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January 18, 2020

Skype for Business Upgrade to Teams – A Complete Guide

In July 2019, Microsoft announced that Skype for Business Online is retiring on July 31, 2021. This means that after its cutoff date, it will no longer be accessible or supported. In order to maximize benefits and ensure that your organization is given proper time to deploy your Skype for Business upgrade to Teams, its best you begin your journey to Microsoft Teams today.

Built exclusively to integrate with the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, Teams  is very likely to surpass and replace Skype for Business in terms of adoption and functionality. The Skype for Business upgrade to Teams may not entirely mean a 1-to-1 transition, but ultimately, it's an upgrade mode that delivers a lot of value.


Microsoft Teams vs Skype for Business Online

Extending the capabilities of SFB, the later service from Microsoft brings together chat, meetings, calling, collaboration, app integration, and file storage into a single interface. This new central hub and collaboration tool for teamwork can help streamline the way users get things done, improving customer satisfaction and accelerating business outcomes. Microsoft is constantly expanding the capabilities, enabling Teams users to communicate and collaborate internally or with external party in new ways, break down organizational and geographical barriers, and drive efficiency in process and decision making. 

As we all know, both the services under consideration would do the very basic things quite smoothly i.e., Calling, Chatting or Meetings etc. But one certainly would be curious to know what are the extras that come with the new service of Microsoft which make it a better and refined mode to upgrade to for thier companySo, let's have a very detailed look for the features difference between the two.

FEATURE

CAPABILITY

MICROSOFT TEAMS

SKYPE FOR BUSINESS ONLINE

CHAT





Escalate 1:1 Chat/Call to Multiparty

Available

Available


Read receipts in private chat

Available

N/A


Available

Available


Skype (Consumer): Status Presence

N/A

Available

MEETING





Broadcast Meetings

Available


Broadcast Meetings live caption, translation, transcription

English, German, Simplified Chinese only

N/A


Content Cameras and Intelligent Capture

Available

N/A


Desktop Sharing in a Meeting

Available

Available


Federated Meetings

Available

Available


Meeting Mobile Companion




Meeting Live Captions

Available

N/A


PowerPoint attachments in invite (via mail)
immediately available in meeting

Available

N/A

Proximity based meeting join

Available

N/A


Share system audio

Available

N/A


Smartphone Screen Sharing

Available

N/A


Unmute other partIcipants

N/A

Available


Video Background Blur

Available

N/A


Video Customized Call Backgrounds

Available

N/A


Web App Meeting Access (Plugin-less)

Available

N/A

CALL





Busy on Busy

Available

N/A


BToE

N/A

Available


Call Blocking

Available

Available


Call Delegation

Available

Available


Call Park Service

Available

N/A

Custom IP-Phone Policy

Available

N/A


Group Call Pickup (Teams definition)

Available

N/A


Message Translation

Available

N/A


Voicemail embedded configuration controls

Available

N/A

SECURE COLLABORATION





Channel Moderation

Available

N/A


Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Available

N/A

Device Management Portal

Available

N/A

Ethical Wall (Information Barriers)

Available

N/A


Guest Access (see also Anonymous Access)

Available

N/A


Available

N/A


Priority notifications

Available

N/A


Shared Line Appearance

Available

N/A


Status Message expiration

Available

N/A


Available

N/A


Teams for File Sharing and Collaboration

Available

N/A

The features comparison information is primarily collected from Luca’s Skype for Business and Teams Features Comparison Table shared over TechNet gallery.


Skype for Business Upgrade to Teams

A flourished technical environment, sustained user adoption, and the understanding of your business goals all begin with proper planning. A solid plan gives you a framework for your upgrade and makes sure that all stakeholders are working simultaneously.

Once you're ready to make your move, Microsoft has two upgrade paths that can help with your migration:

1. Microsoft Teams Upgrade Basic (Cutover)

2. Microsoft teams Upgrade Pro (Co-Existence)


1. Upgrade Basic (Cutover)

The Upgrade Basic mode is designed for smaller organizations or those people that are using SFB as their primary chat tool and meetings only. It's a quick action plan for implementing your Skype for Business upgrade to Teams that includes recommended activities, and relevant resources. This upgrade is designed keeping in mind that you'll be shifting your entire organization to the new service at once. The upgrade process typically takes around 30 to 45 days.

The following ten steps furnish everything you need for a successful upgrade to Teams. They're designed to be completed in the estimated 30 to 45 days, but can be adjusted based on your organization's upgrade schedule.

