Skype for Business Online retires in six months as transition to Teams continues

Rabia Noureen

Back in 2019, Microsoft announced its plans to retire Skype for Business Online in favor of Teams, the company’s popular collaboration platform. Skype for Business Online will finally shut down on July 31, and the Redmond giant is now reminding users to complete the migration process as soon as possible.

Microsoft Teams become the fastest growing app over the last few years, but thousands of organizations worldwide are still using Skype for Business Online. They have had plenty of time to prepare for this change since the company revealed the end-of-life date for this service; however, companies have been making the switch at their own pace.

This week, the Redmond giant has issued a reminder for customers that they will no longer be able to use Skype for Business Online once the service officially retires, and access to the service will discontinue at the end of July. The firm noted that affected organizations may continue to use Teams as part of their existing licensing agreement.

Microsoft is aware of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly caused delays in migration for many organizations, impacting the availability of IT Admins. However, it has no plans to extend the deadline beyond July 31, 2021. Microsoft says that many customers have already upgraded to the Teams collaboration platform in a couple of months. It has provided some resources to help users who have yet to make the transition.

“Some organizations may not be far along in the Teams upgrade planning process. It’s understandable as the events of the past year have impacted strategies, priorities, and resources for so many. Don’t worry, you still have time,” the company explained. “With six months until retirement, we encourage you to begin planning today to accommodate the technical, process, and user scenarios that may be unique to your organization. But rest assured, there are resources to guide you step-by-step.”

Finally, Microsoft reiterated that some Skype for Business Online users might be eligible for automated upgrades to Teams. It is important to note that Skype for Business Server users will not be affected by this change, and the company will continue supporting the service until October 14, 2025.