BRK2190-Delighting your End Users: Facilitating a smooth transition from Skype for Business to Teams

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This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Teams Events Blog articles.

 Upgrade approach based on proven framework 

What makes this session so great is that it covers real world examples! The speakers focused on one main and big point during the session and that is: How you plan and manage the change from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams will result with your level of success.


The first thing when we start some change, we have to keep on mind that people are human, and they do not automatically change. We are all pushed back to change, because we want stability. For people to adopt and use something new, there has to be a preparation process. Just because something is installed on their computer, doesn’t mean that they use it, or that they even know how beneficial it is for them. And change is not “one size fits all”. There are age groups, cultural differences and many other points where people and organization distinguish one from another. Consider what are the job roles and what value will bring Microsoft Teams to the people from marketing, sales or warehouse department. How they communicate now and what do they need in the communication process.  And this is a moment, where every company should make a good planning according to the main differences because this adoption planning process will result with success or failure. 

Planning and piloting: This phase is also very important because it gives correct direction where in the process of transition the company really is. And it is not just technical point of view important, but also some other aspects as: is the training working? Are the users ready to use this tool? Is everything set for launch? 

During the whole process of transition, we have to keep on mind that this is ongoing process – not something that happened quickly. The people need time to accommodate on change (research studies say that sometimes this process may go from 21 days up to 1 year).


How to begin user planning for you upgrade to Teams 

The first thing to consider is how many changes in general are happening to your organization? Then the second question would be: are you upgrading the other applications, adding new devices? Debbie advices to create “an umbrella change”. This is such a wonderful advice because if there are too many changes going on and you cover them under one “theme”, then the people will see not too many separate changes – but they will see parts of one big change. 

Another great tip is to see which functionalities do people use from Skype for Business, and offer them the same functionalities in Microsoft Teams. That way people will see the same benefits and will not feel like they miss something. The most important thing in this stage is to see who will be early adopters (champions)  and which people are slow adopters. There are always people complaining to a change. These people should be focus when working on transition to Microsoft Teams, because if you get them to your side – everyone will follow. They can be your bigger allies.  


When you are ready, Debbie and Sarah suggest that you drive readiness plan. This depends how you want to communicate with your employees: giving access to documents and trainings, send emails, drive workshop, create internal web site for this transition purpose. And before you push ON button for Microsoft Teams, be sure that you make a pilot. Make sure your users are all good with the upcoming changes (one example is to make a survey in order to collect to opinion). Here is how your plan should look like:


Be prepared that sometimes the initial excitement veins. This is a point where you should drive success stories, maintain the excitement with newsletters, plan new functionalities and improvements. And keep on mind that the general manager is not the most important person here. The department managers are: drive them to initialize meetings in Teams and their team will follow. Also, push them to use the cool funny objects and all of those functionalities Skype for Business does not have. That way everyone will see the benefits they get from the transition process. 

At the end of the session, there was a real world exampleCharlie Krolak, Emerging and Collaboration Technologies - Operations Supervisor, Owens-Illinois: customer which drove the successful story. Charlie shared that their company which has around 27.000 employees in over 23 countries, and support 14 different languages started the migration process to Office 365, on July 2014. And this was a long process which included early adopters and pilots (non-IT users from other departments). These pilot teams were set to the people which had the highest need of the transition. And since it was adopted they just made a copy to other teams. To this company, SharePoint Online integration was one of the greatest benefits of Microsoft Teams, as well as meetings and recording posted into the channel. There is no magical process, just good planning and training so the users are ready for adoption.



Debbie Arbeeny, Sr. Program Manager, Microsoft 

Sarah Goodwin, Principal PM Manager, Microsoft 

Charlie Krolak, Emerging and Collaboration Technologies - Operations Supervisor, Owens-Illinois 


Blogger: Gorana Konevska Jankoska


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