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Moving from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams

If your organisation uses Skype for Business today, then the approach to transition to Microsoft Teams for meetings, chat and calling will depend on your deployment, requirements and how you are currently using Skype for Business.

Some examples that could influence your Microsoft Teams migration strategy might include:

Some of these considerations may require a phased approach to where Teams co-exists alongside Skype for Business for a period of time. To assist with this, Microsoft allows setting different “Upgrade Modes” which determines what functionality is available in each application.

The below figure shows the different Upgrade Modes that are available and which application is used for Chat, Calling, Meetings and Collaboration for each mode.

Microsoft Teams Upgrade Modes

Example: Microsoft Teams Migration Customer Journey

“Contoso” are a 1,000 user organisation currently running Skype for Business and would like to migrate to Teams as quickly as possible.

They have recently rolled out Windows 10 to the majority of their users along with Office 365 ProPlus client suite.

Contoso have some old Polycom HDX video conferencing endpoints which are integrated with Skype for Business and are used regularly for corporate meetings between main offices. IT are seeking budget approval within 3 months to replace these endpoints with Microsoft Teams Rooms devices.

Corporate users in the main offices use Skype for Business Enterprise Voice for telephony. Around 30 users run a third party contact centre application for their customer support team which is yet to be qualified for Microsoft Teams. The contact centre vendor roadmap is six months for Teams support.

Migration Approach

Contoso should initially configure their Upgrade Mode for all users to Skype for Business with Teams collaboration. In this mode, Teams will only be used for teamwork (collaboration) capabilities and individual chats, calling and meetings will stay in Skype for Business. Contoso considered moving their meetings to Teams, but they heavily used their Polycom HDX video conferencing endpoints for scheduled Skype for Business meetings.

Once the old video conferencing endpoints are replaced with Microsoft Teams Rooms devices, Contoso can change the Upgrade Mode to Skype for Business with Teams collaboration and meetings. Meeting functionality will then be enabled in Teams and disabled in Skype for Business. Skype for Business can still be used to join old meetings if required.

In the meantime, Contoso had been planning their Direct Routing deployment to enable PSTN connectivity to Microsoft Teams. Thankfully, they already had the required hardware, as their previous SBC simply needed a software update to support Teams Direct Routing. Contoso implement Direct Routing and change all their users to Teams Only mode except the 30 contact centre users who still require Skype for Business for their calls and remain in Skype for Business with Teams collaboration and meetings mode.

At this point, almost all Contoso users are getting the full experience from Microsoft Teams. Once the contact centre vendor supports Teams as per their six month roadmap, Contoso are able to fully decommission Skype for Business.

Ready to make the shift from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams?

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Data#3 can offer you complete end-to-end support as a Modern Workplace partner. Contact a Collaboration Specialist, and explore how a Modern Meetings Proof of Concept, can help your organisation shift to Microsoft Teams with ease. Our team also offers a Skype for Business health check, to ensure your Skype environment is meeting the needs of your business, and helping your employees work productively from anywhere.

Unsure about the difference between Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams?

Learn more about the differences and how Microsoft Teams represents a fundamental shift in the way teams collaborate.

Tags: Cloud, Collaboration, Microsoft, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business (S4B), The Anywhere Workplace

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