Skype For Business is going away July 31, 2021, and if you’re still using Skype for Business at your firm, Microsoft recently is sending another friendly reminder out to all users of the service. Microsoft’s reminder says that it is going away as of July 31, 2021, so you’ll need to complete your migration to Microsoft Teams (or an instance of Skype for Business Server) or have some other solution in place by then if you don’t want to suffer any business disruptions.
In Microsoft’s most recent blog post about ending Skype, Microsoft drew customer attention to several key changes, which include:
- Services that integrate with Skype for Business Online will not have support beyond the July 31, 2021 retirement. This includes support for third-party audio-conferencing providers, Online Cloud Connector Edition, hybrid voice configurations, and Skype Meeting Broadcast.
- Customers will not be able to move online users out of Teams-Only mode after retirement.
- Coexistence modes enable customers to operate Server/Teams side-by-side experiences until they are ready to move users to Teams Only.
- Users can move directly from Skype for Business Server to Teams-Only after configuring Skype for Business hybrid with Microsoft 365 or Office 365.
Microsoft also announces that in the weeks ahead, they would begin scheduling Microsoft-assisted upgrades. These are for firms utilizing “cloud-only” or hybrid deployments as a last-mile transition service and schedule to start in August.
Big changes for Skype are afoot. If it has become an entrenched part of life at your company, then it’s time to kick your transition plans into high gear because one way or the other, Skype for Business is coming to an end, and the deadline is looming. If there’s a silver lining, it lies in the fact that Microsoft Teams is a great alternative, the predictable grumbling about having to switch notwithstanding.