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Upgrading from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams FAQ

If your company is currently using Skype for Business, these FAQs will help you transition to Microsoft Teams before July 31, 2021.  

Skype For Business

Moving from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams may seem a bit overwhelming, but this list of FAQ will help you transfer to Microsoft Teams. Skype for Business Online will retire on July 31, 2021, giving you time to experiment and learn more about Teams.

Why is Microsoft Teams replacing Skype for Business Online?

Microsoft Teams has more capabilities than Skype for Business Online including bringing together files, chats, and apps in an integrated app, along with a faster speed and efficiency.

When is the retirement of Skype for Business Online?

Skype for Business Online will retire on July 31, 2021. For more information, read Skype for Business Online to Be Retired. Starting September 1, 2019, new Office 365 customers will be onboarded to Teams and will not have access to Skype for Business Online.

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

Yes. However, they will need to transition to Microsoft Teams later on.

What is the future of Skype for Business Server?

We encourage organisations to adopt Teams along with Skype for Business Server. The latest version of Skype for Business Server 2019 was released in October 2018 with initial mainstream support planned through January 9, 2024.

What does this mean for existing Office 365 customers?

We’ve brought the key set of Skype for Business Online capabilities into Teams along with new voice, video, and meetings innovation. All Office 365 customers can start using Teams today to get familiar with it before July 31, 2021.

What if we are in the process of deploying Skype for Business in Office 365?

Customers deploying Skype for Business Online may continue to do so. We encourage new Office 365 customers to start using Teams.

What support do you offer customers who want to move to Teams?

All Skype for Business customers should begin deploying Teams and planning their upgrades. Microsoft will assist customers that need guidance. However, there are transition tools and tutorials that you can use including prescriptive guidanceFastTrackinstructor-led training, customer support, and Upgrade Workshops to help with upgrade planning.

What does this mean from a licensing perspective?

Teams is available in Office 365 suites. Capabilities that are premium workloads in Skype for Business Online will continue to be premium workloads in Teams. Existing licensing investments made by customers carry forward to Teams.

Is Microsoft planning scheduled upgrades?

Currently, we have no plans to schedule upgrades for enterprise customers. Customers can choose to move to Teams as it makes sense for their organisations before July 31, 2021. For smaller customers without dedicated IT resources, Microsoft is assisting with automated upgrades from Skype for Business Online to Teams. Eligible customers will be notified.

How does the Skype for Business Online retirement announcement affect organisations with hybrid configurations (Skype for Business Online and Skype for Business Server)?

Hybrid customers with online and on-prem configurations will be required to transition users from Skype for Business Online to Microsoft Teams by July 31, 2021. Upgrade paths for hybrid configurations built around principles of coexistence and interoperability will remain after the retirement of Skype for Business Online.

Skype for Business to Teams Upgrade

How long will it take to upgrade my organisation to Teams?

You can move at your own pace as long as you meet the July 31, 2021 deadline. We’ve developed comprehensive upgrade guidance designed to help you navigate the transition.

Where can I learn more about coexistence modes?

Within the Microsoft Teams admin centre, you can find the information on coexistence modes.

What should I do to prepare for my upgrade?

If your organisation isn’t quite ready to upgrade to Teams, you can begin the planning process today.

My organisation is already running Teams alongside Skype for Business. Can I just disable Skype for Business?

No, you’ll want to switch users to Teams only mode to complete the upgrade to Teams.

Who can I contact if I have questions about the upgrade process?

You can reach out to your current points of contact or FastTrack. You can also open a help ticket in your Microsoft Teams admin centre.

Do I upgrade all users on my tenant together, or can I opt to upgrade select users at a time?

You have the flexibility to upgrade users to Teams as it makes sense for you. To help understand the optimal approach, review the various coexistence and upgrade modes.

What happens after my users are upgraded?

After your users are upgraded to Teams:

  1. Their Skype for Business client will be disabled for use as all chat and calls will go to Teams. This client will continue to be used for previously scheduled Skype for Business meetings. If this desktop client is uninstalled, users will be redirected to access previously scheduled Skype for Business meetings via the Skype for Business web app.
  2. Any Skype for Business meetings scheduled before the upgrade will work as designed, but all new meetings will be scheduled in Teams.
  3. If users attempt to sign in to Skype for Business, they’ll get a notification from their client that they’ve been upgraded to Teams.
  4. Users will need to manually uninstall the Skype for Business client on their mobile device.

Will users still be able to use Skype for Business after I activate the upgrade notification in their client?

Yes. We recommend adding an awareness campaign to communicate further details specific to your organisation.

Published on 9th October 2019 by Ian Brady.

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