Five tips for planning a successful upgrade to Teams

Published Jun 16 2020 08:00 AM 10.2K Views

Over the past two years we’ve helped thousands of organizations transition from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams and realize new possibilities for workplace communication and collaboration. We’ve used this experience to build upon our free Teams training, and planning workshops for enabling successful Teams upgrades.

In addition to our upgrade guidance around technical and organizational readiness, we want to share stories of customers who have made the journey to Teams Only. Here are some of their recommendations for driving Teams adoption, successfully managing change, and sticking to your plan. 




At Dentsu Aegis Network, the vastness of our user landscape relative to capability and geography required us to focus initial energy on driving Teams adoption and usage. Working closely with a Microsoft partner, we built a targeted campaign consisting of drumbeat and t-minus countdown communications, videos, posters, and user guides. We also harnessed the power of Teams to hold remote training and drop-in sessions for more tailored run-throughs. This 'change toolkit' was shared with local IT teams to facilitate their respective moves to Teams Only and received positive feedback across the board.



It would have been easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of the task of upgrading an organization like Dentsu Aegis Network, with our global footprint of over 45,000 users across multiple regions and markets. So we answered the question of, “Where do we begin?” by focusing on the low hanging fruit. We spent time building our understanding of our user base, identifying opportunities where engagement was high and technical complexity was low. By getting these groups over the line first, we were able to prove to the more reluctant teams that this could be done with ease. Engagement levels improved the more we delivered, and the programme team was equally buoyed by all the progress being made.



As a leading retailer in Portugal, Sonae MC has a diverse workforce, each team with unique needs for communications and collaboration tools. From the start, our strategy has been to get Teams in the hands of different types of users in order to approach training and awareness with a broader vision. We used focus groups and continuous feedback – technical and functional – to design a change management program easily understood by teams from Finance to Logistics to Store Management. Measuring the success of the change management program, such as teams created, mobile app usage, meetings online versus offline, and quality of service has been crucial to understand the effectiveness and impact of our efforts to drive Teams adoption and usage.



Solera has a global workforce, each with unique needs for communications and collaboration tools. For us, Teams provided a surface for not only basic collaboration via chat and phone, but also provided a user-friendly interface into SharePoint. With this in mind, and the fact that our Skype for Business implementation had challenges over the years, we decided to go all-in on Teams.

From an IT perspective, the killer feature was being able to ‘shutter’ Skype after go-live, but keep it running in a limited mode for any legacy meetings. In the background, we’d silently pushed Teams via SCCM & InTune. This meant that on go-live, any disruption was minimized, and everyone knew what was going on. Although we’d set-up a hotline and various support channels, the issues were minimal, easily making this the most successful overnight platform migration we’ve ever done. Fast forward to today’s challenges, and Teams has been completely instrumental in allowing people to work from home, while staying productive and connected.



Getting the attention of the user community has always been a challenge, and Solera’s upgrade to Teams was no different. This time around, our Messaging and Collaboration Team decided to just make a nuisance of ourselves, and really go overboard with communicating the change, nearly all via email. We had a few posters put up, and of course some t-shirts, but our entire objective was for nobody to be surprised when we did the big bang migration from Skype for Business to Teams.

We planned the email campaign and started sending to the entire company one month prior to go-live. In the first week it was just a teaser email, the second week had a couple more teasers and download links, and basic getting-started tips. Weeks three and four featured daily emails, with a countdown, download link and a mix of content featuring tips and new features (a big play on GIFs!). When people started complaining of getting too many emails, we knew we were on the right path.



Need additional guidance planning your upgrade to Teams? Sign up for our free, interactive Upgrade Planning Workshops where we'll share guidance, best practices and resources designed to help you plan and implement your upgrade to Teams.

We’re enthusiastic about the growth of Teams and are heartened that our upgrade guidance and resources have helped so many Skype for Business transition to Teams Only. We appreciate all the feedback we receive as it helps us create better processes and products. And a big thank you to Dentsu Aegis Network, Sonae MC, and Solera for sharing their experiences and recommendations with others. See you on Teams!



Occasional Contributor

If you have technical users, expect pushback.


  • Technical users will likely already have set up their own communication channels that work well for them. Moving to Teams will be seen as a downgrade.
  • Technical users expect a high degree of control over their UI experience. Teams has very little in the way of meaningful configuration or customization options. You can't even choose the font, for example, which apart from anything else is an accessibility issue.
  • Technical users want to discuss their work, which means having a chat window open as well as their work. The chat is nowhere near compact enough for this to work. Expect a bill for new monitors.
  • Teams Only is simply not possible. Even internally, expect to support multiple communication systems. Are you sure all your customers are on Teams? And all your potential customers?
  • Invite your local Microsoft Teams representative in for a feedback session. Schedule time for a couple of representatives from the users to talk to them, face to face. Get a commitment to address the issues raised.
  • Expect frustration with the opaque development process. UserVoice tickets rarely get updated, commonly languish in "working on it" state for years with zero evidence of actual work, or are closed as "complete" when half-implemented, effectively dumping all the votes they have accrued in the bin, and preventing effective feedback. Is this by design? It certainly looks that way.
  • Expect your users to get frustrated enough with the lack of progress on simple, basic UI features that they spill out from Uservoice (where users can complain in private without bothering potential customers) and spill out onto public-facing blogs to try to make their issues more visible. That's why I'm here.
Occasional Contributor

Dear @Microsoft_Teams_team ,

Following provided links lead me to two sources of recorded sessions about S4B to Teams migration and I am confused about which one should I watch. 

Our time is limited, so I would kindly ask you to keep your content carefully selected, properly maintained, and under control.

Now please let me know which one should I watch to not waste my time:

Coffe in the cloud series / Teams IT Pro Academy, or


Tip! If you would like to keep all of your content published, which is understandable, mark them somehow that they are maintained not anymore and provide the link to the most current content. 



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‎Jan 26 2021 12:05 PM
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