Why wait for Skype for Business to retire before upgrading to Microsoft Teams? It might be easier than you think! Here's our top 10 considerations for Upgrading.
The temptation is always to wait for the deadline and to continue using a platform you, and your organisation are familiar with. But there's less and less of a reason to postpone your upgrade to Microsoft Teams.
Bringing the capabilities that you already enjoy with Skype, like online meetings, instant messaging and calling but delivering this in a more convenient and more efficient single hub that also allows you to connect your favourite apps and work collaboratively.
Another good reason to start your upgrade to Teams now is that whether you are coming from Skype for Business Online or Skype for Business Server on-premises, with or without Enterprise voice, Microsoft have a number of robust options to help in your journey to Teams. If you follow our guidance as you make the transition, you trust that no user will miss a chat message and meetings will always be accessible either from Skype or Teams.
Here are some pointers on the top things to get started:
1. Automatic Upgrades
Smaller organisations may not have to do anything at all, if you're business does not have hybrid or on-premises dependencies and are using Skype for Business Online only, Microsoft offers automated upgrades. You will be notified in advance of your upgrade via email and in your message centre if you have been selected for the automated upgrade.
2. More than just a technical upgrade
Adoption timeframes will have an impact on the success of your rollout, with change management across your users key to a successful adoption strategy. You will need to implement a project lead to help initiate rollout and to assist with training. It is advised that you also make champions to aid with adoption and in-house training.
3. Built-in upgrade options and interoperability
Whether you are coming from Skype for Business Online or Skype for Business Server on-prem, hayve hybrid configuration or an enterprise voice plan upgrade options and interoperability options are build-in to assist with migration.
4. Phased upgrade
Microsoft recognise that you may not one to upgrade all of your users in one go. Therefore Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams can coexist during your upgrade. This allows you to gradually onboard users, create advocates to help with onboarding and training and gives you the flexibility to ensure that the pre-requisites are in place with SharePoint, OneDrive and other Microsoft applications, as well as the necessary network optimisation.
5. Choice of upgrade path
There are two main upgrade paths to choose from:
Islands Mode. This is Microsoft's recommended path to upgrading. This will be the default coexistence moder for your tenant and allows overlapping capabilities across Skype and Teams. Chat, meetings and VoIP calling are available in both clients, allowing your users to familiarise themselves with Teams whilst still being able to access all the Skype features at the same time.
The second path allows you to pick select capabilities from two interoperability modes. Skype for Business with Teams Collab and Meetings mode, which is Microsofts "meetings-first approach" which allows users to have chat and calls initiated and received in Skype whilst scheduling and collaboration capabilities are handled by Teams. Skype for Business with Teams Collab means that chats, calls and meetings remain in Skype and collaboration capabilities remain within Teams with teams conversations, collaborative working and file sharing enabled.
Once you have decided that your organisation is ready you can switch to Teams only mode which will mean all incoming calls and chats are handled within your Teams client.
6. Mix and Match coexistence modes
Using the Teams Admin Centre n you can choose to make modes organisation-wide or user specific. This allows you to have users still on Skype for Business with select capabilities, overlapping capabilities or just Teams only based on the upgrade strategy for your business.
7. Hybrid Configuration
If you have Skype for Business Server on-prem then you will need a hybrid configuration in order to upgrade. This ensure that your calling and chat traffic between Skype and Teams is automatically transferred via Microsoft's gateway service. If you are already using Office 365 this is likely to already be in place.
8. Two voice integration options
• A Microsoft calling plan: If you are using a phone system and a Microsoft calling plan where Microsoft provides your phone numbers directly, once you enable Teams only mode traffic is routed to Teams automatically, or
• Direct Routing, which can be configured in a few ways.. If you have an on-premises Session Border Controller device that connects directly with your PSTN trunk line from your telecommunications provider or ISP, you’ll need to route the connection to your Microsoft 365 tenant. Or, if your Direct Routing is done off-site by your telecommunications provider via their Session Border Controller, you will need to work with them to direct PSTN traffic to your Microsoft 365 tenant.
9. Track Readiness
Built-in usage reports and dashboards are available in Microsoft 365 and Teams Admin Centre. By taking time to utilise these reports it will give you a clearer view of if your team is ready to adopt and to help you to better plan, and implement your upgrade.
10. Upgrade contacts and meetings to Teams
With most of your migration happening behind the scenes, there are options available to automatically upgrade upcoming Skype for Business meetings to run on Teams.
Enable external voice calling from within your Microsoft Teams client securely and efficiently with TeamsLink from Wavenet. Make and receive UK, international and mobile calls even with non-Teams contacts with reliable and cost-effective calling bundles.
TeamsLink and Microsoft Teams will give you the power to boost your business into a high-performing, collaborative team allowing you to share files and collaborate on working documents in real-time, with instant messaging built directly into the platform.
TeamsLink gives your business the ability to easily hold online meetings, with your team, or even your customers and prospects no matter where you are. Even if you miss the meeting, have to leave early or have arrived late, you can easily listen to the meeting in your own time as Microsoft Teams can store the recording for you.