- Microsoft will sunset Skype for Business Online in 2021, the company announced Tuesday. The move comes amid increased focus on Microsoft Teams as the company's leading product for enterprise collaboration and communications.
- As it shifts resources away from the B2B arm of the communication platform — which was first launched in 2014 — the company has plans to infuse new data integration, safety and communication features into Microsoft Teams.
- Current customers won't experience an immediate change in service, but starting September all Office 365 customers will be onboarded directly to Teams for chat, meetings and calling.
Skype for Business Online's phaseout in favor of Teams had been in the works for some time, but this is the first time Microsoft has shared a final sunset date.
"They made that original announcement in 2017 without a deadline," said Jud Waite, senior intelligence analyst, enterprise technology at CB Insights. "It was certainly a long time coming."
In that time, Waite said, Teams has come "a very long way," reaching 13 million daily users and shooting past Slack's 10-million user milestone. In 2018, Microsoft praised Teams as its fastest-growing app in history.
Teams comes to the collaboration market with the advantage of Microsoft's bundled approach to enterprise software.
"Customers can now use Teams for all of their communication, collaboration and productivity needs," Waite said. "It's a compelling value proposition. By integrating with Microsoft's other products and services, Teams further fortifies the company's dominance in enterprise technology."
Microsoft will bet on that holistic approach, as well as the lineup of new features, to lure current Skype for Business Online customers to Teams.