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Regular Visitor

If there's one thing you take away from Tom Arbuthnot's session, it's plan your journey to Microsoft Teams!

 

Considerations before moving to Teams

Teams has many different modalities: Chat, collaboration, planner, meetings, telephony, bots. It's easy to get lost in all the excitement. When you're considering your move to Microsoft Teams, and what it can do for your organisation, it pays to take a few moments and consider the following:

 

  • Consider where you are today - What does your organisation look like today? Are you using multiple applications for different purposes? Is the culture change-adverse? Use this time to evaluate if your organisation is ready for this chance.
  • Multiple phases are preferable when running a project - Trying to do everything in a big bang approach is hard! Think about how you'll handle training, change management, and adoption.
  • Collaboration may not be the business driver - Many organisations don't have budget allocated to collaboration. Funding for telephony and meetings may be an easier route instead, so consider leveraging this instead.

 

Understanding co-existence modes

Co-existence can be confusing. As of today., there's 6 different co-existence modes to consider when making the move between Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams:

 

  • Islands Mode
  • Skype for Business Only mode
  • Teams Collaboration Mode
  • Teams Collaboration with meetings Mode
  • Meetings first Mode
  • Teams only

 

Keep in mind too that you can set each of these modes on a per-user basis.

 

Islands Mode

Islands mode is where you are by default. If you haven't changed anything within the Office 365 portal, your users will be assigned this co-existence mode by default.

 

The Good - You get all the functionality of both Skype and Teams

The Bad - You get all the functionality of both Skype and Teams

 

That's not a typo! Having full functionality is great, but consider how it may confuse your end users.

 

Recommendation: Only use islands if you have a plan to get to Teams only mode.

 

Skype for Business Only Mode

Exactly as it says on the tin. Consider the fact though that Skype for Business in Office 365 will be end of life in a few years time.

 

Teams Collaboration Mode
A fun tongue twister: This mode turns Teams into the Teams part of Teams

 

With this mode, only collaborative chats are enabled. That may seem like a simple change, but the reality is that this change will have the biggest impact to your business, and will have the largest adoption curve and cultural change. Users will have to learn to share drafts of documents and messages that both the boss and team members can see at the same time - a big cultural shift for a lot of people.

 

Teams Collaboration Mode with Meetings

Exactly the same as above, but you enable Teams Meetings too. Note that there is still no private chat or calling in Teams in this mode - those features remain with Skype for Business.

 

In this mode, you're giving users the best meeting experience through Teams, whilst still maintaining Skype for Business for all other workloads.

 

If you're using this co-existence mode consider getting PSTN audio conferencing licensing, and supported meeting room hardware (either using your existing meeting room investments via a Cloud Video Interop service, or via Teams Meeting Room devices).

 

Meeting First Mode:

This mode is very similar to Teams collaboration with meetings mode, but with the Teams button on the side rail hidden.

 

Chat and voice stays with Skype for Business server, The Outlook Skype for Business button will be replaced with the Teams button and meetings will be migrated from Skype for Business to Teams automatically via the Meetings Migration Service.

 

If you're a Skype for Business environment but you're not ready for Teams, consider deploying this mode which gives you all the benefits of cloud meetings without cutting over fully to Teams.

 

Teams Only Mode

Finally, Teams only mode is exactly what it says on the tin. All modalities within Teams is enabled. Calling, IM, collaboration and meetings. Skype meetings still work in this mode - users will just join via the Skype for Business application which will be sitting in the users system tray.

 

 

A Quick note on telephony in Teams

Adding PSTN connectivity to Microsoft Teams is simple, and is well suited to both knowledge and mobile workers.

 

To achieve this, you can either bring your existing carrier in via a Session Border Controller and Direct Routing, or you can purchase telephony directly from Microsoft.

 

Device-wise, there are IP phones available from various manufactures today: AudioCodes, Yealink, Crestron and Poly.

 

Goals

To ensure the success of your Teams rollout, it's important that clear goals are set from the outset.

 

Ensure that you have business aligned goals, and ensure that the project is aligned with those goals. Align the "Why are we doing this" with the business goal.

 

Ensure that the project gets business sponsorship from the right people too. Get the c-suite onboard early, and get them excited for the change.

 

Once the rollout has progressed, ensure you talk about how the rollout has affected business in a positive way. "The sales teams " is far better than "80% of users are now using Teams"

 

Governance

Alright, governance isn't something to get super excited about, but it is important.

 

Ensure you have a written governance standard. How are you handling guest access, where is data stored, how is it stored, who has access to it? Who owns what teams? These are all great questions to ask and have a written answer for.

 

Measuring Success

There are many ways to measure success, but here's a few ideas:

 

  • Use office 365 reporting
  • Third party reporting available
  • Tell the business the success story
  • Look for areas to improve
  • Gather user feedback

 

And most importantly: Use this info to adapt your approach!

 

Teams is never "done"

Teams is not a "one and done" project. Even when you've moved everyone successfully to Teams only mode, new features will be added at a later date.

 

New users will be added, old habits may re-appear but you have to ensure users aren't resorting to old ways when under pressure; like going back to email to share a file internally.

 

Teams has a number of ongoing tasks too, that you're going to want to ensure are taken care of by a dedicated team within the organisation.

 

  • Ongoing operations tasks - making sure your network is up to scratch, making sure your phones, meeting room devices and audio gateways are kept up to date.

 

  • Ongoing service management - is there a dedicated service owner for Microsoft Teams? If there isn't a dedicated service owner for Teams, how serious is the organisation about moving to teams?

 

  • Ongoing user support - Make sure your support team are capable of answering questions or at least have an escalations path. Give them the training and tools to succeed, or users will fall back to those old habits.

 

Above all, ensure your Teams rollout not only focuses on the tech, but the operations, service management and user support too to ensure success.