How to Migrate from Skype for Business to Teams

How to Migrate from Skype for Business to Teams

Skype for Business is scheduled to retire on July 31, 2021 which is why your business should prepare and migrate to Teams.

Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, How to Migrate
migrate skype for business to teams

Why is Microsoft Teams replacing Skype for Business Online?

Microsoft Teams expands on the capabilities in Skype for Business Online by bringing together the Office 365 tools such as files, chats, and apps in an integrated app.

Teams is designed to help organizations communicate and collaborate more efficiently. It's often to see Microsoft replace a good product with something new. Previously they replaced Skype with Lync and this similar.

Teams replaces Skype for Business as the core communications client for Office 365.

skype to business to teams
Skype to Business Users Need to Migrate to Teams

When is the retirement of Skype for Business Online?

Skype for Business Online will retire on July 31, 2021. Skype for Business Online customers should see no change to the service before the retirement date. Read Skype for Business Online to Be Retired for more details.

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

Yes. Current Skype for Business Online customers may add new seats to their tenant with the understanding they will eventually need to transition these users to Microsoft Teams.

skype for business
Skype for Business

What is the future of Skype for Business Server?

We recognize that customers are using Skype for Business Server and many need to continue to use Skype for Business Server for some users or geographies due to their requirements.

In these instances, we encourage organizations to adopt Teams along with Skype for Business Server to drive teamwork and collaboration.

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.

We encourage all Office 365 customers to start using Teams today, whether independently or side by side with Skype for Business.

To learn more about Office 365 head to our article: What are the Advantages of Using Office 365?

microsoft office 365
Microsoft Office 365 Interface on a Video Conference Call

Will you continue to invest in improving Skype for Business Online?

We plan to support the Skype for Business Online and client through the July 31, 2021 retirement date.

Starting September 1, 2019, all new Office 365 customers will be on-boarded to Teams and will not have access to Skype for Business Online. Tenants already using Skype for Business Online will be able to continue doing so (including provisioning new users) until they complete their transition to Teams.

What do you recommend for customers who are currently in the process of deploying — or planning to deploy — Skype for Business in Office 365?

Customers currently deploying Skype for Business Online may continue to do so. We encourage all new Office 365 customers to start using Teams, independently of or in parallel with Skype for Business and determine the path (coexistence or Teams only) and timing that meets their business needs.

Regardless of tenure with Skype for Business Online, customers will need to move to Teams before the Skype for Business Online retirement date.

What support do you offer customers who want to move to Teams, especially those who have made significant investments in Skype for Business Online?

We encourage all Skype for Business customers to begin deploying Teams and planning their upgrades.

Switch4Teams will help ease the transition for users new to Teams with a specialized first-run experience and in-product coach marks.

video conferencing

What does this mean from a licensing perspective? How will customers pay for Intelligent Communications services in Teams?

Teams is available in Office 365 suites. Capabilities that are premium workloads in Skype for Business Online today will continue to be premium workloads in Teams.

Existing licensing investments made by customers carry forward to Teams.

For example, if a customer has purchased Audio Conferencing standalone or as part of E5 with Skype for Business, Audio Conferencing will be enabled in Teams as it's available today.

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 organizations before the July 31, 2021 retirement date for Skype for Business Online.

Switch4Teams can work with administrators and users with tools and guidance to help with the transition to Teams.

In effort to support smaller customers that may not have dedicated IT resources, Microsoft is assisting with automated upgrades from Skype for Business Online to Teams. Eligible customers are notified of the upgrade through emails and Message Center notifications.

For more information, see Automated Upgrades from Skype for Business Online to Microsoft Teams.

Skype for Business to Teams upgrade

Is there a firm deadline by which customers need to move from Skype for Business Online to Teams?

Yes. Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021, at which point it will no longer be accessible or supported. We encourage Skype for Business Online customers to start using Teams and begin planning their upgrades now to allow ample time to complete upgrade prior to the retirement date.

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

Your organization's journey from Skype for Business to Teams can be defined by you.

To assist in your planning and execution, Microsoft has developed comprehensive upgrade guidance based upon a proven framework designed to help you navigate the technical and organizational elements of change.

Start your journey by familiarizing yourself with our upgrade success framework and associated resources that serve as the cornerstone for navigating your journey from Skype for Business to Teams.

Is there a recommended upgrade path for Skype for Business Online?

Customers are encouraged to plan your journey from Skype for Business Online to Teams leveraging the planning guidance and resources at Microsoft to identify and implement the upgrade path that best meets your organization's needs.

Where can I learn more about coexistence modes in the Microsoft Teams admin center?

Within the Microsoft Teams admin center, you'll notice options for coexistence modes, enabling your organization to manage the Skype for Business to Teams journey that's right for your organization. Learn more about coexistence and upgrade modes.

What should I do to prepare for my upgrade?

A successful upgrade will include validating technical readiness in addition to user acceptance readiness. Even if you determine your organization isn't quite ready to upgrade to Teams, you can begin the planning process today.

Further, you can start realizing the value of Teams by enabling Teams alongside Skype for Business.

Get started on your Skype to Teams journey today.

Microsoft also offers live, interactive workshops in which we'll share guidance, best practices, and resources designed to kick start upgrade planning and implementation. Learn about deploying Microsoft Teams for your business.

microsoft teams journey
Microsoft Teams Deployment Journey

My organization 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. If your organization is ready to upgrade to Teams, take time to communicate to users to let them know what's happening and allow them to acclimate to Teams. This will help ensure they have a positive upgrade experience and help alleviate calls to your help-desk. For sample communication templates, download our Upgrade Success Kit.

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

For questions related to your upgrade, reach out to your current points of contact, which might include your assigned Microsoft account team, partner, or FastTrack. Alternatively, you can open a help ticket from within your Microsoft Teams admin center.

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, whether it's individuals, groups of users, or your entire organization.

To help understand the optimal approach for your organization, review the various coexistence and upgrade modes you can enable.

What happens after my users are upgraded?

After your users are upgraded to Teams (Teams only mode):

  • 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.
  • Any Skype for Business meetings scheduled before the upgrade will work as designed, but all new meetings will be scheduled in Teams.
  • 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.
  • 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, the upgrade notification will simply alert users that Skype for Business will be upgrading to Teams and invite them to get started with Teams if they haven't already.

We recommend complementing this notification with an awareness campaign (emails, FAQs, help-desk readiness, posters/signage) to communicate further details specific to your organization, such as timing for the upgrade, calls-to-action for the user, access to training, and so on.

For communication templates, download Microsoft Upgrade Success Kit.

What are the benefits of Teams' back-end infrastructure?

Teams is built for the cloud on a highly scalable micro-services architecture that's efficient in bandwidth consumption, provides more robust telemetry, and enables maintenance and upgrades with minimal disruption.

As a result, users see faster meeting join times and a better browser experience without needing to download plug-ins.

This modern infrastructure makes it easy to tap into Microsoft Cognitive Services—which include transcription, translation, speech recognition, and machine learning capabilities—and have the power to make communication and collaboration easier and more effective.


Switch4Teams Ltd is a UK-based, award-winning Unified Communications provider with over 20 years of experience.

Our voice over IP (VoIP) internet-based telephony, Microsoft Teams Direct Routing and UC cloud communication solutions are currently used by 1,000’s of SMEs and partners across the UK.

Contact us by email at or call +44.0113.328.1330

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