Skype for Business Online End of Service 2021

In this post I like to highlight a very special date, the 31st of July 2021. The date marks the end of an era of the communication and collaboration with Skype for Business Online.

Microsoft officially announced the retirement of Skype for Business Online by 31st of July 2021.

Source: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/07/28/23/39/cottage-1550083_960_720.jpg

Conclusion, opinion and summary

We had a great time Skype for Business Online. Thanks. However, time changes and so do people, technology and work. Therefore, Microsoft Teams enables ways of modern communication and collaboration which Skype for Business (Online) did not. The retirement date is not that close. So, you’ve got a time frame which should provide sufficient time to plan and migrate to Microsoft Teams.

Additional resources

Skype for Business desktop app for meetings on Mac

Microsoft released a change for Skype for Business (SFB) meetings on Mac which enables you to use the desktop app for SFB on Mac instead of the SFB meeting app.

This is primarily applicable for SFB Online. It works for SFB Server 2015, too BUT it requires that the Microsoft Content Delivery Network (CDN) is used instead of the bites coming from your SFB Server 2015.

Configure SFB Server 2015 for CDN to enable SFB desktop app for meetings on Mac

First you can check your current SFB Server 2015 configuration.

Get-CsWebServiceConfiguration | select Identity,MeetingUxUseCdn

This return your SFB Server web service configuration. If MeetingUxUseCdn is set to “True” everything is ok and CDN is used. If it is “False” you can enable it as follows.

Set-CsWebServiceConfiguration -MeetingUxUseCdn $True

Additionally and optionally, you could also enable Meeting Telemetry and / or change the join launcher CDN timeout (in case a client might be unable to connect/receive data from the CDN an needs to failback to the SFB Server meeting app binaries.

To check the as-is:

Get-CsWebServiceConfiguration | select Identity,MeetingUxUseCdn,MeetingUxEnableTelemetry,
JoinLauncherCdnTimeout

To enable telemetry (OPTIONAL, sends telemetry data to Microsoft*):

Set-CsWebServiceConfiguration -MeetingUxEnableTelemetry $True

To change the join launcher CDN timeout to 10 seconds:

Set-CsWebServiceConfiguration -JoinLauncherCdnTimeout (New-TimeSpan -Seconds 10)

Conclusion, opinion and summary

To use the SFB desktop app on Mac for meetings should offer you a much better user experience. Microsoft says that this makes audio, video and sharing communication and collaboration more stable and reliable than it is with the SFB meeting app on Mac.

Additional Resources

My Microsoft Teams Federation Notes

In this post I’ll describe how federation towards federated partners can work. I’ll not describe meetings and guest access for Teams which are great capabilities for modern teamwork across companies but not subject for this post. Teams provides options for federation with external organisations like suppliers, clients and partners.

Basically there are eight federation scenarios I’d like to describe below. The federation scenarios are based on Microsoft Teams as well as Skype for Business.

Skype for Business Federation

Let’s take a look on federation with Skype for Business. In Microsoft Skype for Business Server / Online (hereinafter: SFBx) there are two major federation types:

  • open federation: Users can communicate openly to everyone except users behind blocked domains.
  • closed federation: Users can communicate only to federated domains configured by the SFBx admin.

Teams Federation

Now, with Microsoft Teams federation is similair to SFBx federation but not 1:1 alike.

You can decide to federate with everyone, openly, except towards blocked domains (blacklist).

Or you can decide to federate only with allowed domains (whitelist).

Another thing to keep in mind is what’s your current Teams upgrade mode or status?

In Microsoft Docs there are five modes listed but not all are available by now.

  • Islands: All workloads on SFBx + Teams
  • Skype for Business-only: SFB for all workloads. Single client.
  • Teams-only: Teams for all workloads. Single client.
  • (not in Admin Center, Feb. 2019, TAP customers-only) Skype for Business with Teams (collaboration-only): SFB for chat, calling and meetings. Teams for collaboration.
  • (not in Admin Center, Feb. 2019, TAP customers-only) Skype for Business with Teams (collaboration and meetings-only): SFB for chat and calling, Teams for meetings and collaboration.

Scenario 1a+1b

You are on Microsoft Teams.

You can federate with other organisations having a) SFBx or b) Microsoft Teams, too.

Scenario 2a+2b

You are still on SFBx.

You can federate with other organisations having a) SFBx or b) Microsoft Teams, too.

Scenario 3a+3b

You are on SFBx as well as Microsoft Teams but your Teams Upgrade mode is “Islands”.

Your users are having two clients installed and only the SFBx works for federation communication.

You can federate only via SFBx with other organisations having a) SFBx or b) Microsoft Teams, too.

Scenario 3c+3d

You are on SFBx as well as Microsoft Teams but your Teams Upgrade mode is “Islands”.

Your users are having two clients installed and only the SFBx works for federation communication.

Your users cannot have an internal cross-client chat or else c) from SFB to Teams or d) from Teams to SFB.

Drawn via Microsoft Whiteboard App by Erik

Conclusion and summary

Teams federation provides the ability to federate with external organisations similair to what we’ve used to from SfBx. Nevertheless we need to pay attention to the user experience and federation experience which migh be slightly different during a coexistence of SFBx and Teams.

