Skype for Business is gone (part 1)

Microsoft has/had a sometimes loved sometimes hated unified communication platform called many things through the years, currently Skype for Business. It had its own evolution and was renamed many times, as almost any other product from Microsoft. But finally, a new service called Microsoft Teams emerged, which has taken over the unified communication, and collaboration domain.

What if Microsoft Teams is too much?

There could be some businesses, or some limited use cases where the functionalities of Skype for Business were enough, and everything else is unnecessary or even could create a risk for a corporation, and in these cases Microsoft Teams could be in fact too much. I don't have any specifics, but I assume these use cases could exist.

So, imagine that some administrators, somewhere on the planet, were asked to figure out how can Microsoft Teams offer the same benefits as Skype for Business did, but without providing anything else. Technically, we're talking about Skype for Business Online, which is the cloud version of Skype for Business Server. Or it was, before Microsoft retired the Online version at the end of July 2021.

How to restrict Microsoft Teams

In case you're still here, let's see what we can disable, restrict, or hide from Microsoft Teams to transform it back to the service level of Skype for Business, but with a better-looking user interface.

We could have started with the comparation of the two products, but never mind. Let's approach this situation from looking at Skype for Business. What did Skype for Business offer to us? We had instant messaging, meetings, and calling capabilities with occasional screen sharing.

Let's disable everything else in Microsoft Teams:

  • Chat base workplace, A.K.A. teams, or Microsoft Teams teams (Sic!),
  • Memes and gifs,
  • Apps,
  • Integration with 3rd party services,
  • Guest accounts.

If we don't want to let our users to send files, or have a chat history we could also:

  • Disable the use of OneDrive, this is where the files sent in a conversation are stored,
  • Set up a retention policy to delete the messages from the chat history.

This was part 1. In part 2 (expected to come out next weekend), we'll have a look at the actual settings to limit the functionality of Microsoft Teams.

David Sass

David Sass

David is a highly skilled SharePoint Guy who is focusing on Automation, Compliance, Security, Operational Excellence, Quality Assurance and hacking the unexpected out of the technology stack.
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