Microsoft determined the end-of-life date for Skype for Business as of July 31, 2021. With the clock ticking, you do not want to wait until the last minute and scramble to prepare for Skype’s inevitable replacement with Microsoft Teams. Not to worry: Microsoft developed a framework outlined in stages to help your company roll out the upgrade to a Teams–only environment. By following this plan, your company can switch to using only Teams in less than 45 days with numerous benefits to upgrading early. Planning an early switch from Skype to Teams can save your company time, productivity, and in the end money.
Time to work out details: Organization and planning
Who should have the rights to create a new channel in teams? Who has editing rights over these channels? How do you even create a new channel?
There are many questions you might have when using Teams. Channels, and sub-channels, are a feature of Teams that lets you center work and conversations around topics of your choice. With Teams integration of Office programs, such as Word, Excel, SharePoint, and others, you can keep track of the work being done all in one channel.
But the use of these features is not automatic and setting these parameters up takes time. Microsoft even allows third–party programs to integrate with Teams, so you will want to have a set of Teams Administrators helping with this process. With the early adoption of Teams, you have time to work out these details and solve any potential problems with configuring the application for users in your systems. If you wait too long, you may end up spending more time organizing the program rather than running it.
Teams also gives your company the option to share a Team with those outside of your organization. Collaborating with clients and vendors is secure, easy, and can close the time on feedback loops and delays in communication. Early adoption gives your company time to explore how to configure sharing, who to share with, and how to also create Private Channels for more sensitive or preliminary conversations.
Early adopters and training
Another benefit to this early transition is the use of early adopters. These adopters are employees who often are stakeholders and will give detailed feedback on their experiences with Teams. The early adopters help establish what is needed to train employees on navigating the UI, set up meetings, figure out how to make calls and use the chat feature, and how to utilize the integration of other Office programs within Teams.
If this sounds like a lot of work, that is because it is. What would happen if you made the switch to Teams today? How many of your employees are trained to fully utilize the application and abandon Skype altogether? How productive would your company be while struggling with communication issues? Having early adopters is crucial to gaining feedback for what needs to be done before the push to use Teams is made companywide.
Behind the scenes: Troubleshooting
No major transition is without problems. Even if your company is running Skype for Business and Teams side-by-side, you will not be able to simply disable Skype and start using Teams. Aside from user training, you should aim to give your system engineers and network engineers time to discover and fix any problems which may arise.
These issues may be as simple as figuring out how to integrate other programs (both Office and non-Office) with Teams. Other troubleshooting may involve adjusting security settings and configuring the necessary company devices (such as desk phones), which will need to be in use with Teams. Ultimately, the more time you have to adopt Teams, the more your support teams can dive deeper into the program and ensure a smooth transition and post-deployment period. Delaying the transition could cost your company more money in work stoppages and paying support teams to troubleshoot issues.
The key to success in transitioning from Skype for Business to Teams is simple: time. Here’s why:
- With time, you can find solutions to problems before companywide deployment.
- Starting with a small group of early adopters and using their feedback will help you start looking into solutions for problems before the full deployment.
- Giving your support team time to troubleshoot and solve any problems that come up will help the entire process run more smoothly.
- Rather than running up to the switch-over date and facing potential delays, it is better to have time and space to troubleshoot and prepare your company for the transition away from Skype.
Waiting until the last minute could mean playing catchup with your competition while your company struggles with the change. Finding support for this process can make all the difference, too, so click here to see how ZAG can help with your transition needs.