Meetings First brings Microsoft Teams meetings to Skype for Business Server customers

Published Aug 30 2019 09:01 AM 36.6K Views

Today we are pleased to announce the general availability of Meetings First for Microsoft Teams.   Designed for Skype for Business Server customers who want the innovative meetings experience available today in Teams, Meetings First is a configuration mode that allows organizations to continue to use Skype for Business Server for their chat and enterprise voice needs, but move their meetings workload to the cloud.  This blog post provides details on this new configuration, implementation considerations, capabilities it provides, and the value received from hosting your meetings in Teams.


Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams clientsSkype for Business and Microsoft Teams clients


What is Meetings First?

Meetings First is a not a product or feature of Teams, but rather a configuration that leverages capabilities and features of Skype for Business and Teams to provide a tailored coexistence experience.  In Meetings First, users schedule and meet in Teams while continuing to use Skype for Business for chat, calling, and presence.  There is no overlap of modalities between Teams and Skype for Business.  Chat, calling, and presence are on in Skype for Business and off in Teams. 


Who should consider Meetings First?

Meetings First was designed for organizations who require the enterprise voice workloads of Skype for Business Server but want a superior meetings experience with Microsoft Teams.  Any version of Skype for Business Server is supported, though more recent clients will have a better coexistence experience.  In addition, organizations need to be licensed for Teams, including Audio Conferencing if PSTN dial-in/dial-out functionality is required.


Capabilities in Meetings First

The Meetings First configuration brings together the following capabilities in Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business Server:

  • Meetings Migration Service: Meetings organized by the user will be migrated to the cloud and converted to Teams meetings as the user is promoted to Meetings First (requires Exchange Online).
  • Streamlined user experience in Teams, centered on Teams meetings and teams and channels (which can, optionally, be hidden using the App Permissions policy); Teams private chat, calling, and self-presence are not exposed in Meetings First, enabling the deployment and adoption effort to fully focus on meetings.
  • “Better Together” with Teams and Skype for Business:
    • Automatic hold: When in a meeting in Teams, getting in a call in Skype for Business will place the Teams meeting on hold, and vice-versa. This prevents users from having their private calls overheard by the meetings participants.
    • Presence reconciliation: Activity in Teams is reflected in the user’s presence, which is the Skype for Business presence since chat and calling are in Skype for Business. Specifically, when Meetings First users are in a Teams meeting, their presence will be updated to reflect that. When they present their screen, their presence will be updated to show Do Not Disturb (based on their settings in Skype for Business).
    • USB device HID control reconciliation: The HID controls are honored by Teams while in Teams meetings and by Skype for Business in all other circumstances.


Why host your meetings with Microsoft Teams?

Meetings are more crucial now than ever before and are very different than in days past.  With people spending nearly 80% of their time in collaborative work, meetings play an essential role in the way we connect.  Teams meetings bring people together to meet and collaborate in new ways. 

Leveraging the power of the Microsoft Cloud for security, AI and cognitive services, Teams transforms the entire meeting experience, bringing value before, during, and after a meeting.  And Teams meetings are infused with AI, making them more innovative and inclusive.  Whether offering insights, capturing action items, or transcribing meeting notes, AI in Teams aims to make your meetings more productive.


Get started today

We are pleased to offer our Skype for Business Server customers the opportunity to move their meetings workload to Teams.  For additional information on how to get started today, check out our Meetings First support article. 

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‎Jan 26 2021 01:05 PM
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