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.
I always enjoy writing predictions and reviewing the previous year. I’d love to hear from you on some of these bold predictions including new Project Cortex Jobs, a MSFT Stock Split and is SharePoint Dead?
I review my 2019 predictions which you can read in the second half of this post including my prediction on Teams workload as the major investment, and the Teams battle with Slack, and a prediction that Power would be a branding investment.
1. Is SharePoint Dead? Is the Intranet Dead? You’re going to hear these question a lot this year. There will be lots of discussions about productivity, portals, and collaboration and it’s evolution. Of course the answer is No, but there should absolutely be discussions about how best to present and consume information inside the organization and updating interfaces and UX will be an important consideration and Teams will be a big part of the discussion. Remember it’s not SharePoint or Teams it is Teams and SharePoint and a whole lot more. Microsoft 365/Office 365 absolutely will work best with your files in SharePoint and OneDrive, and Teams is a great way to get them there and Project Cortex can help you make sense of the data, that’s not to say you don’t need Information architecture exersizes for determining what your Teams should be and how they should be organized into Hubs and super hubs.
2. Power Platform Expert Explosion – today organizations have few experts. This coming year you’re going to see companies get serious about the Power Platform. It’s going to go beyond the power user to business unit investments and IT experts as well as concerted efforts into getting more Power Apps experts, Power Automate experts, Power Virtual Agent experts, and Power BI experts that really know the technology and know how to help. I expect this will go from being a small individual effort to concerted efforts by IT and/or business units like HR, Marketing, Support, and product lines. You’ll see lots of partners like Perficient who are interested in helping your organization get up to speed on how they can build expertise inside the organization.
3. Personal and Team investments in Certification – This is the year of certification. So many have ignored it. This is the year to take it seriously. Microsoft has put some significant investment in making them make a lot of sense. The Office 365, Teams, Azure and Power Platform areas are great places to get relevant certifications. It may be tough to measure this…
4. SharePoint Community continues move to Office or Microsoft 365 rebranding but will it happen soon enough? The splintering of Teams Community, Power Platform Community, and SharePoint Community will continue… There will be efforts by some community members like myself who will try to keep these communities together in consolidated Office 365 or Microsoft 365 groups and communities, but will it be futile?
5. Project Cortex is going to be HUGE and will create NEW jobs and roles – Project Cortex is poised to bring next generation AI and a knowledge network for capturing the knowledge of the organization. Without diving into what it is, let me just say, this time next year you’ll know what it is and be excited about it. I do expect there to be roles in the organization related to Project Cortex. Project Cortex will provide business value to Knowledge Management and Information Management services in the organization. It will provide clear roles for organizational knowledge. I’ll be blogging about ways you can plan for Project Cortex.
6. Microsoft Teams is going to take on a much, much more significant role in the organization. Stop thinking of Teams as simple Unified Communications and wake up and realize that Microsoft Teams is your way of managing automation, productivity, collaboration, UC and ultimately managing your entire Microsoft 365/Office 365 strategy. Microsoft is going to keep investing heavily.
7. Microsoft Stock Split – It’s been many many years since a Microsoft Stock split. I’m long Microsoft and I’ve seen this run up. There’s more to go.
8. Year of Organizational Video – This would be a fantastic year to get focused on Stream and make this the year that your organization makes Video happen in a big way for your organization. Start recording those meetings and the organizational meetings that happen on Teams and Yammer. Migrate, consolidate, and expose it in search! Major investments in the video tech has already happened and Microsoft is doing the final touches in making it easy to migrate, but the tech is already super amazing and worth it.
I’m excited to announce a new Microsoft Teams full day events in both Chicago and Denver. These are full day 9am to 4pm followed by a Teams happy hour networking event. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Microsoft Teams Strategy or learn more about Adoption sponsored by Perficient and Microsoft. The event is at the Microsoft Offices in both locations.
Teams Summit Agenda follows:
More details and to register follow the links below
Join me at community events at the User Groups the day before in both locations. See the meetups for more details and to register.
Looking for more locations? Southern US for Atlanta is coming in March, and I’m working on a new community style Teams Thursday event in the Northeast planned for April 2. Call for speakers is now open!
Microsoft just announced Project Cortex this week at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando. It’s AI for the enterprise and Microsoft is democratizing AI in the form of collective “Knowledge.” While there were literally hundreds of announcement… The biggest announcements you may not have even noticed was Project Cortex. What is it and why should you care? Project Cortex will create and update new topic pages and knowledge centers that are meant to act like wikis. Topic cards will be available to users in Outlook, Teams and Office. Cortex builds on top of Microsoft Cognitive services for image and text recognition, forms processing and machine teaching with LUIS, language understanding.
