Is my 3PIP Skype Phone a Brick in 2021?

More clarity on the recent announcement that Skype for Business Online will be retired in July 2021. 3PIP phones currently connect to Microsoft Teams using the Skype for Business Online gateway, and Skype is clearly going away. This has caused a bit of apprehension as many have invested large amounts into desk phones running third party firmware and many aren’t happy with the current state of Teams firmware on desk phones (it’ll get better). Further, some vendors (you know who you are) haven’t even released their Teams firmware phone yet.

Well, we can relax… a bit. A recent announcement from Microsoft has set the deadline for the death of these phones to July 31, 2023. Two years past the death of Skype, which is itself two years from today. So we’ve got about 4 more years.

Allll that said, with several Teams telephony deployments under my belt, I have to say it’s worth going as deskphoneless as possible (I made that word up). The experience is far superior, though it requires a good amount of user enablement and a bit of a fight as many won’t be happy with losing their phones. However, the organizations I’ve seen pull this off have a much more positive view of the product experience after the fact. Something to keep in mind.