Skype for Business Online retires in six months – what you need to know
Published Feb 01 2021 08:00 AM 39.4K Views

Eighteen months ago, we announced the July 31, 2021 retirement of Skype for Business Online. With six months until the service ends, we’re focused on helping each of our customers upgrade to Microsoft Teams and enabling more ways to come together and get things done.

Skype for Business Online has been a critical communications tool for millions of organizations across the globe. Once customers experience the way Teams brings together chat, calling, meetings and more, they realize the amazing potential to collaborate seamlessly and simplify work in a secure and compliant way.

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.

“We’ve got a plan, and we’re working the plan.”

Most Skype for Business Online customers have deployed Teams, either with Overlapping Capabilities (aka “Islands Mode”) or Select Capabilities, and are gradually moving users and workloads as their organization is ready. Chances are if you’re in this camp, your finish line is in sight. You still have time to double-check your technical and organizational readiness before changing the coexistence and upgrade settings as you move users or your tenant to Teams Only.

“Uh oh, we’re not ready.”

Some organizations may not be far along in the Teams upgrade planning process. It’s understandable as the events of the past year have impacted strategies, priorities, and resources for so many. Don’t worry, you still have time. In fact, there are numerous examples of organizations that have made the upgrade from Skype for Business Online, or hybrid deployments or Skype for Business Server to Teams in a matter of months. 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.

If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend the following:

FastTrack assistance is available for eligible subscriptions, or you may choose to engage a Microsoft Partner to help plan or execute your upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams.

Automated upgrades to Teams
Some Skype for Business Online customers will be eligible for automated upgrades to Microsoft Teams. This program was designed to assist customers with the technical elements of upgrading a Skype for Business Online tenant to Teams Only. 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. To learn more about eligibility and more details about the experience, read Automated Upgrades from Skype for Business Online to Microsoft Teams.

More engaging and efficient meetings. Improved collaboration. Easy app and workflow integration. There’s so much to love about Teams.
In six months, access to Skype for Business Online will end. Though we’re getting a bit nostalgic about what’s going away, it’s easy to see how much more organizations can do with Teams – staying connected and accomplishing more together across work, school, and life. And that has us excited about what’s ahead.


Please note the retirement of Skype for Business Online does not affect the Skype consumer service, Skype for Business Server products and Skype for Business Online operated by 21Vianet (China Sovereign Clouds Instance)


See you on Teams!

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‎Feb 04 2021 09:30 AM
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