Microsoft has already announced to replace Skype for Business Online by the 2017 released communication service Teams. Teams offers more functionality and supports not only phone calls, chats and conferences, but also provides a collaboration platform. At the end of July, the Redmond company presented a concrete schedule and announced the official retirement of the online version of Skype for Business on July 31, 2021. The service will no longer be available from this date. But even if the designated replacement is already set up with Microsoft Teams, the service for Skype for Business Online will be fully maintained until 2021. Thus, companies that currently use the service do not have to fear any restrictions.
Users of the On Premises version of Skype for Business, which is also used in Contact Center solutions, don’t have to worry anyway. The current version of their software (2019) will be supported for another five years in regular support and a further two years in extended support.
Microsoft announced to help customers migrate from Skype for Business to Teams. This includes companies where the application is to be used within a Contact Center. Therefore, Microsoft has formed strategic partnerships with companies such as Five9, Genesys and NICE. Despite these formal agreements, however, no concrete solutions have yet been developed for the implementation of the Teams online version. The required APIs simply do not yet exist or have yet to be released.
IP Dynamics as a long-term Microsoft Gold Partner is in constructive discussions with the Redmond company and is working hard to develop future-proof solutions. In the future, for example, the connection of Microsoft Teams with the Voxtron Communication Center of Enghouse will be made possible via suitable interfaces.
In any case, there is no reason for uncertainty due to Microsoft’s announcement. As soon as Skype for Business actually reaches retirement age, sustainable and user-oriented solutions will be available in the contact center segment.