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Skype for Business: The Legacy Continues

blog image - skype for business

In the ever-evolving landscape of unified comms, Microsoft's Skype for Business Server has been an example of adaptability and resilience. Thanks to a wealth of experience and insight gained from a variety of projects, and our acquisition of Modality back in 2021, we’ve seen Skype go through numerous iterations - the latest being Skype for Business 2019.

Nasstar's 2019 Modality acquisition

Despite Skype 2019’s looming end-of-life date of October 2025, Microsoft's unified communications platforms have served as crucial tools from the get-go. Live Communications Server, Office Communication Server, Lync Server 2010, Lync Server 2013, Skype for Business Server 2015, Skype for Business Server 2019 have all provided organisations with a huge amount of value.

Now, we welcome the latest release: Skype for Business Server SE (SE meaning “Subscription Edition”, not to be confused with “Standard Edition”). This new platform will be available for download from the Microsoft 365 admin center in early Q3 of 2025.

While customers will still need to transition from Skype for Business Server 2019 to Skype for Business Server SE in Q3 2025, the announcement has provided relief for many organisations. It addresses the needs of businesses facing barriers to adopting cloud platforms due to governance, regulatory constraints, and other blockers. It's a niche market, but one that we believe is significant and still very much alive.

At Nasstar, we provide both managed and professional services for companies that are either hosted on our private Skype for Business platform or running services deployed on-premise. Some of those companies need more time to plan their Microsoft Teams migration, while others simply cannot move to Teams due to the nature of their business. With the announcement of Skype for Business Server SE, organisations that need to can extend their critical Skype-centric unified communications services beyond the deadline of 2025.

More than just a “tool”

The legacy of Skype for Business extends far beyond its technological capabilities. It represents a significant investment in a versatile platform that has provided immense value to companies worldwide. Over the years, organisations have leveraged its features to transform productivity, streamline operations, and experiment with new ways of working.

The investments made in Skype for Business, the knowledge accumulated by internal teams and managed service providers, and the business systems built around it have all contributed to its lasting value. As companies continue to evolve and embrace new technologies, the benefits delivered by Skype will provide the foundations for many communication strategies.

Skype for Business may be a legacy technology, but its value in the marketplace is undeniable. However, while Skype remains a vital tool for certain sectors, the broader market is moving or has already moved towards modern solutions like Microsoft Teams.

Teams not only provides a platform for advanced collaboration and communication but also represents the future of workplace interaction. For companies with fewer compliance barriers, migrating to Teams offers a wealth of benefits, including enhanced productivity, streamlined workflows, and a continuous pipeline of innovative features.

How can Nasstar help? 

The challenge for service providers is in navigating this dual path: maintaining the legacy and strengths of Skype for Business for those who need it, while also advocating for the modernisation and transformational capabilities of Microsoft Teams.  

At Nasstar we believe in offering choice and flexibility, ensuring that all organisations, regardless of their regulatory landscape, have access to the best communication tools. 

Rich Tolley, Nasstar’s Employee Experience Practice Lead, said “Skype for Business is a product and service I’m all too familiar with. We provide consultancy services as well as managed services to customers still leveraging the technology, and we are uniquely positioned to continue that trusted advisor role. We’re helping both new and existing customers navigate their specific needs while providing expert guidance on best practice. I’m absolutely delighted by this news which means we can continue to support our customers on their journey with Microsoft.” 

Speak to a specialist to learn more. 

Frequently Asked Questions  

When does Skype for Business Server 2019 end, and what can businesses do afterwards? 

Skype for Business Server 2019 will reach its end-of-life in October 2025. After that, businesses can switch to Skype for Business Server SE (Subscription Edition) to keep using Skype for Business.  

What's Skype for Business Server SE? 

Skype for Business Server SE offers ongoing support and updates on a subscription basis, even after the regular Skype for Business Server ends. The licensing model is the same as SharePoint Server Subscription Edition and Exchange Server Subscription Edition, which requires subscription licenses or licenses with active Software Assurance for server and user licenses. The hardware, operating system, and other requirements for Skype for Business Server SE are the same as Skype for Business Server 2019. 

How can Nasstar help businesses make the most of Skype for Business? 

By partnering with Nasstar, your business can leverage our expertise to maintain and enhance your Skype environment. We’ll help you create a reliable and secure communication system while planning for a future transition to modern platforms like Microsoft Teams.