Skype for Business Online is discontinued in summer 2021 and Skype for Business (on-premise) is end-of-life in 2024 (extended support until 2025). Both versions are being replaced with Microsoft Teams. Although Skype for Business still enables companies to power their telephony systems, there is no reason to delay the migration to Teams.
Skype for Business facilitates remote work and collaboration, and many companies use it as their company-wide Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony system. So why move to Teams? While the state-of-the-art communication platform masters collaboration, many companies have failed to implement Teams in their telephony use cases, in part due to missing functionality. We have summarized the most important topics to consider for a holistic migration from Skype for Business to Teams.
Skype for Business Online is end-of-life on July 21, 2021 (read Microsoft announcement). There is no time to spare to migrate to Teams.
Skype for Business On-Prem is end-of-life on September 1, 2024. However, Microsoft offers extended support until October 14, 2025.
Below, find a full overview of the Microsoft product and service lifecycles for all versions of Skype for Business and Skype for Business Servers:
|Start date||Mainstream end date||Extended end date|
|Skype for Business 2015||Sep 1, 2013||Oct 4, 2018||Nov 4, 2023|
|Skype for Business 2016||Sep 22, 2016||Oct 13, 2020||Oct 14, 2025|
|Skype for Business 2019||Sep 24, 2018||Sep 1, 2024||Oct 14, 2025|
|Skype for Business Server 2015||Jul 30, 2015||Oct 13, 2020||Oct 14, 2025|
|Skype for Business Server 2019||Oct 22, 2018||Sep 1, 2024||Oct 14, 2025|
Skype for Business already facilitates collaboration – with Teams, working together reaches a whole new level of sophistication. Teams includes extensive functionality for communication and teamwork, and beyond that, everything is in one place: telephony, conferencing, chat, data storage/Sharepoint. Security is also centrally managed. Teams has proven its power throughout the last year and surpasses Skype for Business by miles in terms of capabilities.
Without a doubt, Teams is a field-proven and powerful tool for communication and collaboration. However, many companies are struggling with the holistic migration to Teams because it falls short in many telephony use cases such as call groups (called hunt groups in Skype for Business), service desks, IT help desks, call queueing, routing, contact centers, receptions, and attendants. Basic telephony functionality of Teams is often crude or simply missing. These crucial functionalities are major roadblocks to a full rollout within a company.
That’s where third-party providers such as Luware come into play. They fill the gaps and make it possible to move traditional telephony use cases over to Teams and to replace old telephony systems (PBXs, e.g. Mitel, Avaya, Siemens, Alcatel etc.).
In the heat of the pandemic in 2020, many companies have hastily migrated to Teams – at least for collaboration. Now, many are realizing that they can use Teams beyond teamwork and wish to use it holistically. This includes the above-mentioned telephony use cases. To complete this transition – or to make it right from the start, for those companies who are still at the beginning – we recommend an evaluation of all key use cases including the entire telephony and customer service.
Very important: No patchwork! Use Teams as a company-wide communication platform by including telephony. This will allow you to utilize the full benefits of the Teams platform as well as the full Microsoft ecosystem.
By now, most companies have not only accepted the transition to the cloud, but they have put it firmly into their IT and company strategy. Teams offers many benefits for the IT departments compared to Skype for Business. Because the Teams application and all users are managed centrally in the cloud, the IT infrastructure is simplified tremendously as servers become obsolete.
IT specialists may also appreciate that updates must no longer be deployed in the middle of the night but occur automatically for all users. They can also simplify their application jungle and standardize their IT landscape with a streamlined Microsoft strategy.
‘Integration’ and ‘automation’ are key buzz words in management circles. With Teams, Microsoft not only built a powerful application but placed it centrally into their entire ecosystem. The Microsoft Power Platform allows companies to easily and quickly integrate systems and automate processes using Power Automate. Integrations that used to take months are now set up in a few hours. This is not limited to Microsoft applications but also includes native third-party applications. The ‘Microsoft-way’ is a future-proof strategy with a platform that will continue to grow and evolve.
A transition to Microsoft Teams offers many powerful features and comes with an entire ecosystem that enables and accelerates digital transformation and automation. Don’t wait until it is too late. Start now and migrate from Skype for Business to Teams! Why not check out our solutions for telephony, routing, contact centers, and attendants to make your transition an easy one.