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Skype for Business Online Retirement and Microsoft Teams Adoption

Plan your move to Microsoft Teams with ThinkTel today

On Tuesday, July 30, 2019, Microsoft announced that Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021, and after that date the service will no longer be accessible. Between now and then, current Skype for Business Online customers will experience no change in service, and they’ll be able to continue to add new users as needed. Please note that Skype for Business Server (Skype for Business on Premises and ThinkTel’s Skype for Business Private Cloud solution) will be unaffected by this announcement.

Before you know it, Skype for Business Online will no longer be available – has your organization begun planning your next steps?

ThinkTel has you covered:

Reach out to your Account Manager or fill in the request form below to allow ThinkTel to assist your organization through the transition to Microsoft Teams.

ThinkTel is the right Teams partner for your organization, if you want to:

Maximize the benefits Teams brings & start planning your upgrade today.

Skype for Business Online retirement and Microsoft Teams Adoption FAQs

When is the retirement of Skype for Business Online?

Skype for Business Online will be retired July 31, 2021. Skype for Business Online customers should see no change to the service prior to the retirement date.

Why is this announcement important for me?

The July 31, 2021 retirement date reinforces Microsoft’s full commitment to Teams as the “hub for teamwork” in Office 365.

Current Skype for Business Online customers will experience no change in service through July 31, 2021. After that, customers will no longer be able to access the Skype for Business Online service.

When should I plan to start my migration?

With so little time to prepare for the Skype for Business Online retirement date, organizations leveraging SfBO should be already working on their migration strategy. ThinkTel offers Teams Proof of Concept projects, Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams specific workshops, as well as Teams end user and administrator training.

Does this announcement impact Skype for Business Server?

This announcement has no impact on Skype for Business Server, Skype for Business on Premises as well as ThinkTel’s Skype for Business hosted offering will continue without impact. ThinkTel customers who are using Think 365 Dedicated (Private Cloud) or Skype for Business on Premises will not be affected.

Are there any implications for customers who remain on Skype for Business Server?

No, customers levergaing Skype for Business Server will not be impacted. ThinkTel will continue to offer and support both our Think 365 Private Cloud Skype for Business and on premises Skype for Business solutions.

I am a Think365 Connector client. How will this affect me?

ThinkTel’s Think 365 Connector clients will be required to transition from their Skype for Business Online solution prior to the Skype for Business Online retirement date.

Will current Skype for Business Online customers be able to add new seats to their tenant?

Yes. Current Skype for Business Online customers may add new seats to their tenant with the understanding they will need to transition these users to Microsoft Teams by the announced July 31, 2021 Skype for Business Online retirement date.

As of Sept 1, 2019, all new Office 365 customers will be on-boarded to Microsoft Teams, with no access to Skype for Business Online.

Is Skype Meeting Broadcast going to retire at the same time as Skype for Business Online?

Yes. Teams Live Events is the successor solution to Skype Meeting Broadcast – ThinkTel is pleased to review the exciting new functionality coming with Teams Live Events with your organization.

Will my current third-party IP (3PIP) phones continue to work with Microsoft Teams? And if so, how long?

For an optimal Teams end user experience, it is important to use clients and devices certified for Microsoft Teams.

After the Skype for Business Online retirement date of July 31, 2021, users with 3PIP devices who have been migrated over to Teams will only be able to continue using their 3PIP devices with a limited set of functionalities until July 31, 2023.

After July 31, 2023, Microsoft will no longer support 3PIP phones on Teams. To ensure business continuity, these phones should be replaced with native Teams certified phones.

Will my third-party Audio Conferencing devices still work with Skype for Business Online?

Support for the integration of third-party Audio Conferencing Providers (ACP) into Skype for Business Online has been extended to July 31, 2021, with limited support for remaining active tenants to allow additional time for transition. This is an update in the ACP timeline that was originally announced April 2018.

Will certified Skype for Business online phones work with Teams?

For questions related to phone compatibility, read Certified Skype for Business Online Phones and what this means for Teams at

How does this announcement affect customers with hybrid configurations (Skype for Business Online and Skype for Business Server)?

As communicated last fall, support for Skype for Business Server continues with Skype for Business Server 2019. Customers with on-prem configurations or ThinkTel’s Think 365 Private Cloud solution are not impacted by this news.

Hybrid customers, with online and on-prem configurations will be required to transition from Skype for Business Online to Microsoft Teams by the July 31, 2021 retirement date.

What if I have legitimate blockers that prevent my organization from upgrading to Teams?

ThinkTel can work with organizations in these situations through the following two solutions:

  1. Think 365 Dedicated Private Cloud Hosting – ThinkTel’s Private Cloud Skype for Business solution available in both Enterprise and Standard Editions. Additionally, ThinkTel has high availability and disaster recovery options around these solutions.
  2. Skype for Business 2019 On Premises Deployments – available in Enterprise and Standard Editions, with high availability and disaster recovery options. Post-deployment Skype for Business build support for one month (30 calendar days).
What is the guidance for organizations who are in the middle of a Skype for Business Online deployment?

ThinkTel’s technical team and your ThinkTel Account Manager can work with your organization to choose the optimal Microsoft solution fit moving forward. Customers currently deploying Skype for Business Online may continue to do so.

Will new features continue to be added to Skype for Business Online?

Skype for Business Online will continue to be supported up until retirement, but no new features are currently planned other than security patches.

Is there a recommended upgrade path for Skype for Business Online?

ThinkTel tailors our Microsoft migration approach around our customers’ requirements, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Each customer has specific requirements, timelines and political landscapes. Let us work with you to provide the best fit solution to your organization’s needs.

How will ThinkTel help customers with their upgrade to Teams?

As your Partner, ThinkTel can enable customers to plan and implement a successful upgrade from Skype for Business Online to Teams. ThinkTel offers multiple Skype for Business to Teams workshops and training plans to simplify and fast track your journey to Microsoft Teams.

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