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Microsoft Teams is rapidly becoming the centerpiece of Microsoft’s collaboration story. It is a powerful application that assists team members in quickly getting on the same page through conversation history and seamless integrations with other tools and apps.
Recently, more and more organizations have begun moving to Microsoft Teams to meet the growing need for real-time collaboration. For example, this is the case with lots of companies that are currently using Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype for Business to host discussions/documentation.
This is because Microsoft Teams provides a better user experience through threaded conversations, inline message attachments, and integrated search. In addition, the platform takes full advantage of Office 365 applications for seamless integration with document libraries.
But running a Microsoft Teams migration in a non-IT company can be very challenging. After all, successful migration requires time, resources, and expertise. If you are not accustomed to managing Office 365 or Sharepoint Online environments, it can be difficult to get the entire team on board quickly.
In this post, we will go through the most significant challenges of completing a Microsoft Teams migration within non-IT organizations.
Microsoft Teams migration projects can take time and require a lot of effort. In addition, they demand people with IT skills such as SharePoint Designer, PowerShell scripting knowledge, and Azure AD B2B collaboration expertise.
Before you start moving to Microsoft Teams, we highly recommend that you investigate the preconditions needed for the team to run and maintain the migration project.
For example, if your organization doesn’t have a SharePoint administrator or PowerShell scripting expertise (or time to develop such skills), it is best to speak with an experienced partner that can assist you with planning and executing the project.
You can search for a single IT migration expert or simply hire a well-known data migration agency. If you go at it alone, you will have to allocate at least a few months for the project and plan accordingly.
Before migrating, the company needs to thoroughly filter data resources and conversations. First of all, you need to pinpoint data that really requires migration. This practically means filtering all conversations with unnecessary or irrelevant content.
The rule of thumb is that you should transfer only relevant content for your business, leaving personal messages and other unnecessary information to be archived. This is a very important step as migrating personal messages or irrelevant data can cause confusion among users.
This can happen because individual users will need to start from scratch and re-find messages/files relocated during the migration project. In addition, you should also check if there are any files with special characters (e.g., Korean, Japanese, Russian, etc.) in the document name because Microsoft Teams doesn’t support special characters at this time.
The right Microsoft Teams migration approach will depend on each organization’s unique goals and objectives. For this, you need to plan your data migration strategy well in advance.
For example, if you want to retain all your existing data stores (e.g. document libraries, shared calendars, team sites) you must carefully consider the tools that will be used for communication between end-users and teams.
You can utilize connectors that are already available or choose to develop your own B2B mechanism if the right APIs are not available. The latter approach comes with a long-term maintenance cost, so be sure to consider this as well.
Another important thing to evaluate is whether you want users to retain their existing Office 365 licenses or use new ones for Microsoft Teams. If your organization provides free Office 365 licenses and plans on moving its entire team to Teams, you will need to point out the licensing changes.
Otherwise, people might find themselves using Microsoft Teams on a trial or personal account.
In any case, the time to prepare a solid Microsoft Teams migration strategy is now. How come? That’s because it will help you plan your communication and marketing approach before transitioning the team’s conversations from one platform to another.
Data sprawl is one of the major concerns that organizations face when it comes to migrating to Microsoft Teams. Sprawl represents the uncontrolled spread of data across Microsoft Teams. It usually happens when admins do not take the time to plan and run migrations in an organized manner, allowing end-users to join or create new teams on their own.
This can result in chaos when migrating to Microsoft Teams if decision-makers don’t find a way to handle the growing list of Teams. For instance, it might be impossible to keep track of all conversations and team sites, which becomes overwhelming if your users aren’t aware of what Microsoft Teams offers.
If you want the migration project to succeed, it is important not to leave it up to individual users to figure out the process on their own. Using an IT admin or a third-party partner can make things much easier, but only if such an administrator is given access and permission to control all accounts.
From here, admins should try to get as close as possible to the old platform’s infrastructure, which means migrating mailboxes and security groups to Office 365. In addition, an admin will want to keep the extensibility model in its current form through a combination of legacy S4B servers and Teams clients that support federation with Skype for Business.
Once your users start migrating, you should expect the current program and Microsoft Teams to run simultaneously. This can result in short periods of downtime when users need to log in again or when they might miss a call during the transition.
Teams will become the central communication hub in Office 365 once everything is done, but it is important to ensure uninterrupted communication in the meantime. You need to prepare for bugs and twitches, making sure to reduce downtime to the bare minimum.
Migrating data to Microsoft Teams is only successful if the original data is transferred in its entirety. It means moving all your content, including chats, calls, file transfers, notes, and meetings. If you are not careful with this step or don’t plan ahead of time, you might end up losing the originals as a result.
Another important thing to consider is how to actually migrate existing content to Microsoft Teams. For instance, video messages predating the transition might need to be converted prior to their migration.
In addition, users should understand that converting an entire message history isn’t a simple click-and-go affair, as it has the potential to generate a lot of data and force users to make hard choices about what they want offline.
After the transition is complete, admins should take some time to review Microsoft Teams and its integration with Office 365. This includes looking at how Excel files can be linked directly from a chat or how new channels and group chats might be created without leaving the app.
Another thing you should pay attention to is user adoption rates and their interactions with Microsoft Teams. This can be done by using Office 365 Usage Analytics for Microsoft Teams, which is a free tool that provides reports on conversations, usage trends, and more.
In addition, now would also be a good time to configure user organizations and decide how organizations will be managed going forward. The transition from the current platform to Microsoft Teams will be complete and the latter will become a tool for collaboration and productivity. However, keep in mind that it won’t replace all other messaging apps.
As you can see, running a Microsoft Teams migration isn’t a simple process, especially for non-IT teams. We highly recommend you plan it carefully and execute the process step by step. It is the only way to complete the migration without making serious omissions on the go.
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