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Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Upgrading from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams

There is a huge amount of buzz around Microsoft Teams, but the key to a successful deployment is avoiding the mistakes of those who have gone before you 😉. Our VP of Professional Service Charlie Doubek spelled out the key ‘gotchas’ on a recent webinar. And they are…..


Pitfall 1: Dealing with non-cooperative carriers

Whether you’re building a project plan and deploying UCaaS solutions with Microsoft Teams, replacing Skype for Business as your UC client, or taking your integrated voice from Skype for Business and moving it into Microsoft Teams: the carrier you use might make mistakes.

The reality is some carriers are better than others at number porting. This can be anything from complicated number routing you might be unaware of, to the carrier straightforward non-co-operation!

Whatever the reason for carrier issues, you must work in tandem with project managers who have experience in UCaaS, know the trends among telcos, understand the delays that can result – and can build that knowledge into the project plan.


Pitfall 2: Lack of understanding of compliance planning

Strong knowledge of the compliance challenges within an organisation is key.  It might be tempting to deploy a ‘big bang’ approach by launching all features in island mode, but if you don’t do the compliance work you could disrupt users by taking away critical features during deployment.

The way to avoid this is planning not only around Microsoft security, but also around internal compliance teams and company needs, to create a clear deployment plan. How can it be done? Up-front understanding of the vision and roadmap.


Pitfall 3: Teams deployed but not adopted

Organisations are sometimes keen to deploy Microsoft Teams in full-blown mode and get people using it as soon as possible. But if Microsoft Teams is deployed as an application alone, rather than integrated as a way of working, some end users may well adopt it – but others won’t!

How can this problem be tackled?  Change managers can help a business to transform. But it’s rare to find one with the experience of exactly what Microsoft Teams can do. Arkadin has a team of change managers across Europe, who work with each company individually to map the personas of its end users, determine its terminology and how each community uses Microsoft Teams.


Pitfall 4: Lazy training on Microsoft Teams

A common mistake is to think Microsoft Teams is just an upgraded version of Skype for Business. Navigating this assumption requires a focus on training, coaching and communication – including everything from roadmaps and sponsors, to user guides and tutorial videos – designed to prepare customers to evolve in an increasingly complex context.


Pitfall 5: Not connecting legacy architecture and building teams as an island

Legacy technology exists in every organzation, the challenge is how it’s integrated into Microsoft Teams. Solution architects are trained to consider legacy technology– whether that’s Cisco call managers or other PBXs. Designing Microsoft Teams to integrate with legacy will ensure business as usual.


Pitfall 6: Confusion between migration modes

Microsoft Teams has several modes that can be used to incorporate with Skype Online. For example, if you’re not yet deploying Teams because a few users still need Skype functionality, you can decommission the Skype for Business server and move to Skype Online to fill the gap of missing features.


The reality is, though, that this can be confusing. Microsoft offers free Teams Upgrade Planning Workshops (delivered by Arkadin) and designed to make sure organisations get the most out of their Microsoft investment. From environmental and workload assessments, to persona analysis and a timeline for a successful upgrade to Microsoft Teams, these workshops will help you make your own deployment a resounding success!

About the author

Charlie is Vice President, Managed Collaboration And Communications for the Cloud Communications division of NTT. He's been in the telecommunications industry for more than 15 years working for providers such as MCI-Verizon, Genesys, West Corporation, and now NTT gaining vast experience across the North American, EMEA, and APAC markets. His primary focus has been professional services related to the adoption of collaborative services and technical integrations for the last 10 years. Now he is focusing on end to end digital transformation services around cloud datacentre and intelligent communications.

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