Phantom Presence Issues in Skype for Business when Peer is using Microsoft Teams

As people and organizations start to adopt Microsoft Teams for their day to day communication and leverage the new features such as guest access there are a couple of scenarios that I have come across that could potentially lead to people scratching their heads. Tis is especially so when users decide that they don’t need the Skype client.

Scenario 1 – Inter client Presence

In this scenario, I have seen one user (User A) using Skype for Business and another (User B) using just Microsoft Teams and not signed into Skype for Business client. User A is on Office 365 Tenant 1 and User B on Office 365 Tenant 2. In this scenario, User A sees the presence of User B in their Skype client as Available, or whatever presence is set within User B’s Teams client. To User A, User B looks to be using Skype for Business and is given the perception that they can send IMs or make P2P audio and video calls. User B however, does not see User A’s presence and appears Unknown. When User A sends User B an IM the message looks to have been sent as we receive no error within the chat window to tell us otherwise. However, User B does not receive the IM. Similarly User B does not get a missed message or offline message in their Exchange mailbox to say that User A had contacted them. The message just disappears into the ether.

Similarly if User A tries to place a P2P call whether it is audio or audio and video the call fails as we would expect. Again User B is not sent a missed call notification.

The problem here is that unified presence is giving a false representation to the Skype for Business user which will lead to frustration and a trouble ticket that will send the service desk right down the rabbit hole into wonderland!

Scenario 2 – Guest inter client Presence

This scenario is similar to the one before, however, in this case User A has been granted guest access to User B’s Team. User A again uses Skype for Business client only, and User B the Teams client only. In this scenario, presence is again seen by User A, and when they send an IM to User B the IM delivers to the teams client of User B! However, User B still sees no presence information for User A. User B can though reply to User A in this scenario using their Teams client and can have a one to one chat. Enriching chat with file sharing doesn’t work or add another party into the conversation. Also in this configuration, only User A can initiate the conversation.

Calling between clients seems to be possible because the call control buttons are clickable, however, they will fail from both sides (User A and User B initiated calling).

I know Microsoft are working on interop and this experience will become better as development continues and matures. For now though I wanted to call these two scenarios out to avoid hours of painless and fruitless troubleshooting an also stress the importance of running both Skype for Business and Teams clients side by side until interop has been released properly.

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