rapidly taking on Skype for Business features,” Brown says. “One noticeable feature missing from meetings is the ability to dial-out or the “call me at” feature to dial out to a phone.”
Brown says the feature is in public preview. We are working on corroborating that, but certainly Microsoft has made no official announcement.
Of course, the company’s Ignite conference gets underway next week. The event is expected to serve as Microsoft platform to discuss Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams integration. The dial-in preview is probably going to be on the agenda at the conference.
At the moment, the potential folding of Skype for Business into Microsoft Teams is a rumor. However, it makes sense for Microsoft to have to similar services operate as one.
Since launching Teams a year ago, Microsoft has attempted to separate it and Skype for Business. It has been a tactic that was often hard to pull off. Many features and abilities on both services overlap, so merging them together is not a big surprise.
By integrating the two services, Microsoft could dominate the workplace communication industry. Last year, we reported on a survey by IT network Spiceworks that found Skype for Business is comfortably in the lead, followed by Google Hangouts and Slack.