Is It Time to Switch from Skype for Business to Teams?

October 3, 2018   //   Communicate & Collaborate Microsoft Unified Communications,

By now, you know that Microsoft Teams is incorporating the features of Skype for Business Online, and then some. You know that this is part of Microsoft’s plan to retire Skype for Business Online in favor of teams. And you know that eventually, the day will come where you’ll have to make the switch.

In my last blog on this topic, we left you with some good reasons to move to Teams but also provided reassurance that the transition didn’t have to happen right away. It’s been one year since that initial announcement, and many are now beginning to wonder if the time has finally come to switch to Teams.

The Short Answer

The short answer is; if you’re not using Skype for Business as your phone system, you should already be in the process of moving – or better yet, you have already made the move to Teams.

Teams has the vast majority of the capabilities as Skype for Business Online and it far exceeds its predecessor in functionality. If Skype for Business is your phone system, then you should be running both side-by-side, testing Teams to determine if enough telephony capabilities are there to move a portion of your users over.

The Long Answer

The longer answer is; while you should be using Teams now, it’s not as simple as turning it on, sending an email to users and forgetting about it. The success of your deployment depends on factors such as governance and administration roles, content ownership, and training and support.

Before you deploy it, you need to have a plan. Decisions need to be made around proper use, such as when to use Teams over the various other communication tools to which your users have access. What existing communications tools can be retired? Group chats are an easy target, but what about video conferencing with its built-in intelligence and simple recording capabilities? What about phone conferencing?

The move to Teams is not a small change. And with change comes the need for a solid change management strategy. Everyone needs to understand how Teams will benefit the organization at large, as well as enhance their day-to-day collaboration and communication. Company-wide understanding and buy-in is critical to ensuring that all project documents, recorded meetings, conversations and more are being kept in a single area of a single application. Once your users properly grasp the power of the tool, you can overcome resistance and cultivate enthusiasm for the new solution – which accelerates adoption and improves the likelihood of ongoing success.

Microsoft Teams is one of the most exciting products we’ve seen from Microsoft in a while, given its feature depth and strong business impact. However, proper planning is essential to the success of the tool. At SWC, we’ve helped many firms successfully deploy the solution. Reach out to us today to discuss your transition.