The Continuant Blog

Microsoft Hospice: Support for Skype for Business Until End of Life

By Mike Hanks -->

Unfortunately, Microsoft Hospice is not the official name for any kind of software or service package that Microsoft is offering. It’s an expression that’s meant to say Skype for Business is nearing End of Life. Assuming you haven’t already transferred to Teams, or that you’re in the process of doing so, you’ll need to find someone who can help support Skype for Business until End of Life. 


By now you’re surely aware that Microsoft has announced the End of Life for Skype for Business Online, which will happen on July 31, 2021. Between now and then, your company will need to make plans to move on from Skype and into your future with Microsoft Teams. 

Though End of Life looms in the distance for Skype for Business, it still has its users, all of whom need someone to support their system. Just because your system is approaching its end doesn’t mean that it won’t require premium care in the meantime. There’s still time before Skype for Business is gone for good, and Continuant will make sure that it keeps running until you’re fully ready to leave the old behind and move to Microsoft Teams. 

Questions about Skype for Business Online coming to End of Life?

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Skype for Business comes in three forms: on-prem, hybrid and cloud. There are clear disadvantages that come from having a hardware dependent on-prem solution, and though there are those who would prefer to keep it that way, others might be looking to change. Perhaps the best way to do this is to deploy a hybrid solution. Hybrid Skype for Business allows clients to decommission their on-prem servers and move everything to the cloud.

There is, unfortunately, a major problem with deploying the hybrid solution. Come July 2021, Skype for Business Online will be unavailable, rendering hybrid unusable. On-prem servers will be supported until 2025, but they will require a lot of managed support. 

This is one of the things Continuant can help with. Your staff will have the benefits of a 24/7 service desk to answer any of their communications-related questions. Continuant’s engineers boast Tier 3 expertise in Microsoft systems, and can offer both remote and on-site support depending on the circumstances. With the help of our engineers and service desk, your staff will be able to focus more on their vital daily tasks while resting assured that their communication remains operational.

With end of life for Skype for Business Online, users may have a difficult time finding support with Microsoft and partner providers. Not only do we know that Microsoft is planning to cut off the operability of all third-party ACP’s, we can also see that Teams has become their primary area of focus. It’s likely that support for Skype for Business will consistently decrease as time goes by. Now, if you wanted to go looking on Microsoft’s website for Skype partners, you’d instead be redirected to a list of partners for Teams.

Skype for Business SupportFortunately for current Skype for Business users, Continuant can help with this as well, providing vendor management and escalation to Microsoft and its partners. While Microsoft’s device partners such as Logitech and Crestron have moved mostly over to Teams, Continuant will be able to help manage Skype for Business while also offering insight and assistance on your inevitable transition to Teams, including endpoints and hardware.

Whether you’re supporting an on-prem solution or moving to Teams, Continuant’s design staff can offer crucial advice on your options and what you should expect going forward. Design may only be the first step in the long process, but it’s an important one, and one that Continuant will ensure is done right.

Keeping Skype for Business will certainly be doable up until End of Life, but problems are bound to arise in the meantime. These tend to be issues that can hamper your communications, but still aren’t the kind that you want your IT staff to deal with. Luckily, Continuant can deal with these issues with our support experts.  We can manage, troubleshoot and escalate while involving your IT staff only when necessary.

With Continuant’s help, you’ll be able to leverage your system to be able to optimize your return on investment. For the remaining lifespan of Skype for Business, you’ll want to make sure you have the best support to keep it working as best it can.

Time is ticking. In just a few years, “Hospice Care” will be over, as Skype for Business Online’s life will have officially ended. Though you may want to cling on to Skype for Business however long you can, there remains the (very good) option to simply upgrade to Teams. Fortunately, that’s something that Continuant also specializes in. 

To read more on upgrading to Teams, check out why you should work with a Microsoft partner and integrator for your Skype for Business to Teams transition.

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