Microsoft has announced that it is planning to end its Skype for Business Online service on 31 July 2021, and it is encouraging customers to use the Microsoft Teams service instead.


Skype for Business Online was launched in 2014 as a communications service connecting people for meetings and conversations 24/7 from virtually anywhere in the world. It gives users access to information about presence, and enables instant messaging, audio and video calling, rich online meeting and extensive web conferencing capabilities.


In 2017, Microsoft launched Teams as the “hub for teamwork” in Microsoft 365. Teams is cloud-based collaboration software combining business messaging, calling, video meetings and file sharing. With over 13 million daily users and 19 million weekly users, Microsoft have stated that they can confidently recommend Teams as an upgrade to all Skype for Business Online customers.


The Skype for Business Online retirement plan


Following the Skype announcement from the end of July 2021, Skype for Business Online will no longer be accessible.


Between then and now, current Skype for Business Online customers will experience no change in service, and they will be able to continue to add new users as needed. Starting from 1 September 2019, Microsoft will onboard all new Office 365 customers directly to Teams for chat, meetings and calls.


What is Microsoft doing to help customers migrate to Teams?


Microsoft has been making product investment to address feature requests from current Skype for Business Online customers, including:


  • Shorter retention periods. New retention period options will allow customers to limit channel and chat retention periods to as short as 1 day and ensure that when data is deleted it is removed from all permanent storage locations in the Teams service.
  • Teams and Skype consumer interop. Interop between Teams and Skype Consumer will allow users on the two services to communicate using both chat and calling.
  • Contact centre integration and compliance recording. At Inspire, a Microsoft conference earlier this month, Microsoft announced Teams partnerships with Five9, Genesys, and NICE to enable Contact Centre solutions – and with ASC, NICE, and Verint to provide Compliance Recording.


Microsoft plans to hold a 90-minute public web presentation on how to migrate to Teams. The online event, called “Demystifying Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams Migration,” is scheduled for Monday, 26 August 2019 at 5:00pm BST. The presentation will be recorded and uploaded here.



Digital Strategy Consultants – 4C Strategies


4C Strategies has been using and introducing Teams to businesses for many years and has extensive experience of Teams and in developing and executing digital strategies for various industries across the United Kingdom. With over 20 years’ experience, 4C Strategies can offer expert advice and help your organisation develop a clear IT and digital strategy and procure the appropriate technology and services. For independent advice, contact 4C Strategies on 01858 438938, or email further information.