Microsoft is Ending Skype Support for Third-Party Audio – Procurement Impact Ahead!

By Matt West

Director of Telecommunication Services, NPI

June 06, 2018

There’s been a lot of big news coming out of Redmond lately. One announcement that’s flown under many enterprise customers’ radar is that Microsoft is ending Skype support for third-party audio. The full announcement can be found here – below is a recap.

Microsoft has announced the start of the end-of-life program for the integration of Skype for Business with third-party audio conference providers (ACPs). The announcement will impact enterprise accounts that purchased integrated audio conferencing from an approved third-party ACP. As of the time of the announcement, authorized ACPs include:

  • AT&T
  • BT
  • PGi
  • West Communications

 Could No Skype Support for Third-Party Audio Lead to Telecom Overspending?

Although end-of-life is not until April 1, 2019, enterprise Skype for Business customers that use third-party ACPs should take immediate steps to avoid overspending:

  1. Review ACP contract commitments and term expiration dates. Enterprises with multi-year contracts and financial commitments may find themselves unable to satisfy their financial commitment once the service is no longer available. Unavailability of the service may technically be a breach of contract but that is a conversation that should be had with the supplier now rather than later.
  2. Plan for a migration. Users of Skype for Business will be left with two options: either move to a premise-based solution or use Skype for Business Cloud Audio. Enterprise clients may be able to get calls at the same rate or less through an on-premise solution but could be faced with buying new equipment and services to support the solution. Skype for Business Cloud Audio may or may not be more expensive. Enterprises need to compare the rates of their current ACP to those published by Microsoft.
  3. Notify your users. Collaboration users are notoriously reluctant to change the dial-in number of long-standing recurring meetings. They need to be informed that a change is coming and given as much warning as possible to transition to new numbers. Enterprise customers need to review any published material that includes a standard Skype for Business meeting with external audio participation.