It’s official—After months of rumors, Microsoft officially announced that they will be retiring Skype for Business by 2021 and moving to Teams is the way to go!
The pursuit to workplace modernization continues as Microsoft announces the end of life for Skype for Business Online effective on July 31, 2021. This familiar business tool will no longer be accessible after the given date.
There is no expected change in service and new users can still be added but starting September 1, 2019, new Office 365 customers will be directed to Microsoft Teams for chat, meetings, and calls. However, this will not affect the Skype Consumer service and Skype for Business Server, so no need to be alarmed yet.
Retiring Skype for Business and Moving to Teams
The retirement of Skype for Business paves way for a more versatile and encompassing collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams. Launched in 2017, this productivity platform was created to be “the hub for teamwork” for both Microsoft 365 and Office 365 users.
This well-rounded tool compresses communication (chat, call, video), document collaboration, and integration receptiveness for apps and bots. Teams users across the globe saw an increase in productivity and results; they were also able to cut unnecessary user costs. Skype for Business had a good run, but even Microsoft believes that Teams offer much better overall performance.
“Over the last two years, we’ve worked closely with customers to refine Teams, and we now feel we’re at the point that we can confidently recommend it as an upgrade to all Skype for Business Online customers,” said James Skay, Senior Product Marketing Manager in Intelligent Communications Product Marketing Group at Microsoft.
Skype for Business vs Teams: Side-by-Side Comparison
To put things in perspective, here is a comprehensive comparison of Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams:
Migrating to Teams
Microsoft recognizes the user learning curve and the system adjustments needed for a successful migration to teams. For this, they have provided online guides to help you transition at your own pace. Though this approach may work for some, reaching out to an expert Microsoft Partner is still the way to go to help you —and your organization—ensure full adoption and maximizing all productivity and collaboration tools within your O365 accounts.