On 31 July 2021, Microsoft will stop with Skype for Business Online. The tool will then merge with Microsoft Teams. So you have some time to make the switch. What should you do and what exactly can you expect from Teams?
Skype for Business Online isn't simply disappearing and neither is it just a name change from Skype for Business to Teams. By integrating Skype for Business in Microsoft Teams, you will have more capabilities. So that's good news.
Even better collaboration
Microsoft is making Teams its central hub for online meetings. Some communication features – chat, video and audio conversations – overlap with those of Skype for Business, but Teams also offers a powerful search function and a lot more features for efficient collaboration and the sharing of documents in one application.
The name says it all: with Teams it is very easy to create small groups (or teams), communicate with each other and collaborate on projects. It is possible to do this with a PC or a tablet or a smartphone. The online platform therefore fits in perfectly with the evolution towards a Modern Workplace, where employees have the flexibility to choose their working hours and workplace. In addition, Teams includes all the communication channels and apps for online meetings integrated into one user interface, so that you can enjoy smarter collaboration without having to change applications.
So Skype for Business Online fans have nothing to worry about: the existing capabilities won't be lost at all, but strengthened even more in Teams. The great success of Teams, which attracts 13 million users every day, has already convinced Microsoft of this.
Since 1 September 2019, new Office 365 customers have no longer been able to opt for Skype for Business Online, but are automatically directed to Teams. Those who have already been working with Skype for Business Online can continue to add new users until 31 July 2021.
The on-premises server version of Skype for Business will not disappear in 2021. In fact, Skype for Business Server 2019 has extended support until 14 October 2025.
Still, it is better to look ahead now. Everyone has to switch in the end anyway.
Soften the switch
Above all, remember that every change in a company's working methods requires adequate guidance. So make sure that the end users are given time to get used to Teams. For example, it may be useful to start with pilot groups before the whole company switches over.
For the time being, you can use Skype for Business Online and Teams side by side. This may make the switch easier. Moreover, Skype for consumers will continue to exist, and Microsoft has announced that starting in early 2020 it will be possible to use Teams to communicate with Skype for consumers and vice versa. This change is also in response to the demand of users.
Need help with the transition from Skype for Business Online to Teams? You will find a lot of information available on the Microsoft website.
Are you missing the necessary technical knowledge in-house or does your IT manager have to focus on strategic projects? Then call in an external IT expert.