Say goodbye to Skype for Business Online. On July 31, Microsoft will pull the plug on the online conferencing space that was a precursor to Teams. That Skype for Business Online is sunsetting isn’t news – the company’s been very open about this since 2019 – but it still may affect enterprise IT pros as the service goes away. Here are answers to some of the most pressing questions around this transition.
Who Will This impact?
Customers that were using Skype for Business Online prior to September 2019 and have already performed their own migration to Microsoft Teams should see no change in service when Skype for Business Online goes dark at the end of the month.
For any other users on Skype for Business Online for whatever reason, will need to migrate to Microsoft Teams before July 31 or face losing communications capability.
From September 2019, any new Microsoft 365/Office 365 customers were directly onboarded into Microsoft Teams for all their chat and calling communications, so most customers that have joined since that time frame should already be on Microsoft Teams.
Note: The Skype for Business Online end of life does not impact organizations utilizing Skype for Business Server on-premises. Two years ago, Microsoft released Skype for Business Server 2019 and recommends that customers upgrade to this version for their on-premises communications needs. Skype for Business Server 2019 will be supported by Microsoft until October 14, 2025.
When Should I Migrate from Skype for Business Online to Microsoft Teams?
If you haven’t done so already, start now. There are less than three weeks until Skype for Business Online goes offline. IT system administrators and staff should be canvassing their end users to verify they are indeed on Microsoft Teams and off Skype for Business Online to prevent any loss of service.
If an organization is already a Microsoft 365/Office 365 customer, it is quite possible that users are already using Microsoft Teams for other collaboration efforts. Shifting off Skype for Business Online should be a simple process at this point since users are already integrated into Microsoft Teams for other work.
According to Microsoft, the Skype for Business Online service will not be accessible as of July 31, 2021. That means any stragglers still using those clients and service will either need to be on Teams or will lose substantial collaboration and productivity capabilities on that date.
Where Can I Learn More About This Change in Services?
Microsoft has multiple resources to help organizations with this migration: