Microsoft recently announced that the roadmap for bringing Skype for Business Online features and functionality into Microsoft Teams is complete. This is a significant milestone to help you upgrade Skype for Business Online with Microsoft Teams, utilizing Teams as the primary communications client in Office 365.
So What’s the Big Deal?
Whenever a change in applications takes place, users typically express some natural angst and often question the usefulness of the change. In this case, however, Teams is much more than just a chat tool. Teams will allow your users to create…wait for it…Teams, unlocking tremendous communication and collaboration capabilities for your users. How Teams are implemented is the key – and operating without a clear roadmap could become problematic.
It is important to understand that Teams is designed to be a central hub for work. These are dedicated project spaces that include:
- App interconnectivity
- Dedicated SharePoint Site
- File Storage
- Availability of external user access
Notice any red flags? IT admins who have seen collaboration tools like SharePoint and Slack run wild and become administrative nightmares will instantly see parallels in Teams. Additionally, companies that have certain compliance requirements, like healthcare, financial, legal, and government will also see the compliance risk associated with an unmanaged service in their environments.
You Might Not Have A Choice
An “offer” is typically something you can decline…but in this case, maybe not. Microsoft is rolling out automatic upgrade offers to clients, although the offer is really a notification of your imminent update. Ready or not, Microsoft plans to push the upgrade and force you to adjust. So, better get ready.
Current customers are being rolled as follows:
- You pay your license invoice directly to Microsoft
- Automatic upgrades are in process
|Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)|
- You pay your license invoice to a partner (i.e. C3 Integrated Solutions)
- Automatic upgrade offers start Nov. 1
Starting October 1st, all new clients with less than 500 seats (licenses) will get Teams directly. Skype for Business will not be available, except for GCC High clients since Teams is not available yet.
What If You Aren’t Ready?
For chat and voice, you don’t really have a choice. However, IT admins can control whether users have the ability to create Teams. This will limit the proliferation of Teams until you have time to properly develop an adoption strategy.
Teams are interconnected to Groups and this article provides guidance on how to Manage who can create Office 365 Groups.
However, there is a catch. Following the steps in this article requires a subscription to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Premium. The administrator who configures the settings, and the members of the affected groups, must have Azure AD Premium licenses assigned to them.
How Do You Do This Right?
There is a tremendous amount of information available about the transition to Teams. The links below are just a sample of some of the content that is available.
Overview of Teams
Skype for Business to Teams Roadmap
…And Most Importantly, C3 Can Help
The transition to Teams is as much about change management as it is about technology. Our collaboration team can help discuss both the organization as well as the technical impact of Teams in an organization. This includes strategy, communications, training, and best practices we have seen in our experience. Every organization is different, and your attitude towards technology as well as the maturity of your business processes will drive the speed and attention you need to pay towards this change.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local account manager to learn how we can help you roll out Teams.