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Skype for Business Users – This is a Must Read article.

At the recent Aspire global conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced that from 1st September 2019, Skype for Business will no longer be available to buy, and from July 31st 2021, the Skype for Business service will be switched off entirely. Organisations using S4B On-Line will have to move to the new Teams service or some other solution before then. See announcement here. This announcement may come as a surprise, maybe even a total shock, to many organisations, but don’t despair, all is not lost; continue reading to understand the options to stay with S4B beyond switch-off date.

In this blog post I want to address the options available to an organization to continue using Skype for Business as a hosted service for many years to come.

In my next post, I will outline some of the main differences between Teams and S4B that should be considered before you make any decision, and based on those considerations I will outline the choices available to companies on what to do next.

As a provider of our own Skype for Business hosted service, many of our customers contacted Strencom to see how this impacted their service. Well for our customers, the good news is that our service is fully in-house and delivered through our own infrastructure using the Skype on-premises software stack. That means that we will be supporting the service for at least another six years, into 2025. So now that that’s cleared up, I can go on to my next point.

Over the past few years, companies have heavily invested in technology, training, and changed work practices to get the most benefit out of S4B, and it has been transformational for them. I know that here in Strencom, we couldn’t work without it now, and it has been the single biggest enabler of remote-working, as well as allowing us to easily and quickly merge our support teams from Strencom and Baker Security & Networks (our recent acquisition), in a matter of weeks. And while the cost benefit was significant, the bigger benefits were in enhanced productivity, communication and collaboration between the teams across multiple locations.

While Teams will be a very good product, and its certainly giving Slack a run for its money right now, it does not suit every enterprise out there, and even for those that it may suit, many organisations would like to continue to leverage their existing investment and “sweat the existing asset”, if you will, for a few more years. One of the many challenges is that the move to Teams is not an simple upgrade path, but requires a complete “lift and shift” of the technology, as well as re-training of all staff for the new interface, usability and functionality, not to mention new for the IT department to get their heads around. All a very costly exercise.

SOLUTION:

Strencom’ Skype for Business service is delivered using the on-premises software and hardware stack, and so will continue to be supported by ourselves and Microsoft for another 5 years, into 2024. We have been providing this service for many years, and in fact were offering the service in Ireland long before Microsoft launched their on-line S4B; in addition Strencom were four years ahead of Microsoft themselves in providing full enterprise voice with fixed line calling capability and number portability, in Ireland.

So, if you would like to understand how we can help you to continue to leverage your existing investment in Skype for Business, contact us and we can discuss the options available.

You can email business@strencom.net, call us on 1890 92 43 92, (reply to me if you’ve received this in an email) or if you already know someone in Strencom, just call them directly.

And just some of the benefits of the Strencom service are:

  • Fully supported in Ireland by our own engineering team
  • Full enterprise voice and number portability in Ireland and 54 other countries
  • No requirement for third party voice connectors or providers for enterprise voice
  • No requirement for third party Contact Centre Integration or Compliance Recording
  • No requirement for third party call recording integration
  • No requirement for third party dashboards, reporting and analytics solutions
  • No requirement for third party providers for global numbering

Strencom provide worry free managed cloud, managed connectivity and unified communications that enable business transformation

Tim Murphy
CEO
Strencom

Useful Links

Microsoft community discussion forum on Skype for Business end of life

Teams is not the next version of Skype

 

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