Microsoft’s Skype for Business Online would be going away on July 31, 2021 and the company has issued a reminder for customers to start the migration now if they haven’t already.
Why are Microsoft making Skype for Business go away?
Since its introduction, Skype has been a valuable communication tool for millions of users all around the world. After years of using the service, it would be difficult for many users to say goodbye to Skype for Business. However, user requirements and the way people communicate have changed significantly. Skype for Business is a somewhat limited platform in the current climate.
Instead of transforming the Skype for Business service, Microsoft has instead been investing heavily in developing Microsoft Teams. Since it was launched in 2017, Teams has become an all-encompassing platform for all thing’s connectivity and collaboration.
Microsoft will no longer support services that integrate with Skype for Business.
Many third-party audio-conferencing providers integrate with Skype for Business to create a better, more connective experience. While many of these third-party solutions may continue to use the solution, others will migrate to another solution. Those who continue to use the Skype for Business integrations will no longer receive support for that application
How is Microsoft Teams different to Skype?
In 2017, Microsoft launched Teams as “the hub for teamwork” as part of Microsoft 365. It expands the capabilities of Skype for Business Online by bringing together chat, meetings, education, calling, collaboration, file storage and more into a single platform. In short, Teams has not only everything Skype could offer but so much more which makes collaboration and communication a lot easier among teams. While suitable for basic conversations, Skype for Business was limited in features for virtual collaboration, particularly in a fully remote working climate.
With Teams, users can:
Stay connected through instant chat, dedicated Teams channels, video meetings or audio calls.
Collaborate across locations
Benefit from real-time collaboration across locations with deeply integrated Office 365 apps.
Customise and extend experiences
Expand experiences with tons of intelligent third-party apps, processes, and devices.
Work with confidence
Stay confident business data is protected with enterprise-grade security, compliance, and manageability.
How can you move from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams?
For businesses using Microsoft 365, the Teams functionality is already there; it’s simply a matter of ensuring each user can successfully access and navigate the platform. First, however, IT teams must ensure that each user has a Teams account as well as adequately robust connectivity and upgraded devices to support it.
But driving change takes far more than a strong technical foundation. The arrival of Teams will mark a new way of life for your employees and users must be taught accordingly. It should be noted that Microsoft has outlined a detailed framework for migrating to Teams.
Ready to Upgrade? The coexistence mode in the Microsoft Teams admin center can help.
Islands mode– Allow users to use both Skype for Business and Teams simultaneously.
Skype for Business with Teams collaboration – Users can use Skype for Business in addition to using Teams for group collaboration (channels).
Skype for Business with Teams collaboration and meetings – Users can use Skype for Business in addition to using Teams for group collaboration (channels) and Teams meetings.
Teams only – Users can only use Teams, but they can still join meetings hosted in Skype for Business.
Is your organisation still using Skype for Business?
All in all, the time is coming when moving from Skype to Teams will be a necessity. As the death of Skype for Business fast approaches, don’t worry. Take time to ready yourself for an upgrade, get in touch with the right people to help you out, and be prepared to enjoy a new and improved collaboration experience soon.