  • Notify your key stakeholders
  • Prepare your organization for the move
  • Know your Skype for Business users
  • Notify your users about the upgrade
  • Activate the user upgrade notification
  • Give your users a reminder of the shift
  • Upgrade all users to Teams
  • Monitor Teams usage against your baseline
  • Measure user satisfaction
  • Maximize your ROI with Teams

You can learn in detail about all these steps in this article by Microsoft After your users are upgraded to Teams Only mode):

  • Their SFB client will be disabled, and all chat and calls go to Teams. This will not uninstall the client on their desktops.
  • Any SFB meetings that were scheduled before the upgrade will work as designed, but all the new meetings will be scheduled in Teams. The Skype for Business plugin will no longer be available in Outlook.
  • If a user tries to sign in to Skype for Business, they will get a notification from their client that they've been upgraded to Teams.
  • Users would need to manually uninstall the Skype for Business client on their devices.


2. Upgrade Pro (Co-Existence)

The Upgrade Pro (coexistence mode for journey to Teams) is designed for organizations larger in size, or those that acquire a more complex deployment of SFB and not only use this tool for some features. It is comparatively a more prolonged upgrade lifecycle that would be completed in phases and offers extensive guidance and planning resources. This phased approach typically takes around 120 to 150 days. You can learn more about this mode in a very detailed article to Upgrade from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams After your users are upgraded to Teams Only mode:

  • Their SFB client will be disabled, and all chat communications and phone call experience go to Teams. This will not uninstall the client on their desktops.
  • Any Skype for Business meetings that were scheduled before the upgrade will work as designed, but all the new meetings will be scheduled in Teams. The Skype for Business plugin will no longer be available in Outlook.
  • If a user tries to sign in to Skype for Business, they will get a notification from their client that they've been upgraded to Teams.
  • Users would need to manually uninstall the Skype for Business client on their devices.

How to choose Your Skype for Business upgrade to Teams Strategy

There is a question to answer that which Skype for Business upgrade to Teams path would be good for you. To have an answer to this question please have a look at the below comparison of both approaches which would help you decide in the end to go with which option.

Upgrade Basic (Cutover)

Upgrade Pro (Co-Existence)

Discovery of Environment isn’t that much critical (Chat and Meetings only in use)

Detailed Discovery of Environment

Precise Planning Included

Thorough Planning Included

Very few numbers of IT Admins to Train

Training of a huge IT staff

Very few numbers of Users to use Teams

Training of a huge User base

Small Organization

Large Organization

Need to switch in one go

Would be done in Stages

Microsoft offers several options for running Skype for Business Online and Teams together which is also known as Teams Skype for Business Interoperability. These coexistence modules allow users to familiarize themselves with Teams while helping accelerate your upgrade to Teams ONLY. Here’s how you can use Teams and Skype together in the meanwhile.


Microsoft Teams Licensing

To begin discussing this particular portion, we need to understand the current standings of Skype for Business Online Plans that how Skype for Business Online retire announcement has affected them and what are the after effects.


Skype for Business Online Plan 1 retired

The Skype for Business Online Plan 1 has retired. However, if you have a current subscription to Skype for Business Online Plan 1, this change won’t affect you right away. As a global Office 365 admin, you’ll receive email updates and see posts in the message center (part of the Microsoft 365 admin center) with information on when you need to take action. In the meantime, you can continue to use your existing Skype for Business Online Plan 1 licenses.

When you are ready to move to a new plan — either now or during renewal — you’ll have the option to switch to another Office 365 plan of your choosing.

You can maintain the same functionality you had with Skype for Business Online Plan 1 while taking advantage of new features and functionality from Office 365. Many plan options available include all the features that came with Skype for Business Online Plan 1, as well as IM and presence, peer-to-peer audio and video over IP, and the ability to join meetings as an authenticated user.


Skype for Business Online Plan 2 retired from sale

Skype for Business Online Plan 2 retired from sale on July 1, 2019. This means that you will no longer be able to acquire Skype for Business Online Plan 2 for instant messaging, presence, meetings, and peer-to-peer voice and video. These features will continue to be supported in all plans that include Teams, including Office 365 suites.

When your plan expires at the end of your current term, in order to have continued access to these features, you'll have to switch to a different plan. We recommend that you evaluate the Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Premium, or any other Office suites for users that currently have Skype for Business Online Plan 2 assigned.


How to purchase Microsoft Teams License?

Microsoft Teams may be used without no cost but with a very limited functionality. The free version of it comes with certain limitations of meeting time span, very small cloud storage etc.

Apart from the Free version, it comes along with any of the Office 365 or Microsoft 365 Plans and is not available as a standalone license option.

To acquire Teams Licenses, you’d primarily have two options to go with. Microsoft 365 Business Plans or Microsoft 365/Office 365 Enterprise Plans. We do get both the Licenses i.e., Skype for Business Online Plan 2 and Microsoft Teams License within each package as shown in screenshot below for Office 365 E3.

Skype for business online to teams.png
(Last Updated On: April 9, 2021)

Last Updated 5 days ago

About the Author

Ateeb is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate. He aids clients in deployment, and management of Microsoft technologies - for both, on-premises and on the cloud environment. With significant experience in deploying stand-alone and enterprise solutions, Ateeb enjoys helping organizations with their digital transformation journey.

Ateeb Fayyaz

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