2021 marks the beginning of the end for Skype for Business, with the Online version being unsupported from July 31st 2021, followed by the server versions (2015+) becoming unsupported in 2025.
What is Skype for Business?
Skype has been around since 2003, but its business platform was introduced in 2015. Unlike many platforms at the time, Skype for Business offered features that allowed remote working to be easier. These included, instant messaging, audio phone calls, import of Outlook contacts, and basic collaboration in Office documents.
This made it an excellent business tool when working remotely.
The end is nigh
Microsoft first announced the end of life plans way back in 2017, not long after the introduction of Microsoft Teams.
With Skype for Business Online being a cloud-based solution, the deadline of 31st July will spell the end completely for this product.
Never fear, Microsoft Teams is here, and it’s here to stay. While Skype for Business had some great features, it was always held back by the original platform.
Microsoft Teams has been built with collaboration in mind; you can do video calls, instant messaging, and audio calls, but you can also collaborate on documents in real time, integrate third-party applications, create ‘Teams’ and there is a long roadmap of updates in the pipeline.
If you are a Skype for Business Server (2015+) user, then you do have a couple more years of patches and updates (2025), but our advice is – begin the plan to move away! After 2025, the security and stability of the product will greatly diminish in our fast-paced world.
How to move to Teams?
Well, if you are a Microsoft 365 user, then it’s already included in your licence. It’s simply a matter of ensuring each user can access and use the platform successfully.
Microsoft Teams is a great solution that can enable your team to not only work remotely, but collaborate better, it creates better workflows and is deeply integrated into the Microsoft 365 universe.
Are you ready to take the plunge into Microsoft Teams?
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have the expertise to help your business get up and running with Microsoft 365.