Microsoft is ending support for Skype for Business (SfB) Online on July 31, 2021. If you still have SfB Online deployed within your organization, you must come up with a transition plan to avoid disruption to your daily business operations. With less than two months until end-of-life, it’s high time you explore your options and prepare to make a change.
What Does End-of-Life Mean?
Unlike the Windows 7 end-of-life, Microsoft will not be offering extended support updates for SfB Online (it is important to note that although the SfB Online platform will no longer be supported by Microsoft, support will continue for the on-premises versions of Skype for Business). After July 31, 2021, SfB Online will no longer receive updates from Microsoft or even be accessible to users.
What is Replacing Skype for Business Online?
The most obvious replacement for SfB Online is Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s cloud-based unified communications platform that offers workspace chat and videoconferencing, file storage, application integration, and more.
Although Teams was introduced in 2017, it has no doubt grown in popularity over the past year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic where a remote workforce became the norm and having collaboration tools was critical to a business’s success. Furthermore, according to a 2019 Forrester analysis, MS Teams helped employees reclaim as many as 8 working hours per week, and a 5,000-person organization using the platform can expect to see an overall net benefit of $27.1 million over three years.
For businesses currently using SfB Online and uncertain about MS Teams as a suitable replacement, check out the feature comparison list between the two platforms below.
Learn More About the Benefits of Microsoft Teams
Preparing for the Transition
There are several things to consider when transitioning to Teams from SfB Online or any other UCaaS platform. Is your network prepared for heavy workloads included with meetings and calls? Can you use your SfB licenses for Teams, and do you have a plan in place to successfully transfer them? Do you need additional licenses? Can you use your existing calling and meeting devices and equipment in Teams? Do your users need training and education on the Teams platform? Do you need assistance with the removal of your SfB client and the deployment of Teams software?
Whether you are a small business with no dedicated IT resources or an enterprise organization with thousands of users, It is best practice to partner with an IT service provider or technology firm that has experience migrating to and supporting MS Teams. The experts at Buchanan provide a smooth transition and will manage everything from the planning stages to deployment to ensure your users are properly set up and functioning with newly supported technology.
If you are currently using SfB Online or another UCaaS platform and are interested in transitioning to MS Teams, please contact Buchanan today to discuss your options.