In July 2019 Microsoft announced its plans to retire Skype for Business on July 31, 2021. Skype for Business Online has been a valuable tool for millions of people around the world. Microsoft Teams is the next chapter in that vision.
Companies had two years to upgrade and move to Microsoft Teams, the hub for team collaboration in Microsoft 365. After Skype for Business Online retires on July 31, 2021, the service will no longer be accessible. Third-party audio-conferencing providers will also stop working. We strongly recommend that you start planning your upgrade today, so you will have enough time to finish it prior to the retirement date.
Customers will receive notifications in both the Teams admin center, and the Microsoft 365 Message Center, 90 days before their scheduled upgrade date to allow time for technical and user readiness. Microsoft will provide assisted upgrades for Skype for Business Online users not in Teams Only mode at retirement. You can check your Teams deployment model in your Microsoft 365 Teams Admin portal. It is important to note that Skype for Business Server users will not be affected by this change, and the company will continue supporting the service until October 14, 2025.
Microsoft Teams is a service built for the cloud from the ground up by leveraging Azure and other service innovations from Microsoft. It combines chat, video, calling, document collaboration, and application integration into a single experience. The capabilities of Microsoft Teams go beyond those of Skype for Business Online. Teams enables entirely new ways of working and offers users to benefit from richer performance, functionality, flexibility, and security.
Microsoft Teams is not available as a standalone service. Teams is available in most Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise plans, and your existing licensing investments carry forward to Teams. All supported subscription plans are eligible for access to the Microsoft Teams web client, desktop clients, and mobile apps.
It is possible to make a smooth and seamless transition to Microsoft Teams if you communicate and plan it today. With the retirement deadline less than two months away, now is the time to ensure your organization is ready to upgrade to Teams. If you don’t have the resources or time to plan this transition, IT Partner experts can help you easily move to Microsoft Teams and can teach you how to take advantages of Microsoft 365 tools.