Keep working on your Teams upgrade plan, Microsoft has warned organizations still on Skype for Business Online as it gears up to switch off Skype for Business Online on July 31, 2021.
Microsoft warned customers with Skype for Business Online two years ago that the service would reach end of life on July 31, 2021, at which point customers would need to move to Microsoft Teams. It sent another reminder in February, six months ahead of the cut-off date, urging customers to migrate to Teams immediately. The other option is moving to an instance of Skype for Business Server.
Now, in a new blogpost three months out from deadline, it's told customers still on Skype for Business Online to "keep working your upgrade plan" and detailed what customers can expect before July 31.
SEE: Guide to Becoming a Digital Transformation Champion (TechRepublic Premium)
"Skype for Business Online will be fully functional through July 31, 2021 to allow customers time to transition users to Teams or to an instance of Skype for Business Server," Microsoft said.
But there are some other factors customers should take into account, including services integrated with Skype for Business Online, and several other interim migration options, such as "Teams Only" and coexistence mode. After the cut-off date, Teams Only will be the sole option.
Key changes Microsoft is alerting customers to before July 31:
- Services that integrate with Skype for Business Online will not be supported beyond the July 31, 2021 retirement. This includes support for third-party audio-conferencing providers, Skype for Business Online Cloud Connector Edition, hybrid voice configurations, and Skype Meeting Broadcast.
- Customers will not be able to move online users out of Teams Only mode after retirement.
- Coexistence modes enable customers to operate Skype for Business Server/Teams side-by-side experiences until they are ready to move users to Teams Only.
- Users can be moved directly from Skype for Business Server to Teams Only after configuring Skype for Business hybrid with Microsoft 365 or Office 365.
In the coming weeks, Microsoft will also start scheduling "Microsoft-assisted upgrades" to Teams for customers with cloud-only or hybrid deployments as a "last-mile" transition service. Microsoft has posted a document explaining Microsoft-assisted upgrades, which will begin in August.
Microsoft adds that users within a tenant can expect to be upgraded within 24 hours from the start of the upgrade. After the upgrade and once users log out of Skype for Business Online, they will only be able to use Teams for messages, chat and scheduling meetings.