Microsoft Skype for Business Set to Retire

Since Skype for Business Online was launched in 2014, it has benefited millions of businesses worldwide to keep in touch with their remote workers.

by | Jun 4, 2021 | Blog

Microsoft Skype for Business Set to Retire

As the need for remote working increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses hurriedly readjusted their strategies. They are now more open to IT tools that support remote workplaces, cloud computing, and cloud cybersecurity. This has made them ditch ineffective tools, one of them being Skype.

Since Skype for Business Online was launched in 2014, it has benefited millions of businesses worldwide to keep in touch with their remote workers. The video calls, instant messaging, and calling features on the tool delivered an exciting angle to business communication. Unfortunately, this seems to be ending, as Microsoft is no longer keen on supporting the communication tool.

Microsoft notified Skype users that the company might no longer support Skype after July 31, 2021. Microsoft has assured Skype users the company will help them migrate. They have shared their plan on how they will retire Skype for Business. Here is the plan:

How Microsoft Plans to Retire Skype for Business

This plan was made public on July 30, 2019. The company announced that it would cease supporting Skype for Business by July 31, 2021. That means that the tool will no longer be available for businesses. Before that date, organizations can use it as they usually do since all the features will remain functional.

Microsoft is dropping Skype for Business in favor of Microsoft Teams. From September 1, 2019, Microsoft began onboarding new Office 365 users to Microsoft Teams. Businesses that rely on Skype must migrate to Teams before Skype for Business is finally withdrawn on July 31, 2021.

You never know how this migration will disrupt businesses. To avoid this disruption, consider migrating to another platform until Microsoft completes its withdrawal process for Skype for Business. This may help you avoid the rush that most businesses may get into trying to move from Skype for Business to Teams.

What Do These Changes Mean?

Microsoft was clear about the critical changes businesses should expect.

  • Microsoft will withdraw all support to Skype for Business, including hybrid voice configuration, Skype Meeting Broadcast, and third-party audio conferencing.
  • Clients cannot move online users to the Teams-only mode after Skype retirement.
  • Users can operate Skype for Business alongside Teams through a co-existence mode until they migrate to Microsoft Teams fully.
  • After configuring Skype for Business with Microsoft or Office 365, users can migrate directly to Teams.

Microsoft upgrades will be provided to businesses that use hybrid or clouds only deployments for migration.

How is Microsoft Helping Customers Transition to Teams?

Microsoft acknowledges that migrating from Skype for Business to Teams can be tedious, time-consuming, and lengthy. They prepared in advance to ensure the transition is seamless.

They provide a comprehensive technical guide and any planning resources your business may need to transition to Teams. Here are some of the things they put in place to help organizations transition:

  • Skype and Teams Consumer Interop: This feature helps users to communicate across the two platforms. If one user is on Skype and the other on Teams, they can connect via calls and chats. This feature became operational in September 2020.
  • Shorter Retention Time: Users can choose a shorter retention time for their chats, which can be as short as a day. Once you delete your chats, the platform removes their contents from Microsoft Teams Service permanent storage.
  • Dynamic 911: This feature routes calls to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), a local call center managed by the local government. Your PSAP depends on your location at the time of making a call. Dynamic E911 was first used in 2019.
  • Contact Call Center Integration and Compliance Recording: The aim is to help call centers with compliance recording. Microsoft delivers the service to call centers in partnership with Nice, Five9, and Genesys, which provide call center solutions. Verint, Nice, and ASC help call centers with recording compliance.

Is Microsoft Teams Better? How?

Since being launched in 2017, Teams has grown to be one of the most popular and effective business communication tools. The pandemic caused a spike in Teams’ daily active users.

It helps businesses with remote teams remain connected seamlessly and securely. Here are some of Microsoft team features that make it a top-of-the-range business communication tool:

Compatibility

Microsoft Teams is compatible with Office 365 and several third-party applications like Word, Excel, and Yammer. This is significant as it helps businesses access files seamlessly, conveniently, and quickly. It favors teams keen on collaborative work as they can share information more efficiently.

Enhanced Communication

The tool goes beyond the usual highly effective file sharing, collaboration, and communication. Users can get information through mentions, comments, notifications, and chats.

Document Collaboration

When you integrate Teams with Office 365, your employees can work on the same file in real-time. Teammates will see edits made by one person in real-time.

This is especially significant for teams working jointly on a project. They can collectively enrich a document or include their portion of work on a file. Teammates can then review and request edits before agreeing on a final draft. 

Quick Access to Information

Microsoft Teams has information archives and bookmarks that lack in Skype for Business. With these features, finding files is much easier and quicker. You can add tabs for your applications and use keyboard shortcuts to locate information.

Advanced Security and Compliance

Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based solution. It is covered by the heavy investment that Microsoft makes to secure its cloud-based technology. Its automatic updates further enhance its cybersafety.

If you use the retention Periods feature, you will increase your security further as you will remove your online footprints when you delete your chats. When you migrate to Microsoft Teams, you significantly improve your cybersecurity posture.

Are you still using Skype for Business? It is time to make the big move to the more effective Microsoft Teams. Call Orbis Solutions to help you move effectively and quickly.

At Orbis Solutions, we are well-equipped with skilled IT specialists and state-of-the-art technology to help your business navigate the ever-changing IT landscape and remain productive and profitable. Reach out to us for a one-on-one meeting with our team to review your complete IT outsourcing needs.

Orbis Solutions:
IT Managed Services In Las Vegas

“Orbis’ experienced team assessed our situation, listened to our concerns, and educated us to the ever-changing world of technology. Not only are they professionals at what they do, they’re a pleasure to work with and always have a unique, personal approach to our needs.”
~ Las Vegas Construction Firm
“Thank you Orbis Solutions for providing me and my staff with your monthly Tech Tips. As a business owner I don't have time to keep up with changing technology and your tips are always on point. Always professional and attentive to our growing business needs.”
~ Las Vegas Real Estate Broker
“We are a small business, and therefore do not have the revenue to staff full time IT personnel. So last year, we partnered with Orbis Solutions Inc. and they are the “IT Department” for our company.”
~ Las Vegas CPA Firm
orbissolutionsinc