Two Essentials for an Effective Microsoft Teams Migration from Skype for Business: Road Mapping and Training

Next Steps for Moving to Teams

When moving to Microsoft Teams from Skype for Business, it can be helpful to seek out a Microsoft partner with expertise in both Skype for Business and Teams. One thing an experienced partner can help you with is building a roadmap for the deployment.

Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams have slightly varied functionality and have vastly different user experiences. Without proper planning, users will feel lost within their new too if they are migrated to Teams without the proper training and a strong roadmap.

While Teams is a more complex collaboration solution, it also incorporates many factors of Office 365 into a single pain of glass—making it much more than a unified communications tool as many Skye for Business users are used to.

The Importance of Training

Microsoft Teams enables your departments to collaborate in new and more meaningful ways, bringing together Office 365 (and 3rd party) tools that teams interact with frequently into a hub for teamwork. Teams unlocks new scenarios for communication and is built to increase productivity and create a new culture within departments that bring team members closer together.

This sounds pretty great, right?

What’s the catch?

For Teams to work as intended, the solution must be utilized to its fullest. The first step for getting your users to truly understand the power of the tool is for company leadership to understand how end users can use it to benefit everyday routines. Second, leadership must work with end-users and their departments to deliver this message as well as ensure proper training materials and services are available. One of the most important factors for evaluating a training program is to make sure it addresses not only how to use a solution, but also the why. When end users know why a solution can be useful for increasing effectiveness, they will feel more motivated to use it.

For example, Microsoft Teams can integrate OneNote and Planner across departments and groups to assign and track tasks to team members as well as offer a place to collaborate on task notes. Teams also creates SharePoint document storage sites for each Team, allowing members to collaborate and share files directly from the Teams dashboard. All of these collaboration capabilities are available in Teams, a tool that many people only are using only for its IM and calling functionality.

Evaluating Your Organization to Build Your Strategy

Understanding your organization’s technology environment is vital to your success with Teams. Exchange Online and SharePoint will give your users the best experience within Teams—if you are not using both of these, we suggest taking a deeper look at the Teams roadmap to decide if it is something you should deploy alongside of the solution.

Another important aspect of Teams is understanding and setting policies for how you will organize your members within the application. Without clear objective for Teams usage, the sharing of documentation will quickly spiral out of control.

Have you considered rights-management? What are you allowing people to upload, download, or remove from Teams sites? This could be a serious security risk, if it isn’t discussed.

A great place to start is building team sites based on your organization’s hierarchy. This will allow users to automatically be dropped into the correct groups after migration. This will also make it easier for users to begin collaborating within their departments.

These are just a few examples of things that need to be considered within your migration roadmap from Skype for Business to Teams.

Putting it All Together

Once you’ve built your roadmap and selected internal ‘champions’ for Microsoft Teams, then it’s time to start looking at how you are going to increase adoption of the solution through training.

Adoption within Office 365 is vital because it increases the ROI of your licensing by creating smarter & more productive employees. Forrester research commissioned by Microsoft has found this to be true for many verticals like retail, healthcare, government, and finance.

For both your internal pilots as well as your company-wide rollout, frequent communication within the organization about the solution and migration should be a priority. This communication should include the following:

  • Internal awareness materials such as posters, email blasts, events, digital signage, etc.
  • Self-help and training materials in a single location that can be accessed company wide.

Having a Successful Pilot Program

For the pilot phase, here are steps that will help ensure success and build Teams ‘champions’ within the organization:

  • Hold a kick-off meeting with the pilot users to get them excited and help drive participation. Creating a sense of ‘community’ is important, especially since Microsoft Teams builds communities within itself
  • Create a team site within Teams of all the pilot users so they can share experience and ask questions.
  • Make self-help documentation available for end users to explore—including video content
    • For this PEI suggests our QuickHelp online training portal that utilizes gamification and an engagement engine to increase adoption and lower the amount of support calls.
  • Have a regularly scheduled meeting with the pilot user group and the project management team overseeing this phase for updates on user experiences
  • Have a final pilot close meeting with all end users to get feedback that will help mold the company-wide training strategy

Managing the Company-Wide Roll Out of Teams

For the company-wide roll out, it is important to include everything mentioned up until this point. You will also want to implement other training add-ons to ensure the highest adoption:

  • Having instructor-led classroom training (or webinars) is a great way to enable users to engage directly with experienced trainers
  • Have team ‘champions’ build out plans for how Teams would make the most sense and increase productivity within their department.
  • Conduct administration training for the internal support team to ensure they are equipped to answer Help Desk calls from users.
  • Host Question and Answer sessions after a week of using Teams to encourage users to participate and also fix any issues that may arise

PEI is a Microsoft Gold Partner and an expert in Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams planning, roadmapping, migration, and training. The above suggestions are just a few of the things we offer with our services. We are dedicated to ensuring your migration is a success and that the ROI from your O365 licensing is the highest it can be. Below are some Microsoft & PEI resources on Teams training. Contact PEI online or email us directly at info@pei.com if you have more questions or are interested in working with us on your Microsoft Teams deployment.

Adam Lee, Director of Marketing

Additional Resources

Check out these administrative training resources from Microsoft.

Admin training for Microsoft Teams
This section contains videos for IT administrators to receive training in deploying and operating Microsoft Teams

  • Deep dive into Guest Access
  • e-Discovery in Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Teams: Step-by-step intro for using, enabling and managing the experience

Audio Conferencing in Microsoft Teams
This section contains videos for IT administrators to receive training in the following audio conferencing topics:

  • Introduction to Audio Conferencing
  • Plan for Audio Conferencing
  • Number porting for Audio Conferencing

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