It’s Official: Microsoft Teams Replaces Skype for Business
Skype for Business took simple instant messaging and videoconferencing capabilities and added security and productivity features. It was helpful for companies globally for many years. However, this app ended its lifecycle in July of 2021, and the announcement became official: Microsoft Teams Replaced Skype for Business.
This is what Microsoft originally communicated about the shutdown: “Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021, and after that date the service will no longer be accessible. Between now and then, current Skype for Business Online customers will experience no change in service, and they’ll be able to continue to add new users as needed. However, starting September 1, 2019, we will onboard all new Office 365 customers directly to Teams for chat, meetings, and calling. Please note that the Skype Consumer service and Skype for Business Server will both be unaffected by this announcement.”
With the basic functionalities included in Microsoft Teams, you can chat, video, call, collaborate on documents, and integrate applications all into one experience. Besides, Microsoft provides ongoing platform innovation and development for Teams users who will receive richer performance, functionality, flexibility, and security.
If you had Skype for Business, a managed service provider could assist you with a smooth transition, as you’ll see in the following sections. For now, just be aware that Microsoft Teams provides way more capabilities than Skype for Business. Therefore, this change is more than just an upgrade. Instead, it could bring an opportunity to transform how your company communicates completely.
Common Questions About Microsoft Teams Replacing Skype for Business
Microsoft has created a comprehensive, frequently asked questions guide to help users better address their transition from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. Let’s briefly review some of the critical information they gathered below.
How does this affect Skype for Business customers?
Skype for Business ceased to exist altogether on July 31, 2021. The time it takes to upgrade to Microsoft Teams will depend on your unique situation. If you still have users on Skype for Business, Microsoft provides an assisted upgrade service. However, this may be available for a limited time or to some subscribers only.
Where will Skype for Business Online go after its retirement?
All users will be in Teams Only mode once Microsoft has completed the assisted upgrade. Among other changes, chats and calls, as well as scheduled meetings, will be received by Teams Only users. Skype for Business won’t be able to initiate calls, chats or schedule meetings under Teams Only. Skype for Business meeting participants will continue to be able to join meetings scheduled by Skype for Business Server users.
What is the estimated time to upgrade my organization to Microsoft Teams?
The complexity of your business, adaptability, as well as the integration of custom workflows and applications determine the ease with which you can move to Microsoft Teams. The upgrade guidance from Microsoft is comprehensive, but you can take advantage of this opportunity to pivot your communications with the best-managed services provider.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for the upgrade?
Upgrading or migrating successfully requires certain technical proficiency and a minimum level of user readiness. Even if your organization is not quite prepared yet, the planning process to make Microsoft Teams replace Skype for Business can begin now.
We used Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business together. Would it be possible to just disable Skype for Business?
The only way to complete the upgrade to Teams is by switching users to Teams Only mode. Once you are ready to upgrade to Teams, let your users know what is happening and give them time to adjust. Providing them with this information will ensure they have a positive upgrade experience and reduce the need for support calls.
A Step Further: Voice Enabled Teams
The best Voice Enabled Teams implementation augments Microsoft Teams’ features by increasing their basic chat, video conferencing, and collaboration tools. This solution provides clients with unified communications, collaboration, and enterprise voice capabilities.
The deployment is perfect if your company needs a large number of phone lines for employees spread out in different locations. A common downside of Teams is that it offers expensive, limited calling plans that aren’t built to handle business growth. Also, support is left up to you.
However, by selecting a leading managed service provider, you will be able to install Voice Enabled Teams to fill any UCaaS, SIP, and voice service gaps. By integrating Microsoft Teams into your communications network and building out your voice capabilities, you will have reliable, flexible, and affordable options to extend your connectivity capabilities.
A Direct Gold Microsoft Partner can deploy voice integration with Teams. This process will ensure the modern collaboration features in this platform will provide more complete and scalable communications by adding voice. You can depend on your telecom partner’s support and expertise for the whole network without facing the red tape of a large organization.
Streamlined Business Communications at Your Own Pace
As the workforce becomes more distributed, it requires sophisticated communication and collaboration platforms to handle how they work. A well-designed Voice Enabled Teams strategy can help your company unify communications across voice, video, data, and mobile applications. Employees can work effectively when and where they want, and customers can contact you in their chosen method.
Dedicated industry experts will take the time to discuss your voice migration goals, concerns, budget, and timeline and then suggest options. The chosen partner should have the expertise and tools to tie everything together on a single platform, no matter how dispersed or centralized your locations are, how simple or complex your network is, or what type of various voice technologies you require.
They will assess your current network and use hosted SIP and partial-SIP trunking to provide you with flexible, scalable voice functions across Teams. Then they will tailor a voice migration strategy and roadmap for you, so you can leverage technology and voice features right away and easily add on as needed. Microsoft Teams replacing Skype for Business will no longer be an issue for you.
Here’s a comprehensive list of what a leading Voice Enabled Teams partner can provide:
- Network design and installation
- Adding new sites to the network
- Adding SD-WAN components
- Direct routing with SIP Solutions
- Microsoft licenses
- Teams phone system
- Telecom services
- Monitoring and support for your network with 99.99% uptime
- Professional services on SIP configurations of SBCs
- Microsoft support
- Advanced call routing and queues
- Contact center
- Integration with hosted voice, SIP Trunking, and Hybrid Option
- Cloud calling
- Intercom or paging
- SIP trunk sharing and linking
- Support to GCC Microsoft licensing through direct routing
- Collaboration management
- E911 management
- Easy setup portal
- Disaster Recovery
As a Microsoft Certified Partner, BCM One offers a range of products and services, including Voice Enabled Teams. Our experts have the necessary qualifications to turn your simple phone system into a highly effective communications tool.
Provide connectivity and collaboration from home, while on the road, or even from a coffee shop. Adapt your business to the changing methods of working. A state-of-the-art solution like Microsoft Teams with voice functionality enables seamless communication between employees as well as with customers, partners, and suppliers. Get started now.