Companies around the world use Skype for Business to fuel collaboration among mobile workforces. The solution has captured more than 37% of the unified communications market and is deployed at 250M enterprise seats, thanks in part to the massive success of Office 365.
Beginning December 31, 2018, Microsoft will no longer support TLS Version 1.0 and 1.1, meaning that millions of Lync Phone Edition devices from third parties will be rendered obsolete since they can't be upgraded to TLS 1.2. The move was announced via an internal memo sent to all Office 365 users entitled "End of Office 365 support for Lync Phone Edition." It was also published online as an announcement and a partner advisory.
So what's all the fuss about?
First, many enterprises provide their employees with Lync Phone Edition devices to use with Skype for Business, and these phones will simply stop working. As of December 31, 2018, employees won't be able to use the phones to connect to Microsoft Office 365 services, including Microsoft Skype for Business Online, Exchange Online, Azure AD - and the list goes on and on. So this is actually a fairly significant problem.
Companies have a variety of options to consider. Let's review them quickly.
- Are you willing to lose features? Companies that have Skype for Business installed on-premise and use Microsoft Exchange in the cloud won't lose totally connectivity -- just key features, such as calendar integration and contacts that help power business. That's the situation a large property management firm is facing: Company leaders realize that they can either choose to lose features or acquire new devices that will support the TLS change. If they move Skype for Business to the cloud, they can also harness the full power of the Skype for Business Online.
Advantages of Skype for Business Online, which is delivered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, include immediate deployment, ongoing upgrades to ensure access to the best features and functionality, and pay-as-you-grow pricing. In addition, smaller companies gain enterprise capabilities, and mobile workforces at any company can use collaboration tools on any device they use.
- Is it time to move your on-premise operation to the cloud? Most enterprises have adopted hybrid cloud operating models, and 84% of net new software is now being delivered as SaaS solutions. As a consequence, it may be a sound business decision to use the Lync Phone Edition end-of-life issues to force a move to the cloud. A major energy services company has done just that to gain the full use of Skype for Business in Office 365, become more efficient with connectivity, and free up IT talent's time to work on strategic issues. The company will realize $120K in savings in Year 1 for this move.
- If you're on the cloud, are you looking for a cost-effective phone replacement? Companies like Jabra, Plantronics, Polycom, and Yealink all offer Lync Phone Edition device replacements that can meet your needs. Intellinet is teaming with Yealink to provide a special offer to companies that want to maintain full use of Office 365 and provide their teams with great devices. What's interesting about Yealink phones is that they are also Microsoft Teams-ready, which means that you won't have to replace them in 12 to 18 months when you decide to upgrade to Microsoft Teams.
- Is it time to make the move from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams? Depending on your company's goals, it may be better to go ahead and make the leap now. Microsoft Teams offers a persistent chat app and can also be integrated with more than 150 applications to increase your workforce's productivity and collaboration.
Once again, Yealink devices are a great choice for your business. It bears mentioning that Yealink is one of only two companies to have Microsoft Teams-ready devices to launch, which will be available for purchase after Microsoft Ignite, which wraps September 28, 2018.
That's just one reason Yealink devices got a solid endorsement from the Microsoft team. Says Bob Davis, Corporate Vice President of Office 365 Engineering:
"Yealink's new phones with the Microsoft Teams application are a great addition to their existing line of phones for Skype for Business. We are excited to see Yealink's ongoing commitment to extending Microsoft's communications and collaboration experiences to devices and look forward to working together to help our joint customers realize the vision of Intelligent Communications."
So where does that leave you? We offer the following recommendations to get you ready for the cut-off of Lync Phone Edition support on December 31, 2018.
- Craft your strategy now. Whether you are rolling out new phones for Skype for Business or considering an upgrade to Microsoft Teams, you'll have some significant work ahead. Take time to understand the pros and cons of each approach and which one will meet your business needs.
- Allocate at least 60 to 90 days for a new phone device rollout if you are equipping a large enterprise with more than 500 seats across multiple locations. Not only will you need to install devices, but you will need to train employees on how to use them.
- If you want to move Skype for Business to the cloud, you'll need to start soon as you'll have both the cloud and device migration to execute. Work with a consulting partner who can make the transition seamless, so you keep your staff working at peak productivity through the switchover.
If you need help, contact Intellinet for:
- A Skype for Business strategy session to choose the best path for your enterprise
- A special offer on Yealink Microsoft Teams-ready devices
Contact us today at www.intellinet.com/contact