Since 2017, when Microsoft announced its Teams group-chat service would replace Skype for Business Online, customers have been asking about the cut-over deadline. Microsoft officials have shared that date. Skype for Business Online will be “retired” on July 31, 2021, officials said.
Because of this migration, Skype for Business Online customers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from upgrading to Teams. Organizations using Skype for Business on-premises have also experienced the transformational impact Teams can have on communication, collaboration, and culture.
“Regardless of where you are on the journey from Skype for Business to Teams, this is an important checkpoint to make sure your organization is on track to upgrade to Teams before Skype for Business Online retires and access to the service ends,” the Microsoft Teams team said in a blogpost.
Though mainstream and extended support continues for versions of Skype for Business Server and Lync Server, and the current Skype for Business Server 2019 product is in its “mainstream support” phase, ending on Jan. 9, 2024, which is a normal five-year phase. However, the product has just one year and 10 months of “extended support,” which will end on Oct. 14, 2025, per Microsoft’s lifecycle support search page.
Microsoft also provides links in the blog with resources to help customers migrate to Teams.
Microsoft is offering free use of the Audio-Conferencing feature of Teams for a year for qualifying subscribers with an Enterprise Agreement through March 31, 2021.
The usage of Teams has grown rapidly during the pandemic. In 2019, it had 500,000 organizations using Teams worldwide. In October 2020, Microsoft said Teams had more than 115 million daily active users, up from 75 million daily active users in April.
“Customers scheduled for automated upgrades will receive notifications in both the Teams admin center, as well as the Microsoft 365 Message Center, at least three months before their upgrade date to allow time for technical and user readiness.”
Benefits of Teams:
- Ability to make and receive calls from your campus phone number on a computer and mobile device.
- Integration with Outlook for scheduling virtual meetings.
- Real time collaboration on Office 365 files, virtual whiteboards and screen sharing.
- Improved accessibility with real time capturing of meetings in multiple languages.