Microsoft is retiring Skype for Business in 2021

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Skype for Business

Microsoft has announced that it is looking to retire Skype for Business Online on July 31, 2021. The company plans to migrate its customers to Microsoft Teams in the next two years.

Customers that are using Skype for Business Online will be able to continue to add new users up until the close date in 2021. However, Microsoft plans to onboard its new Office 365 customers directly to Teams as its default meeting tool from September 1, 2019.

As noted, neither the Skype Consumer service nor the Skype for Business Server will be affected by the closing of Skype for Business Online Service.

“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,” Microsoft explained.

“Using Teams, companies across the world are becoming more agile, shortening cycle times, improving the efficiency of key workflows, and cutting out unnecessary overhead.”

Microsoft also announced new features to support customers in migrating to the Teams. These features include:

  • Dynamic 911: Dynamic E911 uses client’s current location to route emergency calls to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) call center operated by the local government.
  • New chat and channel retention period options: This feature will allow a shorter retention period to ensure that the data is deleted from all storage locations in Teams.
  • Teams and Skype consumer interop: This feature will unify Teams and Skype consumers providing them the ability to communicate using both chat and calling.
  • Contact center integration and compliance recording: This will support compliance recording for Teams to capture interactions properly over contact center.

Skype for Business was introduced in 2014 and was Microsoft’s most valuable tool around the world. Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011 at biggest ever price for $8.5 billion.

Microsoft is offering technical guidance and planning resources for transitioning from Skype for Business Online to Teams. It is also offering free instructor-led training and FastTrack onboarding assistance.

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