I’ve been telling my iceberg analogy on Skype and Teams for about a year at least. When I say iceberg analogy, you may have heard other uses of the iceberg analogy. Essentially when you look at an iceberg in the water what you really see is what is visible or basically the ice above the water, the craggy or massive shards under the water are not visible and if they were they would look a lot smaller than what they actually are.
I designed this new infographic to take you through three very important aspects of migration to Teams. A Visual comparison (icons and text), Coexistence Modes, Migration Approaches and high level strategies to divide them up into cohorts or staggered gradual approaches.
First the Visual Iceberg analogy of Skype for Business Online comparison and to illustrate the important new aspects of Teams with Storage, Bots, Apps, Connectors, and Tabs and that’s really just the start… there’s so much more.
Second the Coexistence modes that ultimately lead to Teams Only mode which process we call migration or Skype to Teams Migration. There are obviously differences in moving between Skype for Business Online vs. a Skype for Business Server 2019, but this is really designed to help provide some best practices not just in the changes, but in the strategy.
Third is the Migration approaches and strategy of breaking it down into cohorts. This idea that an early adopter group should be able to go to Teams only, but in contrast those using voice plans and meetings in a staggered more methodical approach. Rather than going direct to the departments, I’ve suggested the division based on their willingness to move.
This iceberg analogy fits well with Skype and Teams. With Teams what you see is a simple looking chat interface that many see as the successor to Skype. It’s so much more than that. With the Skype, you’re seeing what you expect, those items that are absolutely visible like chat, meeting, and calling capabilities.
You may even be aware that Teams supports storing files in SharePoint, but the collaboration bucket and the road map to the enterprise digital workplace has many other features. Rough estimates suggest there are over a thousand people working on Microsoft Teams. This is not just a simple chat app, this is a significant investment in the future of modern work. When you compare the number of sessions at Ignite vs. Teams you’d notice there were 2 sessions at Ignite 2018 on the release of Skype for Business Server 2019 and one of them was migration related. In 2019 all sessions that contain the words Skype are in actuality sessions about Teams or migrating to Teams and in fact Microsoft is very committed to Teams. It has huge momentum with over 30,000 customers and more than 20 million daily users. Teams 20M daily users, up 50% in 4 months …
There are a number of coexistence modes to streamline and make it easier for users. You may have heard of islands mode where users can use either Teams or Skype for Business. That may sound great, but in reality there are a ton who have complained about how it really doesn’t work and is confusing for users. Microsoft recommends a more gradual migration in steps where the users get used to the technology, but also ultimately recommends that you get to Teams only mode as quickly as you can to minimize the confusion. They’ve come up with cohorts as a strategy for grouping departments or locations or really any group of users that need to be staggered in their move to Teams. Personally I do NOT recommend islands mode, and I also highly recommend actually having a strategy and not waiting to get to Teams for longer periods of time. Come up with your strategy and then execute. Absolutely use one of the coexistence modes for those who have calling plans, and absolutely plan an adoption change management strategy involving champions.
Use Teams Advisor a planner that’s populated with tasks and tracking… then follow the paths laid out in front of you. Jamie LaPorte does an excellent job of breaking out the details and walking you through the benefits of Teams Advisor which while many customers have it in their tenant as available it is still in preview.
Direct to Teams in one step essentially means “ripping off the band-aid” or moving as quickly as possible to Teams Only Mode.
The two step or gradual approach to teams is a minimal coexistence mode while being a 2 step approach takes you into coexistence for some period of time prior to going to Teams only mode. That in between time provides time to train users and have them get comfortable with both tools while avoiding islands mode. You can choose either Teams for Collab or Teams for Collab and Meetings with Skype for your calling.
The third recommended choice is moving from the Skype only to Teams for Collab, to then using Teams for Collab and Meetings before the final cutover of Teams only. In all cases you really need to ensure the champions are in place, network is ready, the users and trained and ready, the calling plans are ready, Even then this should be seen as the first phase in a broader adoption strategy were focus continues to embrace helping users use Teams as an application platform, as well as productivity and integrations with tools they use every day, and integration on many levels to continue to move forward the vision of a single hub for modern teamwork, productivity, communication, collaboration, and app platform.
Here are the references in the Infographic which have some great Microsoft resources and additional deployment resources around adoption to consider.