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If your organization is moving to Teams soon (or already has), this session can help you find success with end user adoption and usage.

 

At the start of the session, a 9-person panel spanning many industries around the world were asked, why did you choose to move to Teams? I thought the answers would all be similar, focused around communication or collaboration. Wow, was I wrong!

 

Jacob Lindgren explained that his colleagues had thousands and thousands of emails and this was something he wanted to change. Carol Roberts described the new hire sprawl within her organization and that they didn’t know what to turn to, too many tools. Teams solved for that – to have one tool.

When asked how Teams is improving collaboration? A panelist said it’s the one place users don’t feel lost. It’s the first platform that they get good file sharing for now. They have 8,000 1-to-1 chats per day.

 

8,000 1-to-1 chats per day!  I started thinking about this and the thousands of emails mentioned earlier. If thousands of daily email messages within an organization can be turned into Team channel conversations and private chats (1-to-1 and 1-to-many), the return on investment can be tremendous in so many ways:

 

To start, it can help with productivity. Team members share information quickly, ask questions and get answers quickly. They can be notified in many ways with team, channel and individual @ mentions. Have visibility to entire conversations as they are persistent, this means less time spent triaging their email inboxes and performing email cleanup/organization.

 

Knowledge sharing and searching are simplified. Tribal knowledge is shared in a space that team members and guests have access to over time and can easily search for key words topics within all Teams and channels they are a part of.  

 

For those administering Teams and Office 365 it means less mail to manage, simplified methods for archiving teams and taking teams offline.

 

When the panelists were asked about scenarios or examples that help people adopt the tool, Bernd Diel said they introduced features in a small way, like chat. Cashiers and warehouse staff started using audio calling like a walkie-talkie to check stock inventory. When Microsoft looked at the call data they thought something was wrong because it was used in such a short calling type of a way. Something they didn’t think was possible.  

 

As the panel chat wrapped up, advice for other companies transferring current workloads to Teams were shared. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Plan but don’t over plan.
  • The speed of change must always be slower than the speed of adoption.
  • Don’t wait too long. Users will find other tools and go around IT.
  • Collaborate – this is a whole new level of really understanding who you are working with in an organization and it really opens up who you are working with.
  • Making sure your users understand the value. How does this impact my productivity? How does it make my day to day better? Progress, not perfection. Simplifying the experience for the user so that its intuitive, just like picking up the phone to make a call.
  • If you can encourage your users to use it on the mobile app it becomes sticky and gets them to adopt it much faster.

Attendees had several questions for the panel. Here are the highlights:

Question: Do any of you use Yammer? What to use when? 

Answer: Yes, we do. Yammer is the first took we introduced to the company and then later we introduced Teams. We made a 2-minute video to explain the outer loop - Yammer - to ask a question and get feedback, when in Teams have a faster conversation. Really it depends on how you want to work. Some colleagues need more guidance.

 

Question: What are some of the creative ways you have used Teams?

Answer: Memeatropolis -we have lots of colleagues in their 20s and the memes were out of control. We created a space where the happy birthdays go, the fun responses and the noise is in one area. That team has 75 to 80 people.

 

Question: For anyone that was on-prep, did Exchange cause any issues or slow you down.

Answer: Exchange is the last tool we are moving to the cloud. We should have started with Exchange.

 

Question: Do any of you have use cases for external communications?

Answer: We are open federation as well. We have brought some guest users in. Federation should work for Teams, Teams to Skype online and on-prem.

 

Question: How do you prevent Teams sprawl so that members of many teams do not get frustrated?

Answer: We have champions documentations, we do renamed teams as needed, but we don’t want to get in the way if they want to create a team. There are ways to control teams, can set expiration for teams so that after so many days of not being used its closed.