Skype for Business goes end-of-life: risks, consequences and the solution.

It has been a long time since we have heard about the time when Skype for Business would go into end-of-life, and later into end-of-support. The countdown has begun, and there is not much time left to migrate from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. In fact, although Teams is the most widely used workstream collaboration tool in the world, Skype for Business is deeply established in many corporate structures, and consequently difficult to drop. For many companies, beginning the migration to Teams is not just replacing an existing communication system, but is a real transition to modern work, with all the pros and cons that come with it.

The end-of-life (EOL) date for Skype for Business Online was July 2021, while the 2015/2019 version is scheduled for early January 2024, with (paid) support extended until October 2025, at which time the platform will remain available but without patches and security updates. This means that will be lacking developer support and there will be no more updates and bug fixes, making the software extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks.

With the official dates and given the security implications, it is clear why companies still relying on Skype for Business need to begin the transition to Microsoft Teams as soon as possible so they have time to evaluate all related aspects.

What are the consequences of an end-of-life product?

  • Security vulnerability: the absence of security fixes by Microsoft means that Skype for Business opens the door to cybercriminals. A firewall and antivirus, in fact, cannot be considered sufficient protection against unpatched vulnerabilities.
  • Compliance issues: highly regulated industries that handle sensitive customer data cannot rely on a outdated software because in addition to security flaws, this could also result in fines.
  • Increased costs: maintaining software post-EOL may suggest possible savings by delaying the upgrade, but the burden of maintaining it will increase day by day. In fact, the costs of maintenance and bug fixes are proportionally higher than the cost of migrating to another platform, such as Microsoft Teams.
  • Poor performance and reliability: legacy solutions are likely to give more maintenance issues and consequent downtime that would negatively impact performance and business continuity.

All the good things about Microsoft Teams

Teams simplifies IT
, With Teams the entire infrastructure is in the cloud not involving the need for maintenance by the internal team, or interventions in the middle of the night, in favor of automatically distributed updates that are immediately available to all users. Its cloud-based nature allows centralized management even for users in distributed locations.

Teams is accessible wherever you are
, Teams ensures a safe and modern way of working. Users can access Teams from anywhere and from any device, enjoying instant access to all available collaboration and communication tools.

Teams is better for collaboration
, Teams offers a number of powerful applications that enhance the ability of users to collaborate and communicate effectively. In addition, it is possible to use Teams as a cloud-based telephone system, by replacing the traditional one entirely.

More info: Skype for Business Server 2019 – Microsoft Lifecycle | Microsoft Learn

Francesco Bari

Francesco Bari

Project Manager & Solution Architect

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