Ignite Live Blog: BRK3230 Learn how Microsoft does IT: The journey from Skype for Business to Teams

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

Most people don’t have to figure out how to migrate 220,000+ users from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams, then share their process with the world.  But that’s just what Pouneh Kaufman and her team of 10 had to do.  She, and three of her team members, spoke at the Microsoft Ignite 2018 conference in Orlando this week, explaining just how they did it.


Pouneh, who is responsible for End User Services Engineering for Team Productivity, shared the stage with Sara Bush, Anas Shaikh, and Dan Benedict.  They took turns explaining their process.


They took a three part approach to their upgrade journey.  First, they evaluated technical readiness.  Was the product mature enough to meet users’ needs? Second, they planned for user adoption, which incorporated internal communications, training focused on common user scenarios, and extensive listening for feedback. Third, they relied heavily on a network of change agents spread world-wide to amplify their efforts.


Their goals in migrating to Microsoft Teams were also threefold:

  • Meet the needs of the modern workplace. It’s all about productivity gains.  Putting communication and collaboration tools together into a single user experience makes people more efficient. Using Teams as the front end to the entire Office 365 toolkit, especially when, as part of user adoption, you are streamlining business processes that rely on collaboration and communication, can lead to dramatic productivity wins. 
  • Simplify meeting and calling experiences
  • Provide better call quality (for both voice and video) and meeting quality and better reliability.


They established six guiding principles

  • Listen using telemetry and feedback to make sure users are happier as a result
  • Avoid disrupting their sales staff and finance department during key times such as end of month/quarter/fiscal year
  • Focus on the productivity wins
  • Use the controls the service provides to effectively manage the tenant
  • Leverage the local IT Managers (ITMs) in each geography
  • Establish end-user confidence through transparency and honesty about end user experiences


Migrating from Skype for Business to Teams is about focusing on the communications workloads: calling, live events, meetings, and messaging.


How do you measure the success of the migration?  They count the ways. 

  • Number and severity of support tickets
    1. They carefully monitor the support tickets and escalations. They also provide a “white glove” upgrade experience to executives to ensure executive backing for their efforts.  Microsoft IT does have the advantage of direct access to the Teams product team to report bugs.  If you are not Microsoft, you can report bugs by opening a ticket in the Office 365 Admin site.  Feature requests can be provided through the Feedback button in the Teams app and submitting or voting up suggestions in User Voice at https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com,   
  • Number of users who request to defer upgrade
  • Percent of calls that get a 2 star or less rating is below a target level
  • Percent of healthy calls (no call issues) is above a target level
  • Percent of healthy meetings (meetings that have no issues) is above a target level
  • Measures of end-user sentiment, including surveys, Yammer feedback, user voice feedback, and feedback from champions


Upgrading is all about moving end users into “Teams Only Mode.”  This means they stop using Skype for Business and send and receive all IMs, Calls, and Meetings in Teams except they can still join Skype for Business meetings scheduled by others or that they had previously scheduled.  Other users still using Skype for Business can IM or call a user in Teams Only Mode, and the user in Teams Only Mode will receive the IM or call in Teams.


How do we identify users that are ready to be upgraded?  If they are in Skype for Business online, have not opted to defer, and do not have any business restrictions that would interfere.  Users could opt to defer by filling out a survey, but in the survey, they must explain why they needed to defer. The survey data is analyzed to identify common roadblocks that need to be overcome.


Microsoft offers its end users two webinars in using Teams. The first one is called “Art of Teamwork:  Get Productive”.  It is for new Teams users and helps users get oriented and become productive.  The second class is called  “The Art of Teamwork: Design your Toolkit.”  This one is about creating and managing Teams. They also provided snackable videos, which you can find at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfXJ1GA7BJR3KtI9-i5xL9f28q4f4kCA_.  Pouneh’s team also noticed a great downstream effect of training: for every person that attends training, about 6 more have increased and sustained usage.


A communication and marketing effort was a key part of their upgrade process.  They promoted Teams and their training for it in their Yammer network and on their intranet.  They promoted their Champions and the snackable videos.  They used physical and digital signage to get the message out. They shared success stories.  They posted conference room upgrade information both in each conference room and on their intranet.


