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RIP Skype for Business, hello Microsoft Teams

Last night saw some expected news from Microsoft, who officially announced that Skype for Business will be going into retirement as of 2021 - 31st July, to be exact!

Skype has been around since the beginning of time (or it feels that way!) and was the go-to communication tool for businesses with instant messaging, calls and virtual meeting functionalities. As Microsoft and businesses move towards the modern workplace, Microsoft Teams is becoming the go-to tool for organisations looking to move away from Skype for Business.

What does this announcement mean for Skype for Business users?

Skype for Business will be retired on 31st July 2021, and after that date the service will no longer be accessible. Between now and the end-of-life date, current Skype for Business customers will experience no change in service, and they’ll be able to continue to add new users as needed.

However, starting 1st September 2019, any new Office 365 customers will be onboarded directly to Microsoft Teams for chat, meetings and calling.

Why has Microsoft decided to make this announcement now?

In 2017, Microsoft released my personal favourite business application, Teams; something I’ve previously blogged about when we celebrated Teams’ 2nd birthday earlier this year.

Teams was launched as the “hub for teamwork” and, in its 2-year existence, has surpassed the 13 million user mark (overtaking Slack in the process) and has become Microsoft’s fastest-growing business application it has ever launched!

Teams combines chat, video, calling and document collaboration into a single, integrated app accessible across multiple devices, enabling an entirely new way of working. Microsoft has worked closely with customers over the past couple of years to refine Teams and now feels it can confidently recommend Teams as an upgrade to all Skype for Business customers.

Customers who have already made the move tell us that Teams not only has helped them improve collaboration in general, it has also provided a rare opportunity to rethink the way work gets done in their organisations. Check out how we helped our customer CCG revolutionise its internal communications using Microsoft Teams:

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.

What next?

If you are ready to take the next step in moving your business forward and empowering your colleagues to work in a more agile manner, please contact a member of the Microsoft Solutions Team at TSG and talk to one of our dedicated specialists who can assist with your migration plans.

Get in touch now

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