Cloud Communications

Goodbye, Skype for Business!

So long, Skype for Business! Is your organization ready?

The Skype for Business End of Life is set to take place July 31, 2021, and with that time creeping steadily towards us, organizations across every industry are asking: what’s next?

Businesswoman transitioning from Skype to Microsoft Teams

Skype for Business, formerly Microsoft Lync and Office Communicator, became the go-to enterprise software solution for businesses in the mid 2010’s as part of Microsoft’s product offering through Office 365 Subscriptions. In late 2017, Microsoft announced that Skype for Business software and subscriptions would be discontinued in favour of the cloud-based team collaboration software, MS Teams.

While any new Microsoft Office 365 subscribers have been directed straight to Teams without the option to use Skype for Business, organizations that use or rely on the software for remote communication via Skype’s calling plans will have to transition themselves to Teams following the July 31st End of Life deadline.

Is your organization ready to transition into Microsoft Teams?

If your organization subscribes to any one of the Skype for Business calling plans, it will be your responsibility to prepare and set up for the transition this summer. Luckily, many businesses can take this time to explore new options associated with the change.

Skype for Business Microsoft Teams

Option #1 – Purchase/Subscribe to a Calling Plan from Microsoft

  • While utilizing a Microsoft-based calling plan may seem like a natural transition option from Skype for Business, it is important to note the high price tag for integrating and utilizing phone systems through Microsoft Teams certified Trunking.
  • These increased costs, including standalone phone system requirements such as MS E5 licensing for each user, costs for a Teams certified Trunk (from Microsoft or from another certified source like Telecom Metric) and the Microsoft Teams-specific hardware and phones which range in price from $300 to $1000 each, can have a huge financial impact on your business, depending on your industry, budget and infrastructure.

Option #2 – Use Direct Routing & a Calling Plan from a SIP Provider

  • Many Canadian businesses are instead considering their options outside of Microsoft’s service offerings, looking instead at incorporating direct routing from outside Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) Trunking providers, allowing for more choice on calling plans while receiving the same services at a lower rate.
  • Direct Routing through a Canadian provider allows businesses to use their existing desk phones (or purchase new phones for as little as $60 – $300) and avoid additional licensing for users/extensions that do not require Microsoft Teams integration.
  • By incorporating Teams with an outside PBX (such as VoIP applications like 3CX) businesses can have more flexibility for certain functions and features to be integrated, such as video conferencing, softphone/mobile applications, paging, call centre setups and queues, and IVR (Interactive voice response) auto-attendant.
VoIP phone integrated with Microsoft Teams

In the wake of increased needs for remote working and consistent virtual business communications networks, Microsoft has positioned themselves to begin incorporating PBX and VoIP phone system services to Skype for Business users.

By connecting Microsoft Teams to outside services like 3CX, 3rd party SIP providers like Telecom Metric allow businesses who are being forced to end their use of Skype for Business no longer have to transition into a new, Microsoft-hosted solution. Instead, Telecom Metric allows organizations to utilize their existing phone solutions to retain their current phone numbers, PBX setup, and IP phones/hardware, all the while reducing the overall cost of the system and providing more flexibility and support.

Microsoft Teams by Telecom Metric

Is your business or team looking to transition away from Skype for Business prior to the End of Life Date? Take advantage of lower-cost, Canadian compliant solutions by contacting Telecom Metric to learn more about our SIP Trunking or, for more information on Telecom Metric’s Microsoft 365 Business Voice Solutions, click here.

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