The End of Skype For Business Is Here
The end of Skype for Business is here, and it’s critical that your business is prepared for it. According to a communication Microsoft recently sent out to current users, Skype for Business will be going away as of July 31, 2021. If you’re still using this familiar platform, it’s time to make sure you have another solution in place to avoid business disruption and ensure that things keep moving smoothly.
What Changes Can You Expect?
As Skype for Business retires, you have the option to migrate to Microsoft Teams or another platform for your communication needs. Once the retirement occurs:
Microsoft will no longer support services that integrate with Skype for Business.
Many third-party audio conferencing providers integrate with Skype for Business to create a better, more connective experience. While many of these third-party solutions may continue to use the solution, others will migrate to another solution. Those who continue to use the Skype for Business integrations will no longer receive support for that application.
Customers will not have the ability to move users out of Teams Only mode.
In Teams Only mode, users can receive chats and calls in the Teams client regardless of where they were initiated. They can only initiate chats and calls from Teams, and can only schedule meetings on the Teams platform. They can join Skype for Business or Teams meetings, but may not have access to full functionality. Once the retirement occurs, customers cannot move users out of that mode.
How Can You Avoid Business Disruptions?
Fortunately, Microsoft acknowledges the challenges that may come along with the retirement of Skype for Business–and your business does have several options for making the move to a system that will function more smoothly and keep your business functioning at peak efficiency.
You can function in coexistence mode.
Sometimes, you may need a little extra time before you make the full move to a new platform. Upon retirement, coexistence modes will enable customers to operate Skype for Business in a side-by-side mode with Teams until they are ready to move users to Teams Only. This can make it easier to streamline the transition and better prepare users for the changes they may experience when transferring to a new system. Many businesses will need to use this solution for a period of time as they decide what they want to do next or determine the best solutions and processes for their business.
You can move directly to Teams Only.
Users can move directly from Skype for Business Server to Teams Only. You need only configure the Skype for Business Hybrid with Microsoft 365 or Office 365, which will allow you to use much of the same functionality you’re used to without relying on a system that is no longer supported. This transition is designed to be smooth, simple, and convenient for your business, which means you can deploy it quickly and have your teams moving forward as smoothly as ever with less disruption.
You can choose a new communication platform for your business.
Some businesses are choosing to move away from the Skype for Business model entirely and utilize a more effective system: one that is designed with modern technology and the needs of modern businesses in mind. Platforms like Slack, Hive, and BlueJeans offer much of the same functionality that you could expect from Skype.
What Does Microsoft 365 Offer?
Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams for Business offer enhanced functionality and a high level of protection. If you choose to use Microsoft 365, you can expect:
Easy chat hosting, including calls and meetings.
Microsoft teams makes real-time communication a snap–which means that you can be productive from anywhere. You can easily host chats, take calls, and hold meetings, all from one easy solution. These calls can support multiple users and are designed to offer a seamless video chat feature, which means you’ll be able to connect effortlessly with employees or clients no matter where they are.
Simple cloud storage and file sharing.
Microsoft Teams, when combined with Microsoft 365, makes file sharing a breeze. You can easily share files in real-time, allowing you to share the vital documentation necessary to proceed with a meeting, share information with coworkers, or modify documents as needed.
Convenient apps and processes.
You can use and collaborate on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files with ease in Microsoft Teams. You’ll also get access to Outlook and Exchange, which will provide easy calendar and email options–all in one easy platform that will keep your business operating as smoothly as possible and help you cut costs.
A high degree of security.
Microsoft 365 is designed to help protect against cyberattacks: viruses, malware, phishing attempts, ransomware, spam, and more. It’s a highly secure platform that is designed with your business’s protection in mind. With cyberattacks hitting increasing numbers of businesses each year, and many small and medium businesses bearing the weight of those attacks, security is a critical element for your organization to consider when determining whether a platform is the right choice for you.
In the midst of the many challenges faced by business owners and employees alike in the past year, another transition may seem daunting. Fortunately, Microsoft 365 allows for easy setup and deployment. You’ll be using your new system and connecting with your teammates more smoothly in the blink of an eye–and you can easily transfer your existing processes and data from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams in a smooth migration. Your employees will be ready to make the most of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 very quickly.
Is Microsoft 365 the right solution for your business as you transfer away from Skype for Business and start using a new platform? Whether you have questions about whether this is the ideal platform for you or you’re in need of help to make the transfer, ECW can help. Contact us today for a consultation about whether Microsoft 365 is the right solution for you and how you can make an effective transition from Skype for Business to a new platform.