Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Skype for Business Online will be retired 31st July 2021


Microsoft Lifecycle reference here

Big news in Skype for Business, in a blog on the Microsoft Teams blog, Microsoft has officially announced the mainstream support end date/end of service for Skype for Business Online as 31st July 2021. Customers have two years from this announcement to move off Skype for Business Online to Microsoft Teams or another solution. After that date, Skype for Business Online will no longer be accessible.

Between now and 31st July 2021, current Skype for Business Online customers will experience no change in service, and they’ll be able to continue to add new users as needed.

Also to align with this schedule, support for the integration of third-party party Audio Conferencing Providers (ACP) into Skype for Business Online has been extended to July 31, 2021, with limited support for remaining active tenants to allow additional time for transition. This is an update from the previous 2020 date.

Skype for Business Online is governed by the Microsoft Modern Lifecycle Policy, which defines customer and Microsoft responsibilities. The terms state “For products governed by the Modern Lifecycle Policy, Microsoft will provide a minimum of 12 months’ notification prior to ending support if no successor product or service is offered—excluding free services or preview releases.” (reference), so, in this case, Microsoft is giving double the notice they are contractually committed to, but no doubt understand for some customers this will be a big project.

What about Skype for Business Server?

Note this does not change the support timelines for Skype for Business Server, see here for those dates.

What about new tenants?

From September 1, 2019,  all new Office 365 customers will be Microsoft Teams only with no Skype for Business Online

Microsoft also announced new features coming

  • Dynamic 911. A feature of Microsoft Teams Phone System, Dynamic E911 automatically uses the caller’s current location to route to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) call centre operated by the local government.  Dynamic E911 will be delivered in Teams for the United States by the end of this calendar year.
  • Shorter Retention Periods. New retention period options will allow customers to limit channel and chat retention periods to as short as 1 day and ensure that when data is deleted it is removed from all permanent storage locations in the Teams service.  Shorter Retention Periods will be available in Teams by the end of this calendar year.
  • Teams and Skype Consumer Interop. Interop between Teams and Skype Consumer will allow users on the two services to communicate using both chat and calling.  Teams and Skype Consumer Interop will be available in Teams in the first quarter of the calendar year 2020.
  • Contact Center Integration and Compliance Recording. At Inspire earlier this month we announced Teams partnerships with Five9, Genesys, and NICE to enable Contact Center solutions – and with ASC, NICE, and Verint to provide Compliance Recording.   We’re also working with other Skype for Business Online certified partners to bring other Contact Center and Compliance Recording solutions to market for Teams.

How should I get started on migration from Skype for Business Online?

Microsoft a comprehensive set of technical guidance and planning resourcesfree instructor-led training, and FastTrack onboarding assistance for eligible subscriptions.


I’ll be sure to update the blog as we get more specific details. Be sure to subscribe for my biweekly email update to stay informed!

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Founder and Principal at Empowering.Cloud as well as a Solutions Director at Pure IP.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his, UC Today Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

  • Hey Tom Do you have anythig from Inspire about the gap in the market between Business and Enterprise SKU’s? i.e. Teams Voice can only be added to E1, E3 or E5 SKU’s, no busienss SKU’s and not even the ability to bolt SfB Online P2 onto a Business SKU.

  • Hi Tom,

    Would you know what will happened with Cloud Connector Edition after SfB will be retired?


  • Hello Tom,

    Would you know what will happen with Cloud Connector Edition after SfBO will be retired?


  • Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions