The end of an era – Skype for Business Online end of life date announced


Well this is some big news – Skype for Business Online has an end of life notice on its head. While this might be distressing for some, all good things must come to an end, and Skype for Business Online has been a really really good thing.

Change is inevitable and its a good thing. Without change things cant improve, and without improvement we cannot move forward. This reminds me of the early days of OCS/Lync/SfB PABX replacement. Generally people didn’t want to make that change, yet now if we were to take Skype for Business away from them and give them back a plain old phone, they’d likely strangle us. This is no different. When we look back on Skype for Business vs Teams, there will be no question that the evolution was a good thing, but that kind of hindsight will obviously take some time.

For those that aren’t sure, I’m going to explicitly state that Skype for Business Server is not effected by this announcement. If you’re an on-premises customer, you have nothing to do. Having said that, it would still be wise to consider Microsoft Teams and how it might fit in to your organisation over time. The great thing about sticking with the Microsoft ecosystem, is they provide pretty seamless migration paths that allow coexistence and interoperability between the platforms.

Summarising the announcement:

  • Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021
  • Starting September 1st 2019 all new Office 365 customers will be provisions with Teams for chat, meetings, and calling
  • Customers using 3PIP devices (3rd party certified SfB devices) who have been migrated over to Teams Only will be able to continue using these devices with a limited set of functionalities until July 31, 2023 (not sure what the stated limitations are at this stage)
  • There is no change for Skype for Business Server customers and interoperability and coexistence will continue

You can read the full announcement from Microsoft here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask below in the comments.



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