Further Ressources

News from Teams and SFB from Ignite 2018

Last week (24. – 28. of September 2018) Microsoft Ignite 2018 took place in Orlando, FL, USA. There were several news and announcements regarding intelligent communication based on Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business (Server) and related technology and services.

You can find a link list of interesting sessions regarding Teams and Skype for Business, here and of course you can watch the recordings of the sessions on demand, if available.

In case you wan a bulk download of the contents, there is a useful PowerShell script you can get from the TechNet Script Gallery.

What’s new in Microsoft Teams for September 2018?

There are a some interesting news regarding Microsoft Teams for this/past month (August/September 2018) which I’d like to sum up and share with you:

  1. Skype for Business Online and Teams feature-parity is reached based on the official roadmap (pretty nice!)
    (Cp. external source: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Blog/Microsoft-Teams-is-now-a-complete-meeting-and-calling-solution/ba-p/236042, roadmap https://skypeandteams.blob.core.windows.net/artefacts/Skype%20for%20Business%20to%20Teams%20Capabilities%20Roadmap.pdf)

    1. Messaging feature-parity (for details see above external links)
    2. Meetings feature-parity (for details see above external links)
    3. Calling feature-parity (for details see above external links)
    4. Replace Skype for Business Online over time with Teams
  2. You can now choose your mic and speaker (headset) before joining a Microsoft Teams Call/Conf
    (Cp. external source: https://www.petri.com/microsoft-fixed-one-annoying-aspects-teams)
  3. Microsoft Teams Launches Canada, Australia and Japan Data Residency
    (Cp. external source: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Blog/Microsoft-Teams-Launches-Australia-and-Japan-Data-Residency/ba-p/237827, https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Blog/Microsoft-Teams-Launches-Canada-Data-Residency-Australia-and/ba-p/227178)
  4. I’m also looking forward to Microsoft Ignite 2018 to get some Team news and insights …

Enjoy working with Teams and the extended rich feature set.

What about Skype for Business (Server) GDPR?

Since May 25th, 2018 companies/organisations need to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (de: DSGVO, Datenschutz-Grundverordnung) if they don’t massive penalties can be the consequence. During a project I was asked regarding Skype for Business (Server) GDPR-compliance. I assume that many SFB admins or service owners were also asked this?

Therefore I’d like to note that Microsoft provides a page on docs.microsoft.com explaining the key aspects for GDPR/DSGVO regarding Skype for Business (Server).

The parent page refers to other Office Server on premise server products and GDPR/DSGVO related information.

Highlights of SFB Server 2019, SFB Online, SFB Hybrid and Teams

Microsoft’s Ignite 2017 in Orlando took place and some very interesting announcements were made. This post sums up some contents and highlights regarding Skype for Business and Teams which were mentioned in one of the sessions (see link/video at the bottom). All contents might be subject to change and only provide a high level overview and summary.

Skype for Business Server (SFBS) 2019

Skype for Business Server (SFBS) 2019 Migrationpaths

  • Server 2013 -> Server 2019
  • Server 2015 -> Server 2019
  • Minimum OS: Windows Server 2016
  • Minimum SQL: SQL Server 2016

Current State –> Migration Proposal towards Teams

  • No onpremise Lync/SFB server –> Go for a TEAMs pilot (IMP, Meetings, Voice)
  • Onpremise SFB server without Enterprise Voice –> Go for TEAMs pilot in coexistence with SFB, migrate to TEAMs over time
  • Onpremise SFB server with Enterprise Voice –> Assess current capabilities incl. third-party integrations, service contracts etc., go for TEAMs pilot in coexistence with SFB, evaluate migration feasability to TEAMs or SFB Server 2019

SFBS 2019, SFB Online and Teams Hybrid

  • Office 365 Tenant required
  • Office 365 Tenant/Cloud (admin) permissions required
  • Hybrid aware Office 365 portal
  • Call Analytics and Retention in one portal for all useres
  • Voicemail Services provided via Cloud Backend for SFB Server 2019
  • Auto Attendant provided via Cloud Backend for SFB Server 2019
  • Call Queues provided via Cloud Backend for SFB Server 2019
  • One experience for all users
  • Modern Auth (in Public Preview for SFB Server) –> AAD

Meeting Migration Service

  • Scheduled Meeting Update Service
  • Replaces Meeting Migration Tool
  • Supports moving user from SFBS to SFBO
  • Supports Exchange Online or Exchange Server 2016 User Mailboxes

CloudPBX

  • Bring your own trunk
  • No CCE

Skype for Business Server (SFBS) 2019 Response Groups News?

  • No news/no new features regarding on premise response group/s

High Availability – Windows Fabric

  • New Fabric
  • EE 1 – 16 Frontends (not 2!)
  • EE 2 does not work –> Quorum problem! Not usable

Future Roadmap Microsoft UC?

More details might be provided on the October 2017 Roadmap of TEAMs.

Source of the above information

 

To stay up to speed do not forget to check out http://skypepreview.com for new (preview) features and functions on SFB/Teams as well as the other links listed in my previous posts here on this blog.