Microsoft To Retire Skype For Business What It Means For You

Microsoft to Retire Skype for Business: What It Means for You

Arraya Insights | August 30, 2019

Skype for Business retirement

It’s official: On July 31, 2021, the Skype for Business Online era will officially come to an end. Microsoft announced the roughly five-year old communication platform’s retirement date last month, although the process has been in the works for some time. Once that date hits, Teams will stand alone at the center of Microsoft’s communication and collaboration universe. However, there’s still plenty of time left and work to be done before the last Skype for Business call or message is sent.

Here’s everything you need to know about Skype for Business Online’s impending retirement:

  • Existing Office 365 customers are good until July 31, 2021. On that day, the service will no longer be available. If you’re an existing Office 365 customer, you will be able to continue using Skype for Business Online as you always have up until that point. That includes connecting with co-workers, adding in new users, etc.
  • New Office 365 customers might skip Skype for Business Online. If your organization enters the Office 365 fold on or after September 1, 2019, you will be on-boarded directly into Teams for chat, calls, and so on. This will allow you to bypass both Skype for Business Online and that July 31, 2021 ticking clock.
  • Not all of Skype is going away. It’s worth noting that Skype Consumer and Skype for Business Server will both be unaffected by this change. Both services will continue running as usual up through and beyond July 31, 2021. 
  • Teams hasn’t stopped evolving. Microsoft isn’t going to sit back and take it easy with Teams. Instead, the tech giant has big ideas on how to make its communication and collaboration top dog even stronger. Planned upgrades to Teams include:
    • Dynamic 9-1-1 – This feature uses a caller’s location to automatically route 9-1-1 calls to the appropriate local emergency personal. Microsoft plans to roll out Dynamic 9-1-1 in Teams by the end of this year.    
    • Reduced Retention Periods – With this update, your organization will be able to drop channel and chat retention limits all the way down to a single day. It will also ensure that, when data is deleted, it will be wiped clean from the Teams service and its supporting servers. This change is also set for release at the end of this year.
    • Teams and Skype Consumer Interoperability – This addition will allow your users to call and chat with others across the Teams and Skype Consumer services. This feature is set to debut during the first quarter of 2020.  
    • Enhanced Contact Center and Compliance Partnerships – In recent weeks, Microsoft has announced a slew of partnerships intended to boost Teams’ position as a Contact Center solution. Other partnerships have also been announced that will enhance Teams’ compliance recording capabilities.  

Next Steps: Prepare for the end of the Skype for Business Online era

There’s still time before July 31, 2021 and the end of the Skype for Business Online era. That doesn’t mean you should simply file this news away. The sooner your organization introduces Teams, the more time Skype for Business Online users will have to adjust gradually.

If you’d like to learn more about Microsoft Teams and where it could fit into your organization’s communication and collaboration environment, reach out to our Cloud and Workspace experts today! We can assist with the migration and provide the training needed to facilitate a seamless transition. Head to https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to get the conversation started.

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