This week we have been informed that Skype for Business Online will be retiring as of July 31st, 2021, after then the service will no longer be supported, or accessible to users.
Since the introduction to the modern workplace in 2014, Skype for Business has become a valuable communications tool for millions of users worldwide. It was the first solution of its kind to combine calling, instant messaging, and video in one central space. Skype for Business literally reimagined the potential for Business Communications.
Why is Skype for Business retiring?
When Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011, they had a clear vision for how the communication platform could be utilised in the business sense. Once Skype for Business was realised, Microsoft began working on the next chapter of Unified Communications; Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams combines all the features you know and love of Skype for Business, but with further capabilities that complement the modern way of working. Supporting users in collaboration over the cloud with integration with Office 365 and a whole host of wider Microsoft applications.
By retiring Skype for Business, Microsoft are ensuring users have access to the best and most prominent Unified Communications solution for businesses, whilst showing their unwavering confidence in Teams as a collaborative platform.
I am a user of Skype for Business, what does this mean for me?
First of all, don’t worry. You can still enjoy the services you use as normal as there is no change in service until the retirement date. This is the case for adding new users as required. You will be reminded closer to the time, that the Skype service will be ending, you will have the option to discontinue service with Microsoft, or to migrate to Microsoft Teams.
I was thinking about deploying Skype for Business in my organisation, what options do I have now?
As of September 1st, all new office 365 customers will be onboarded directly to Microsoft Teams as the Unified Communications solution for instant messaging, meetings, and calling.
Microsoft are making it easier to handle the transition period, with Teams and Skype Consumer Interoperability. This will allow user on the two services to communicate using calling and chat features. The interoperability is expected to become available in the first quarter of 2020.
Can I move my users to Microsoft Teams now?
Absolutely! Microsoft are recommending Skype for Business users to migrate to Teams prior to the retirement date. This is to ensure that users are proficient in the solution before Skype becomes inaccessible.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner in Communications, we can help get you set up and running on Teams ensuring your users are trained, your data is accessible and protected, and most importantly, your license reflects your business needs.