Written by Cisilion CSO, Rob Quickenden
On July 31 2021, Access to Skype for Business Online
For most, the logical migration is to move your voice, chat and meetings to Microsoft Teams. Although this announcement has been two years in the making before the “turning off” of Skype for Business Online, moving and adopting a new service needs proper planning, communication, testing, integration, and change management so you need to start thinking about what you will do next now.
Am I Impacted by This?
If your business has deployed the following scenarios, you will be impacted:
- Skype for Business Online only deployment
- Skype for Business Online with Cloud Connector Edition (CCE)
- Skype for Business hybrid deployments with on–premise call handling
Is This a Good Thing?
It might not sound like it, but it is! Since Microsoft Teams was released two years ago it was always destined to replace the messaging, meetings and voice services within Skype for Business Online.
Microsoft Teams is not a version change – it’s a new category of product – a full end to end chat-based collaboration platform with all the same features (plus many more) of Skype for Business. Teams was built from the ground up with an emphasis on team–based collaboration built on the scale, productivity and security of Office 365 and it is really great:
- Teams is the future of Microsoft Collaboration efforts
- Teams provide a single platform for chat, files, meeting, calling and more
- Teams will integrate into any and all of your other business applications and services
- The voice, video and meeting room experience in Teams is leaps ahead of that in Skype
How Should I Approach Migration?
Migrating from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams is a journey and one that we have already successfully completed with many of our existing clients.
Cisilion’s proven approach for migrating (or onboarding) users to Microsoft Teams follows a delivery methodology where the introduction of the core services happens in advance of the voice services, allowing users time to get familiar with the Teams environment before voice services are migrated across.
There is no single path to migrate, but there is proven methodology, as it depends on your specific environment, infrastructure, processes and workflows, your timescales and of course budget. The approach is different if you are already using Teams with Skype for Business verses if you are not yet using Teams.
We also know that many organisations already using Skype for Business, also use this in conjunction with other voice platforms, such as Cisco or Avyva. Migrating from Skype to Microsoft Teams also means reviewing this co-existence and your wider voice and meeting strategy to make the shift as seamless and pain-free as possible, whilst also giving you the opportunity to review and update your wider collaboration strategy.
It‘s important to remember that Microsoft Teams is not just a direct replacement for Skype for Business Online – Teams is far more than that so if your business is not already on Teams, you need to think about more than just Instant Messaging, Conferencing and Voice.
It is also vital that you look at your adoption and change management approach to ensure you are making the transition to Teams as painless and beneficial for your users – you will find that some people will think they need no help or training while others will resist the change at all cost.
What Services Do Cisilion Offer?
Cisilion’s Microsoft Teams migration, onboarding and adoption focus on five key areas:
- Assessment and Planning
- Implementation and Project Services
- End-user Devices, Meeting Rooms and Video Services
- Adoption and Change Management Services
- Support and Management
We are Microsoft Gold Partners that hold Gold Communications and Cloud Productivity competencies, and one of five UK Cisco Gold Partners with Master Collaboration Specialisation status. We are also certified with all major device and meeting room vendors including Poly, Yealink and Surface Hub.
Voice is one of the most critical business systems any organisation uses, and we know the importance of getting a migration right first time. We have been working with IP Telephony and Collaboration Platforms since the days of Cisco Call Manager and have worked with Microsoft Voice technology since the days of Office Communication Server (OCS), which backdate to 2007.
What Should I do Next?
To request more information about what the end of life for Skype for Business means for your business, fill in the form below: