Microsoft is making moves to kill off Skype for Business. After the 31st of July 2021, Skype for Business Online will no longer be available.
While that date seems fairly close, an even more immediate date is the 1st of September, just over a month away, where Microsoft will prevent new office 365 customers from being added to the service.
Skype for Business entered the world in 2014, replacing Microsoft Lync and found a home with millions of customers across the world as a solution to IM, calling, video conferencing, voicemail and presence.
With such a recent product, on the surface, it looks like another big tech giant giving up on a service that many businesses invested heavily into. The reality is very different.
Since Microsoft Teams was introduced, it seen the fastest adoption of any product or service Microsoft has ever created. With great momentum, the development team for Teams, set about replicating all the functionality available in Skype for Business and a couple of years on, that job is essentially complete.
This leaves Microsoft in an awkward position of having two products that effectively service the same user-base, so naturally it makes sense to kill off the older platform.
Skype for Business is also available as on on-premises install and if that’s what you’re running, you’re good to continue to do so until extended support runs out in October of 2025 for 2019 users. What is clear is the future direction in unified communications is exclusively Microsoft Teams.
With a great revenue stream, Teams now has a great runway to continue to expand functionality of the core service, as well as growing the already impressive set of integrations.
Below is Microsoft’s explanation of why now is the right time to pull the plug on Skype for Business Online.
Why are we making this announcement now?
In 2017 we launched Microsoft Teams as “the hub for teamwork” in Microsoft 365. Teams combines chat, video, calling, and document collaboration into a single, integrated app – and enables an entirely new way of working.
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. Customers who have already made the move tell us that Teams not only has helped them improve collaboration generally, it has also provided a rare opportunity to rethink the way work gets done in their organizations.
Using Teams, companies across the world are becoming more agile, shortening cycle times, improving the efficiency of key workflows, and cutting out unnecessary overhead. Teams isn’t just an upgrade for Skype for Business Online, it’s a powerful tool that opens the door to an entirely new way of doing business. But don’t take our word for it!
Learn more about the potential benefits of Teams for your organization with the recently published Forrester white paper “The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Teams.”
Microsoft announced the change on their blog today.