Skype for Business Online retires on July 31st, 2021

Skype for Business Online will no longer be available from July 31st, 2021. This includes support for third-party audio-conferencing providers (ACP), Business Online Cloud Connector Edition (CCE) Skype, hybrid voice setup and broadcasting for Skype Meeting.  Moreover, after July 31, 2021, you can no longer remove online users from team mode only.

Microsoft has facilitated the direct transfer of the hybrid connectivity between Microsoft 365 and Skype for Business Server to Teams only if you have configured hybrid connectivity. 

But Microsoft does not stop there, Microsoft is planning assisted upgrades to help you jump onto the Microsoft Teams if you are still on Skype for Business Online (hybrid or cloud-only!).

It is necessary to know a few limitations:

  • You must be in a hybrid or cloud state only (sorry you on-premises Skype for Business server folks)
  • Microsoft will only take your transition to Microsoft Teams with “last mile” technical steps (more info on this in the coming weeks).
  • The upgrade time varies according to the volume of user.  The longer the upgrade duration, obviously, the greater the volume.  However, most clients can be easily upgraded within 24 hours of the beginning of the upgrade.
  • Microsoft has begun to offer this supported team upgrade as a way of reducing the number and focus for end-user training, awareness, and overall preparedness that you need as a customer.  You will receive a series of upgrade notifications when you have registered for the assisted team upgrade.  90 days prior to the scheduled upgrade date, you start seeing these notifications.  You should see the “Plan for Change” posts in Microsoft 365 Message Centre, Teams Admin Centre, and end-users in-app flags.
  • Users will have to sign off from their Skype for Business Online customer after upgrading end-user experience, and they will start using team clients for messages, meetings, and calls. 

To further break up the situation:

Calling and chat:

  • All calls and conversations are begun and received in teams.
  • Any Skype for the business user can communicate to (chat/call)
  • Organizations can allow teams to communicate by management of external access authorisations with Skype consumer service users.
  • Users of teams who try to sign up for Skype for Business Online are sent back to teams.

Meetings:

  • All new team meeting is scheduled by users (plugin replaced)
  • Existing online business meetings on Skype are converted into team meetings.

Data for Migration:

  • Existing Skype contacts, including federated businesses (but no distribution lists)

To get a free demo of Microsoft Teams, click here.

Have more questions? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

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