SfBOnly Mode Clarification

Occasional Contributor

Everyone in our company currently is using Skype for Business in Islands mode.


We're starting to play around with TeamsOnly for a few user, but we've noticed that it's impossible to initiate a SfB chat from Teams.


I've tried setting some recipients to SfBOnly mode, but Teams does not seem to recognize this and continues to send a Teams message to the SfBOnly user.


Am I misunderstanding how the interop is supposed to work? My experience contradicts what's documented here:

30 Replies

When I had most users in Islands mode, I would also experience issues with teams sending teams messages to users who only use Skype for Business.  Once I switched the SfB users over to SfB Only mode though, that seemed to clear it up. 


I also switched my users who primarily use teams over to Teams only mode, so that conversations initiated by other users would all go to Teams, regardless of whether it was started from Teams or SfB.  It sounds like these same settings aren't giving you the same results though.  :(

best response confirmed by JonnyPoe (Occasional Contributor)
How did you configure the SfBOnly mode? I think I've seen that if you used the Admin center it doesn't apply properly and you need to use the Powershell commands to get the policy onto the user correctly. At this point the Admin center for upgrade modes is completely broken from my experience so I only do things in Powershell.

I've been using PowerShell to apply the TeamsOnly mode since it's not available in the admin center, but I honestly can't remember if I used the admin center or not for SfBOnly. I'll give it a try!

Thanks for the reply Steve.

We have no problem receiving Skype messages for TeamsOnly users, only sending to SfB from a TeamsOnly.
this happened to me also and i had to manage everything via powershell rather than the teams admin GUI. Support advised that my tenant was not upgraded yet and i would have to wait for it to catch up. i am still waiting. Microsoft needs to upgrade our tenants to have full teams admin somehow.

We are running island mode as well...This is a point of confusion for us because we are experiencing similar reports that this is occurring. Any clarification in this area would help!

Hey Jonny, this seems like a duplicate question so I thought I would link you - I have some good feedback in mine.

Thanks Oliver. Not quite a duplicate. This thread has the important detail to use PowerShell to apply the SfBOnly mode for it to actually work. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

@Lillian Diaz Islands mode is a great way to have a quick trial of Teams, but if you are starting to use it everyday it's best to get into one of the 'only' modes. I wrote a blog that explains some the logic behind how Teams delivers messages here

So many of Teams users are struggling with the upgrade mode not populating anything else other than islands or SFB only.


I had to use powershell to migrate fully to teams.


When are you going to fix the admin GUI to give the option for choosing Teams only mode or others?


Why does my GUI show blank even though i am fully on Teams only mode.?



2018-12-12 10_08_04-Teams upgrade - Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center.png

Thanks @Steven Collier. I couldn't agree more with your statement. I'll take a look at your article. Just extra context,  the biggest issue I'm facing is the lack of hardware integration. We just invested a lot of money into conferencing rooms so sadly I can't make the decision to turn off Skype because of this. The business would not be happy until the checklist is cleared. Thanks for responding!

Which hardware? If it's Skype certified there should be a way forward to Teams?

From that post: "If you are using Skype for Business Server in your own network then there’s a whole other layer of complexity I’m not going to get into here."

So where do us who foolishly chose to use Lync as our PBX get info? Do I just buy a PBX and 400 phones and be done with it?

@Steve Berkholz it's simply not something I have experience in or the ability to test. For a while there was a missing part of the interop that meant that presence wouldn't work between SfB Server on-premises and Teams, I don't know if that's fixed now.


I linked to the Microsoft official documentation at the bottom of the article that provides a full explanation


Hey Guys,
Those of you going through coexistence and upgrade scenarios I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend watching these video's. I went through these the other day and they are so informative and will answer many of the questions you guys have and are very detailed in the way interop should work and the modes and all of that!


The recordings are located here

To clarify my post. It was not about you or your post. It was about the difficulty in finding that info. 99% of the info I have found is about Skype Online to Teams, not Multiple SfB on-prem with PRI circuits at multiple facilities to Teams.

@Chris Webb, have you noticed any delays when applying the SfBOnly policy?


I tried SfBOnly for one user and it was almost immediate that new conversations in Teams kicked it over to a Skype conversation. I've tried setting SfBOnly for two additional users and new conversations with them are showing up as Teams conversations.

Not 100% sure on that. I guess the question is, the user that worked, have they ever been sent a Teams message by you before? And what about the two going to Teams, did you already establish a chat with them prior? Wondering if that makes a difference and require more time in that instance or hopefully it wont' be permanent :P.
For the user that worked we had existing Teams and SfB conversations within Teams. For the 2 that didn't work, one I've never messaged in Teams before, and the other one I have an existing Teams conversation.

I'll give it until tomorrow, otherwise I'm going to open a support ticket.