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Stop, collaborate, and listen: Microsoft Teams gets an Atlassian glisten

Forget Skype for Business, we have Jira and Confluence integration

Microsoft has given its collaborative platform, Teams, some Atlassian affection this week while dropping another subtle hint to Skype for Business users that it is time to stop putting off that migration.

Atlassian, responsible for the likes of Jira and Trello, hopped into bed with Teams arch-rival Slack back in July 2018. The Australian outfit pumped equity investment into Slack and, in return, the hipster chat platform took on Atlassian's own communication tools, Stride and Hipchat.

Microsoft, however, is more than happy to overlook Atlassian's dalliances with the competition and enjoys integration with Jira Cloud, Bitbucket Cloud and Confluence Cloud in its collaboration and communication product. Jira Server has now been added to the list.

Setting the thing up is simple, and requires no third-party layers to allow Teams users to have all that Jira Server incident-tracking goodness. The connector will fire out notifications when Jira Issues are created or updated, requiring just the Jira Admin to configure the thing.

The Atlassian love doesn't stop there, however. Microsoft has also updated the Confluence Cloud integration for Teams.

Confluence is a document collaboration tool, and the tweak allows Teams users to pin a Confluence page in a Teams channel and create a Confluence child page from it. The thinking is that this child page might contain a write-up of a meeting or notes from yet another interminable scrum session, which can be saved within the Teams Confluence tab rather than having to lurch into another application.

Confluence blog posts can also be created.

With all that collaborative fun on offer, one might almost wonder why Microsoft doesn't simply buy Atlassian and be done with it. After all, what's a market cap of $22+bn between friends?

Skype for Business gets 'Upgraded' into oblivion?

Teams is very much the new shiny at Microsoft. Skype for Business? A tad old and busted. With that in mind, the software giant has made "Upgrade to Teams-Only mode" available for all tenants. And when they say "upgrade" some might read "destroy Skype with fire".

Of course, Microsoft suggests that users run Teams and Skype for Business in parallel for a while to make sure business needs are met, but it is clear where the path is leading. And it isn't back into the world of Skype for Business.

Customers have been able to take advantage of Microsoft-driven automated upgrades to shift tenants off Skype for Business and onto Teams since 2018. The new functionality allows admins to move specific users or an entire tenant away from Skype for Business with a minimum of fuss and clicks.

After memorably declaring feature parity between Skype for Business and Teams last year, the move is further evidence that the days of the former product are very much numbered. ®

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