Another key success factor was their use of a Champions program to create and maintain a network of influencers within the business that would promote the use of Teams.  Keys to the Champions program include:

  • Champions are easily identifiable by end users. This was accomplished by giving them a badge on their profile picture and physical signage identifying a champion for a given office location as well as identifying them in communications.
  • Champions are given training and a support group, the custom badge on their profile picture, and some promotional items. They are also given opportunities to engage with the Teams product team.  If you are not Microsoft, the best way to engage with the product team is via Karuana Gatimu’s Champion’s Corner in the Microsoft Technical Community: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Champions-Corner/bd-p/ChampionsCorner.  Also have your champions join Microsoft’s public Office 365 Champions program here: https://aka.ms/O365Champions
  • Champions are asked to evangelize the use of Teams. Champions are trained to deliver the Art of Teamwork webinars.


To summarize, their internal adoption program consisted of driving awareness, providing training, driving engagement, measurement, and management.


Watching the video of their session will help you:

  • Define your approach to upgrading from Skype for Business to Teams
  • Define success and rollback criteria
  • Define your support strategy
  • Define your change management and adoption strategy


As you watch, here are some acronym expansions and a definition that will help you understand the slides:

  • GESS is Global Employee Satisfaction Survey
  • ITMs are IT Managers
  • FED is Field Engagement Delivery
  • ICM/SNOW is where they track their Help Desk and incident management tickets
  • CSEO is Core Services Engineering and Operations
  • MI is Major Incident
  • RGS is Response Group Services, which is a group of on-call team members who respond to incidents that arise.
  • Elite is a Microsoft internal opt-in early adopter program


Go watch it now:IMG_20180926_140031.jpg 



About the Presenters

Pouneh KaufmanPouneh.jpg

Pouneh is Principal Program Manager of End User Services Engineering for Team Productivity for Microsoft Corporation. She leads the Teams and Voice experiences that enable user-centric experiences to deliver highly productive work environment enabling greater productivity, and increased levels of engagement and satisfaction. All Pouneh’s sessions.



Dan BenedictDan.jpg

Dan is a Senior Technical Program Manager in Microsoft Core Services Engineering group at Microsoft. With over 15 years in Enterprise Software for Unified Communications, Dan’s present focus is M365 Live Events (Broadcast),  corporate service management, and also O365 Teams Accessibility. Dan is fluent in English, Romanian and French. When not head-down in service management, he is a passionate camper and skier always enjoying the great NorthWest wilderness.  All Dan’s sessions.


Sara BushSara.jpg


Sara is a Sr. Program Manager in Core Services Engineering & Operations. A member of the Teams & Voice team in End User Services Engineering, Sara is driving Microsoft Teams adoption internally through the Art of Teamwork Tour training program, the Teamwork Champions program and the EUSE change management effort to bring all Microsoft users into a deep understanding of how Microsoft Teams supports day to day work, increasing collaboration and productivity. All Sara’s sessions.


Anas ShaikhAnas.jpg


Born and Raised in Mumbai, India where Anas completed his Bachelors degree in Electronics and Telecommunications. He then Graduated with a Masters Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, NY. At Present he leads the upgrade for Microsoft from SFB to Teams. He has worked as a Sr. Support Escalation Engineer at Microsoft with the Skype For business/LYNC On premise and O365 Teams. He is a Resident SME for Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging and have a strong understanding of workloads related to Conferencing, LYNC Meetings, Application Sharing and Enterprise Voice. Anas enjoys learning how things work in the background. He loves to conduct Trainings and Brown Bags and write documentation to share his knowledge and thereby learn from others in the process. All Anas’s sessions.




About the Blogger

Michael BlumenthalMichael.jpg


Michael Blumenthal is a Microsoft Office 365 MVP and the Digital Workplace Product Manager at West Monroe Partners, where he is responsible for product management and service management of Office 365. He helps teams of business people be more productive and ensures that the organization gets value from its Office 365 investment. As a technical community leader, he co-leads the Office 365 Adoption User Group and organizes their bi-monthly meetings as well as special events. As a public speaker, he can be found speaking on business technology topics including business productivity, collaboration, knowledge and expertise management, communication and content management, cloud adoption, and Office 365.

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