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Using Skype for Business Online? Get ready to say goodbye to it soon

Millions have moved from Skype for Business Online to Teams, and time is running out for those still using it.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Microsoft is warning its Skype for Business Online customers that they are quickly closing in on the cut-off date for the service, which arrives on July 31. 

The date marks the end of a relatively brief chapter in Microsoft's Skype business. Skype for Business was released in 2015, four years after it acquired Skype for $8.5 billion

Microsoft has been pushing Skype for Business Online customers to move to Microsoft Teams for the past two years, so it should come as no surprise to affected customers. The company said it has already supported millions of Skype for Business Online to Teams switchovers.

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It also offered reminders in February and in April as the deadline neared. It's offering assisted upgrades for customers that haven't made the Teams transition yet. Microsoft currently has 145 million daily active Teams users.  

"With a month before service retirement, we encourage remaining Skype for Business Online customers to continue transitioning users and workloads to Teams," the Microsoft Teams unit said in a blogpost

The assisted upgrades coming in August aim to help organizations with "last-mile technical" elements of the transition to Teams. Admins should receive scheduling notifications in the Microsoft 365 Message Center and Teams admin center 90 days before the assisted upgrade commences. Customers can continue to upgrade their systems themselves before the assisted upgrade starts. 

Microsoft also notes that organizations that have booked assisted upgrades after July 31 will continue to be able to use Skype for Business Online until the upgrade is complete.

The company predicts that most assisted migrations will take 24 hours to complete. While it's happening, customers will have access to Skype for Business Online functionality. After the Teams upgrade, organizations will have access to Teams messaging, meetings, and calling. Then all new online users will be added to Teams Only mode.  

There are two types of assistant upgrade that cater to organizations with Skype for Business Online-only and Skype for Business Online within a hybrid environment.

Microsoft explains: 

  • Skype for Business Online-only: The assisted upgrade process will apply the TeamsUpgradeOverridePolicy policy to the tenant. When this policy is applied, all Skype for Business Online users will be placed in Teams Only mode.
  • Skype for Business Online users in hybrid environment: The assisted upgrade will only switch Skype for Business Online users to Teams Only mode if they're not already in that mode. Skype for Business Server users won't be impacted by the assisted upgrade process and will remain on-premises. 

Microsoft also warned that services that integrate with Skype for Business Online will not be supported beyond July 31. That includes support for third-party audio conferencing providers, Skype for Business Online Cloud Connector Edition, hybrid voice configurations, and Skype Meeting Broadcast.

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