In July 2019, we announced Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021, giving our customers two years to plan their transitions to Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork in Microsoft 365. With less than a year remaining, we want to ensure customers have the information and resources they need to plan and execute a successful upgrade to Teams.

Why is Skype for Business Online retiring?

Since its introduction, Skype for Business Online has been a valuable tool for millions of people around the world. By combining instant messaging, calling, and video into one application, Skype for Business Online established new possibilities for business communications. Microsoft Teams is the next chapter in that vision.

The capabilities of Microsoft Teams go beyond those of Skype for Business Online. By combining chat, video, calling, document collaboration, and application integration into a single experience, Teams enables entirely news way of working. And ongoing platform innovation and development means Teams users benefit from richer performance, functionality, flexibility, and security.

Teams isn’t just an upgrade for Skype for Business Online, it’s a powerful tool that enables companies, schools, and organizations to become more agile and improve the efficiency of key workflows.

What does this mean for Skype for Business customers?

After Skype for Business Online retires on July 31, 2021, the service will no longer be accessible. Until then, current Skype for Business Online customers will experience no change in service and will be able to add new users as needed. As of September 1, 2019, all new Microsoft 365 customers have been onboarded directly to Teams for chat, meetings, and calling.

The time needed to fully transition to Teams will vary based upon the unique characteristics of the organization, including number of users, technical complexity, and internal adaptability to change. As such, we recommend planning your upgrade to Teams today, not only to ensure adequate time to execute a successful transition from Skype for Business, but to more quickly realize the benefits of Teams.

Teams is available in most Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise plans, and your existing licensing investments carry forward to Teams. Capabilities that are premium workloads in Skype for Business Online today will continue to be premium workloads in Teams. For example, if you have purchased Audio Conferencing standalone or as part of E5 with Skype for Business, Audio Conferencing will be enabled in Teams.

The Skype consumer service and Skype for Business Server are not affected by the retirement of Skype for Business Online.

RJ Technologies offers a robust TEAMS training session that can be given to groups virtually that will help your team use the full potential of TEAMS video conferencing, working remotely, and collaboration using shared files and focused communications. Give us a call to learn more.