Skype is Dead; Long live Teams

Like Thanos from Marvel’s Avengers, Teams is inevitable. Microsoft has been rather vocal about its intent to put to sleep Skype for Business Online (The Skype services hosted in Office 365). Even with the official deadline of July 31, 2021 Microsoft is pushing its smaller tenants to migrate early; ours is set to take place on September 8th, 2019. We thought we’d take this time to share a few ways to stay ahead of the Microsoft Teams tidal wave.

Teams Upgrade Warning


As any good business leader will tell you, the attitude towards change can be the difference between success and failure. Approach the migration to Teams with the right attitude and the technical hiccups you run into should be small. Create a small volunteer group from your organization to give Teams a test run, and then you’ll have a group of people able to evangelize and provide additional moral support for the change.

Test out Teams

From your Teams admin center (Surprise, everyone has one) you can see how your Teams’ organization is configured from the “Teams Upgrade” menu (snapshot below). Depending on when your Office 365 tenant was created, your coexistence mode may be set to any one of the following below. Most common we have seen Islands or Skype for Business only.

Teams Admin Center

To start the testing phase of the rollout, instead, go to each user’s account inside of the Teams Admin center and change their Teams Upgrade setting to “Teams Only”. This will flip over their personal settings to use Teams and is supposed to migrate over Outlook meetings accordingly. Your mileage may vary here, so pin this area as a potential hiccup spot.

Teams User Setting

Teams / SharePoint Sites / Office 365 Groups

Each time a new Team is created it will create a SharePoint site and a corresponding Office 365 group. Now of course, these items can be created independently and then all tied together, but it’s best to start the process inside of Teams. Currently, end-user creation of a new Team cannot be turned off and this can easily cause a Wild West sort of feeling as users create new Teams without knowing the full impact of their actions. Educate your audience – Microsoft has a large portfolio of training materials that is targeted at end-users. Pass out this reference link early and often. Set an expiration Date – Using Azure AD you can auto-configure expiration dates for groups and Azure AD will automatically notify the group manager 30 days before said date with action options Enforce a naming convention – Again, using Azure AD, configure a naming convention for Office 365 groups, which will intern, govern how Team names are done.

Final Thoughts

Microsoft’s move to Teams is one of the more aggressive and “In your face” transitions joining the ranks with their push for Windows 10. Thankfully, we can stay in front of transition by having the right attitude, working with a small group of test users, and putting some rules in place to help reduce the sprawl of data. If you’re already running Teams, check out some 5 tips on how to get the most out of it once installed. Though if you’re not up and running and would like some help, we’d be happy to help your organization plan and coordinate the move from Skype for Business into Teams. Please schedule a time with one of our Office 365 / Azure consultants HERE.