Office 365 Planned Service Changes for December 2019

The goal of this post is to compile all publicly announced Office 365 service changes per month in 2019, especially those that may require admin action. These changes are listed below in chronological order, based on the “Action Required” or “Effective” date. Additional information and resources related to these changes are provided where applicable. Updates will be made to this post as new service changes are announced, or updates to announced changes are provided.

Note: All changes may not have been communicated to your tenant / environment.

Discontinuation of support for Session Border Controllers in Exchange Online Unified Messaging

Action Required By: December 1, 2019

Details: In July 2017, we announced that support for Session Border Controllers (SBC) that connect third party PBX systems to Exchange Online Unified Messaging (UM) would be discontinued as of July 2018. After feedback from customers and partners concerned about this change, we are announcing additional time for customers to prepare. The new date for discontinuation will be December 1, 2019. Customers with existing deployments remain fully supported until this date. However, Microsoft strongly advises all customers to begin their voicemail transition now.

There are different alternatives for customers currently using an on-premises PBX system that connects to Exchange Online. We recognize that customers may also choose a combination of these options for their organization.

  • Office 365: We believe the best option for customers is to transition to the cloud and use Office 365. This would include the enterprise voice workload and Cloud Voicemail. Customers would use Microsoft Teams for collaboration and voice services.
  • Skype for Business Server: In this configuration, customers would deploy an on-premises Skype for Business server and take advantage of the services for voicemail supported by the server.
  • Third-Party Voicemail System: With this approach, the customer acquires a third-party voicemail system that provides all the capabilities required to process voicemail and then place it in the user’s Exchange mailbox.

Please review the information linked below for more guidance details.

Additional Information:

Retirement of Skype for Business app on Windows 10 Mobile

Effective: December 2019

Details: The Windows Phone app for Skype for Business is being retired. After this change takes effect, new users will no longer be able to download the app from the Microsoft Store, and the app will no longer be supported. Although Microsoft continues to support Windows 10 Mobile, we are not focused on building new features for the system. We will continue to invest in Skype for Business mobile apps for iOS and Android and also in desktop apps for Windows and Mac.

Existing users of the Windows Phone app for Skype for Business will continue to be able to use the app. Moreover, they will continue to be able to re-download the app from the Windows Store.

Beginning in December 2019, Skype for Business on Windows 10 Mobile, will no longer be available for download.

The Skype for Business app may continue to work after this date, but this is not guaranteed. This app will no longer receive updates or support. If you need to continue using Skype for Business on Windows Phone, we recommend that you install the app before the date cited above.

Additional Information: Windows Phone app for Skype for Business is being retired

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