Microsoft is retiring Skype for Business Online in two years and after July 31, 2021 the service will no longer be accessible.
Until then, current customers will experience no change in service, and they’ll be able to continue to add new users as needed, according to James Skay, senior product marketing manager in the Intelligent Communications Product Marketing Group at Microsoft.
“However, starting September 1, 2019, we will onboard all new Office 365 customers directly to Teams for chat, meetings, and calling,” Skay said. “Please note that the Skype Consumer service and Skype for Business Server will both be unaffected by this announcement.”
Microsoft launched Teams in 2017 as “the hub for teamwork” in Microsoft 365. Teams combines chat, video, calling, and document collaboration into a single, integrated app – and enables an entirely new way of working.
“Over the last two years, we’ve worked closely with customers to refine Teams, and we now feel we’re at the point that we can confidently recommend it as an upgrade to all Skype for Business Online customers,” Skay said.
He added that using Teams, companies across the world are becoming more agile, shortening cycle times, improving the efficiency of key workflows, and cutting out unnecessary overhead.
“For all of the benefits of moving to Teams, we recognise that the migration will require time and effort – and we’re here to help,” Skay said.
Microsoft is making product investments to address feature requests from current Skype for Business Online customers, including Dynamic 911, shorter retention periods, teams and Skype Consumer interoperation, and contact centre integration and compliance recording.
“And when you’re ready to get started, we offer a comprehensive set of technical guidance and planning resources, including a proven success framework, best practices, planning documents, free instructor-led training, and FastTrack onboarding assistance for eligible subscriptions,” Skay added.