Microsoft Reminds Skype for Business Online for Switch to Microsoft Teams
Microsoft has issued a gentle reminder that Skype for Business Online is due to shut down in six months and that businesses still using the platform need to migrate sooner rather than later.
The news that Skype for Business Online is shutting down isn’t new. But as ever, many businesses are leaving it until the last moment to make the switch to a suitable alternative, and Microsoft is plainly becoming concerned that it isn’t enough time.
It’s Time to Leave Skype for Business Online
On July 31, 2021, Microsoft will retire Skype for Business Online. That leaves around six months until the service is done and dusted, and businesses using the service will lose access to the platform.
As noted on the Microsoft Teams Blog, some organizations might not be as far along the migration process as they thought they would be. The pandemic-affected year has knocked many businesses and organization’s original plans off course. Microsoft says, “Don’t worry, you still have time.”
With six months until retirement, we encourage you to begin planning today to accommodate the technical, process, and user scenarios that may be unique to your organization. But rest assured, there are resources to guide you step-by-step.
The Microsoft Teams post also notes that several businesses have made the jump from Skype for Business Online, hybrid deployments, or a Skype for Business Server to Microsoft Teams in “a matter of months.” So even if your upgrade is lagging behind, it isn’t panic stations yet.
Microsoft advises those who are unsure where to start to check out the following upgrade materials:
Some Skype for Business Online customers may be eligible for the automated upgrade process. If your business is eligible, Microsoft will contact you “at least three months before” the upgrade date. The automatic upgrade path is designed to help small businesses complete the transfer without encountering technical difficulties.
Is Microsoft Teams Better Than Skype for Business Online?
As the end draws near for the Skype for Business Online platform, many existing users wonder if Microsoft Teams is a better alternative.
In 2018, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Teams had all the same functionality as Skype for Business Online. That was now over two years ago, and since then, Microsoft has significantly upgraded the overall Microsoft Teams package.
Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed Microsoft Teams forward in unexpected ways, as millions of businesses and users found themselves using online collaborative workspaces during lockdown periods.
So, in short, Microsoft Teams is an upgrade from the now aging Skype for Business Online platform. But, as ever, some will pine for what is lost in the process.