End of Life for Skype for Business Online – Are You Ready?

Skype-for-business

Back in July of 2019, Microsoft announced the end of life for Skype for Business Online. From the 1st August 2021, Skype for Business Online will no longer be available and integration with third-party audio providers will cease. Unlike the Windows 7 end of life, this time, Microsoft is not offering Extended Support Updates.

So, where does this leave your business? Fortunately, Microsoft Teams now supports all the Skype for Business Online features such as messaging, meetings, and calls, making it easier for your organisation to comfortably make the switch without sacrificing the features your business currently utilise.

At the beginning of the Pandemic, Microsoft Teams had 32 million daily active users. By October 2020, this figure jumped to 115 million users. This continues to double as many businesses are making the shift to fully remote and Hybrid Working.

What Does the End Date mean for Your Business?

After Skype for Business Online is retired, the service will no longer be accessible to customers who are currently using it. With this significant change, your employees will be going through a cultural transition in the way they work. They will have to familiarise themselves with new concepts like channels, tabs, and apps. Many factors such as how many users you have, your end-user adaptability rate, and the unique complexities of your organisation will impact how quickly you are able to migrate over.

If you haven’t already begun to switch over to Microsoft Teams and need help navigating the end date for Skype for Business Online, chat to our Teams experts today to accelerate your digital transformation.

Why is Microsoft Switching from Skype for Business to Teams?

As part of their ongoing ambition to optimise business communications, Microsoft wants to provide organisations with a single hub for teamwork, collaboration, and communication. Microsoft Teams adds an extra layer of functionality on top of Office 365 — giving users access to SharePoint Online document libraries, OneNote, Planner, and more.

This ever-evolving platform combines the business-critical communications capabilities of Skype for Business Online with collaboration tools, app integration, and file storage and sharing to form Microsoft Teams. This modern cloud-based tool will create new experiences for meetings and collaboration, allowing your employees to be more productive than ever before.

Can I Migrate my Phone System to Microsoft Teams?

The end of life for Skype for Business Online will affect your organisation through PSTN technology. PSTN connectivity between your on-premises environment through Skype for Business Server and Skype for Business Online will no longer be supported.

Once you have made the transition to Microsoft Teams, switching over to the Teams Phone System is seamless. Microsoft Teams Phone System enables organisations to replace their on-premises PBX systems with a cloud-based system. There are many advantages to Microsoft Teams as a Phone System such as, Call Analytics and Call Queues. Another advantage is Call Recording — an additional service that can be integrated into Microsoft Teams.

If you are looking to simplify your infrastructure and reduce costs, switching to Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Teams as a Phone System will provide your employees with a comprehensive, unified communications toolset catering to the needs of your organisation now and long into the future.

Wizard IT can handle all aspects of the migration — ensuring your business communication lines stay up and operational during the transition.

Accelerate Your Digital Transformation

A transition to Microsoft Teams offers many powerful features and comes with an entire ecosystem that enables and accelerates digital transformation and automation.

Whether you are a small business without dedicated IT resources or an enterprise organisation with thousands of users, upgrading from Skype for Business to Teams is more than just a technical migration — it will be a total transformation in how your employees communicate and collaborate.

It’s best practice to partner with an IT service provider that has experience migrating to and supporting Microsoft Teams. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Wizard IT provide a smooth transition and will manage everything from the planning stages to deployment and support — ensuring your business is able to reach its full potential.

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