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As we approach the retirement of Skype for Business Online, we want to take a moment to appreciate the efforts organizations are making to complete their transitions to Teams prior to July 31, 2021, as well as those who have already upgraded to Teams. Thank you! If you still have Skype for Business Online users, keep working your upgrade plan. Regardless of the technical and change management dynamics with your upgrade, you can accomplish so much over the next three months.
What to expect as Skype for Business Online retires?
Skype for Business Online will be fully functional through July 31, 2021 to allow customers time to transition users to Teams or to an instance of Skype for Business Server. Here are some other details you should know about the Skype for Business Online service retirement:
- Services that integrate with Skype for Business Online will not be supported beyond the July 31, 2021 retirement. This includes support for third-party audio conferencing providers (ACP), Skype for Business Online Cloud Connector Edition (CCE), hybrid voice configurations, and Skype Meeting Broadcast.
- Customers will not be able to move online usersout of Teams Only mode after retirement.
- Coexistence modes enable customers to operate Skype for Business Server/Teams side-by-side experiences until they are ready to move users to Teams Only.
- Users can be moved directly from Skype for Business Server to Teams Only after configuring Skype for Business hybrid with Microsoft 365 or Office 365.
Microsoft-assisted upgrades to Teams
In coming weeks, we’ll begin scheduling Microsoft-assisted upgrades to Teams for Skype for Business Online customers with cloud-only or hybrid deployments. Assisted upgrades help with last-mile technical steps of the transition to Teams. Customers will be notified through the Teams admin center and the Microsoft 365 Message Center, 90 days prior to the scheduled date of their assisted upgrade. Customers tracking to complete their transitions to Teams Only prior to their scheduled automated upgrade date are encouraged to do so for better control over the timing of their upgrade experience.
The duration of each customer’s upgrade will vary by volume of users and characteristics of their deployment, but generally users within a tenant will be upgraded within 24 hours from the start of the upgrade. During this time, users will still be able to access Skype for Business Online. Once the upgrade has completed and users log out of Skype for Business Online, they will only be able to use Teams to initiate and receive messages and calls as well as to schedule and host meetings. These users will be able to join a Skype for Business meeting scheduled by a user on Skype for Business Server or in a federated organization.
When the assisted upgrade completes, the coexistence mode for upgraded users is set to Teams Only. Admins should review Teams Only mode considerations prior to upgrade. Learn more about Microsoft-assisted upgrades to Teams.
Teams upgrade resources
Whether you’re at the start of your upgrade journey or are wrapping up, these resources can help guide your organization through its transition to Teams:
- Microsoft Teams admin documentation provides guidance for rolling out, managing, and preparing users for Teams.
- Online upgrade guidance helps you prepare your technical environment and end-users for the upgrade to Teams.
- Teams upgrade planning workshops take you through a proven framework for planning and implementing your upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams.
- Microsoft Chalk Talks workshops teach best practices and practical guidance around some of the most popular and compelling scenarios in Teams.
- Microsoft Partners can help you plan and execute your upgrade.
Additional guidance for customers with hybrid configurations
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more retirement guidance for Skype for Business customers with hybrid (server + online) configurations.
See you in Teams!
Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.