Are your colleagues still using Skype but you’re using Microsoft Teams? It’s annoying having to switch between apps just to stay in touch, isn’t it?
In this post, we look at all the ways you can contact Skype users from Microsoft Teams. We start off with the chat experience then move onto video meetings.
As there are a few different variations of Skype (and Microsoft Teams), we’ve split this post into sections. Hopefully, this makes your life easier!
Before we jump in, let’s address the terminology we’ll be using.
By Skype, we refer to consumer Skype.
By Skype for Business, we refer to the business-grade tool.
When using Microsoft Teams, most of the practices in the post are applicable across the board. We will call out anything specific. For example, Microsoft Teams Rooms.
Included in this post:
- Microsoft Teams chats with Skype for Business
- Microsoft Teams chats with Skype
- Can you link Skype and Teams status?
- Join Teams meetings from Skype
- Join Teams meetings from Skype for Business
- Join Skype for Business meetings from Teams
Microsoft Teams chats with Skype for Business
If you use Microsoft Teams but your colleagues or external contractors are using Skype for Business, you need to chat with them without flipping back to Skype for Business each time.
When you rolled out Microsoft Teams, you likely decommissioned Skype for Business and uninstalled from everyone’s machine.
Failure to connect Microsoft Teams to Skype for Business on the outside world means your teams are probably sending requests to install it again or they are resorting back to email for what should be a real-time chat.
You have several options to connect Microsoft Teams chat with Skype for Business:
- Side by side mode (Islands mode): ideal because you can chat with users of both platforms. But, it does mean you need to have both platforms open all day long.
- Native interoperability: for one-to-one chat and calling, users can stay in Skype for Business and chat with Teams users.
Skype for Business and Teams Islands mode
To set up Islands mode for your whole organisation, open the Microsoft Teams Admin Centre.
In the Microsoft Teams admin center, in the left navigation, go to Org-wide settings > Teams upgrade.
- Navigate to Teams upgrade
- Choose Coexistence mode
- Set Islands so your users can use both Skype for Business and Teams side by side
To set up Islands mode on a per-user basis, open the Microsoft Teams Admin Centre.
- Navigate to Users
- Select the user(s) you need to enable Islands mode for
- On the Account tab, click Edit, under the Teams upgrade option
- Choose Islands
If you need to change this user back to the org-wide settings for your business, follow the same process and change Islands back to Org-wide settings.
Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams native interop
To set up native interoperability between Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, open the Microsoft Teams Admin Centre.
- In the left-hand navigation panel, go to Org-wide settings then External access.
- Turn on the Users can communicate with other Skype for Business and Teams users setting.
Microsoft Teams chats with Skype
To ensure you can receive Skype messages in Teams, you can turn on external access from Microsoft Teams to Skype.
Remember, this setting is for consumer Skype. For Skype for Business chats, scroll up to the previous section.
Here’s how to connect Microsoft Teams chat with Skype:
- Open the Microsoft Teams Admin Centre
- In the left-hand navigation panel, choose Org-wide settings
- Choose external access
- Toggle on Users can communicate with Skype users
Can you link Skype and Teams status?
If using Skype or Teams for real-time communications, your presence or status is crucial. Without knowing if your colleague or external contact is online, you could waste time sending messages they don’t see.
This feature, named Unified Presence, was a popular request on Teams User Voice - the platform where you can request features direct to the Microsoft Teams product team.
In May 2018, Microsoft confirmed this was available for users of Skype for Business Online.
“Unified Presence between Teams and Skype for Business – Presence states for users (i.e. available, busy or in a call) will now be aggregated between Teams and Skype for Business. This ensures that a user has a single presence state regardless of the app and the device they use. For this functionality, the underlying Skype for Business account that is connected to the Teams user needs to be hosted in Skype for Business online.”
With consumer Skype, as of November 2020, it’s not possible to link your status with Microsoft Teams. Tony Redmond, Principal of Tony Redmond & Associates and author of Office 365 for IT Pros, suggests this is likely due to
Skype users not belonging to an organisation therefore the chance of spam is high.
Join Teams meetings from Skype
If you’re a Skype user and you get a meeting invite for Microsoft Teams, you two options:
- Join the meeting from Teams
- Configure the Skype Meetings App to work with Teams
Join the meeting from Teams
Joining a Teams meeting is easy even when you’re not a Teams user.
When you receive a meeting invite, a link to join the Teams meeting is included.
When you click this link, you will be asked how you wish to join the meeting:
Here, you can download the app if you don’t have it. You will need a Microsoft Teams account for this.
You can use the Microsoft Teams web app by clicking continue on this browser. With this option, you can join the Teams meeting as a guest without needing a Teams account.
You will need to enter your name and choose your audio and video settings.
When you click Join Now, the meeting host can let you into the Teams meeting.
Configure the Skype Meetings App to work with Teams
As of November 2020, there is no way to join a Microsoft Teams meeting direct from consumer Skype.
While the name suggests consumer Skype, the Skype Meetings app is only applicable to Skype for Business.
By configuring the Skype Meetings App to work with Teams, you can join Teams meetings from a Skype for Business client.
Join Teams meetings from Skype for Business
If you’re a Skype for Business user and receive a Teams meeting invite, you can also use the guest entry method.
But, if you’re part of the same organisation, it makes sense to join using Skype for Business. All your details are stored on the Microsoft back-end and administered so other meeting attendees know who you are.
The joining process also becomes a lot more straight-forward each time you join a meeting.
The alternative to joining as a guest is to configure the Skype Meetings App to work with Teams.
Skype Meetings App with Teams
Before you configure the Skype Meetings App, there are some known limitations that Microsoft as published:
- Users can’t change their video device so you won’t be able to swap between webcams.
- When a user is upgraded to Teams, if the user is the Skype Meetings App and receives a call on Teams, the meeting in Skype Meetings App is not placed on hold. The user is connected to both calls.
Neither of these limitations is desirable.
Luckily, there is another way (without the confusion).
With OneMeeting, you can join a Teams meeting without leaving Skype for Business.
OneMeeting allows instant integration between any video conferencing system and Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business meetings.
You could be using Skype for Business at home on your laptop or even in a meeting room with video conferencing equipment like Poly, Cisco, or Lifesize.
Gone are the integration issues, scheduling problems, and awkward user experiences as you try (and fail) to join Teams meetings from Skype for Business.
Join Skype for Business meeting from Teams
When you use Microsoft Teams for meetings and you get an invite for a Skype for Business meeting, you want to use Teams, right?
The alternative is to have both installed to cater to different contacts. And that’s just unproductive. While 91% of businesses have more than one app, switching between them loses context and interrupts your working day.
With OneMeeting, you can join a Skype for Business meeting without leaving Microsoft Teams.
What’s more, you can join any video meeting without leaving Microsoft Teams. OneMeeting supports all video conferencing platforms.
So, next time you receive an invite for any of these platforms, you can join using Microsoft Teams:
- Skype for Business
- Google Meet
- Cisco Webex
When you install OneMeeting, you get a single one-touch meeting join experience. This means any users can join a Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams meeting - regardless of their preference.
Whether you’re joining a meeting on the move, at home, or from a meeting room, OneMeeting allows you to just join the meeting.
There's no switching or downloading apps. No cables. No calls to IT.
Are you ready to leave behind disparate systems and unnecessary admin?