How to Integrate Skype and Teams?

Skype is one of the most popular telecommunications software that came into existence in 2003. Over the years, it enabled millions of people and businesses around the globe make free voice and video calls. As of March 2020, as many as 100 million people are using it on a monthly basis.

After acquiring Skype Communications in 2011, Microsoft started phasing out Windows Live Messenger and Lync and introduced Skype for Business in 2015. Skype for Business combined the features of the personal or consumer Skype application with those on Lync. In the meanwhile, consumer Skype continued to be offered as a standalone solution. To promote interoperability, Microsoft introduced a feature in Skype for Business that allowed users on the platform to interact with commercial Skype users.

In September 2019, Microsoft started replacing Microsoft Teams with Office 365 in place of Skype for Business. While Microsoft Teams is decidedly an improvement over Skype for Business, it lacked the interoperability with Skype. While Microsoft Teams adoption has increased significantly, many users, continue to use Skype. Consequently, Microsoft has made it possible for Teams users to interact with those on Skype. This blog will teach you how to integrate Skype and Teams to make that possible.

What Happens When Teams and Skype Are Integrated?

When you integrate Teams with Skype, users on both platforms can search for each other using email addresses and can start communications via chats and calls.

  • Skype and Teams users will be able to one on one conversations. The group chat feature is not enabled in this mode of communication.
  • Additionally, users cannot see each other’s presence.
  • Users can participate in text-only conversations. These conversations will not display emojis and other rich formatting chat features that are natively available on Teams.
  • Users can engage in audio and video calls across both platforms.
  • Skype for Business users who have upgraded to Teams and using the Teams only mode will be able to communicate with Skype users on Teams. However, those Teams users that are using the application in the islands mode will be able to take chats and calls from Skype users on Skype for Business.
  • Users of both Teams and Skype can start conversations using any device including desktops and mobiles.

What Happens During Teams Skype Conversations?

When a Skype user initiates a chat, the Teams user gets a notification stating that they have a message from a Skype user. The Teams user can choose to “Accept” and participate in a call or chat with the Skype user, “Block” the conversation, or “View messages” to decide whether the conversation has to be accepted or blocked.
Skype users have the choice of disabling their availability in search results for conversations.

How Can Microsoft Teams and Skype Communication Be Enabled?

The ability to enable conversations between Microsoft Teams and Skype users can be changed from external access settings. It must be noted that this feature is enabled by default for new tenants.

If you are using the Microsoft Teams Admin Center, this option can be changed by turning on the Users can communicate with Skype users option from External access in Org-wide settings.

Alternatively, you can use PowerShell cmdlets. These not only can help you control the ability of Teams users to connect with Skype users but also allow admins to enable or disable audio and video calls.

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