At the heart of Project Cortex is a much improved and largely AI driven managed metadata service which enables tagging and more across much of Microsoft 365. Cortex will leverage the Microsoft Search service in connecting to third-party repositories through connectors which already are available for Windows File Share, ServiceNow, SQL Database, Intranet Websites, MediaWiki, Azure Data Lake Gen2, Salesforce and is extensible.
Those paying attention to Microsoft technologies about 15 years ago may remember a pilot of a tool called Knowledge Network. This tool would analyze your email for keywords and people with a plan to help you organize your content around a network. It was clever, and it gave you insights about who you were working with and could make recommendations, but ultimately the project was abandoned likely due to process intense desktop app with an already process heavy outlook app. While it was improving search and retrieval in Outlook and may have provided insights, Microsoft no longer supported the app in favor of other backend improvements and efforts, they pursued enterprise metadata stores which had promise, but many would say have yet to deliver on the promise of rich enterprise metadata taxonomies for a dozen reasons. For the last dozen years, the pressure has been on building content types, and asking users to populate metadata columns, keywords, and tags and this has largely gone unused in most organizations.
The main difference between managed metadata and this new knowledge network provided by Project Cortex is the promise of a AI driven backed by crowd sourced folksonomy, largely driven not by a small group of people, but through the content creators. Artificial Intelligence does the heavy lifting and is then validated by those creating the content or tasked to manage the approvals. This UI and experience hasn’t been shared yet beyond the demos and in the expo hall at Microsoft Ignite and is only available to those in the currently very limited private preview. The program is expanding with more coming in 2020.
The promise now is the ability to have a large corpus of knowledge that is captured and built upon in a true enterprise wiki not much unlike Wikipedia, but largely driven based on the content created by the organization and categorized, extracted, cataloged and automatically connected to the enterprise corpus through highlighted topics. Imagine all of the automatic and intelligence that is driven not by the arduous effort of end users through manual keywords, columns, and metadata tagging, but through automatic extraction, machine teaching, machine learning, and the best of Microsoft Research built on the back of Office 365 which is populated not just by SharePoint alone but Outlook, Teams, Planner, Stream, Project, Tasks and so on. It doesn’t end there. The promise is just as your data in external SAAS storage such as Box and Dropbox can also be cataloged, extracted, enriched and linked by this same enterprise wiki of topic cards retrieved by enterprise search, and exposed in the documents themselves, in interactions across Microsoft’s productivity suite in Office, Word, Excel, Outlook, SharePoint, Teams and so on.
Imagine you’re adding scanning your invoices and storing them in SharePoint. Prior to Project Cortex, this largely would have provided you with some PDFs stored in a SharePoint library and thanks to the efforts of the cloud, you would already have a much better experience than in the past due to indexing of the PDFs even if they only images, but also extraction of keywords. Project Cortex with Machine teaching could extract customer names, addresses, invoice numbers, amounts, validation of the scans and this content not only would populate in relevant columns, but also know what a customer is, and highlight in the document where when you click on it could take you to an information card which then when clicked take you to a rich page with relationships spidering out to show locations, offices, people, industries, topics and so on based on both validated and extracted relationships in the data. The possibilities are exciting as today you often don’t know what you have. You definitely don’t know what questions to ask of your data, but imagine and AI that wants to make sense of both your structured and unstructured data and to build relationships around it. There is industry knowledge and taxonomies that could have vastly important impact on this.
Why do these knowledge networks, taxonomies, and structured managed metadata and tagging projects always fail? Time, effort, consensus, enterprise skills, budgets, staying power and abilities to sustain such a vast project… Dozens of reasons that come down to the need for someone that has the backing and skillset to sustain such a vastly important and critical project. It also relies on the individuals to fill in the metadata and even if you had already paid hundreds of thousands of dollars today to use cloud extraction programs your ability to do it cross platform would be limited. Project Cortex has such an incredible handle on the key elements to not only automate, but to support it long term as users see the immense value immediately. The difference is in the power of the cloud, power of artificial intelligence and the fact that Microsoft 365 is so well connected now than ever before. This can be successful and it will change the way we look at our content. You’re not just uploading a document that sits in a library. Your adding to an enterprise corpus. Remember that insightful quote from the CIO of HP? “Imagine if HP only knew what HP knows it could be twice as successful.” I truly see Project Cortex in that light. Microsoft with cloud and AI improvements delivered in Project Cortex hopes to deliver on the promise of helping unlock organizational knowledge in just that way. What could John Hopkins know if it knew what it knows. What would that do for medicine. What could Kroger do with access to it’s knowledge. On the surface this means quicker ramp up for employees who don’t know the projects, products, customers and services, but it also allows long time employees to more easily provide knowledge, insights, and incrementally help connect things by validating what the AI is seeing as relationships in the data, content, and business data. Unlocking the enterprise knowledge to a level of helping and providing insights at a level of expansiveness never thought possible. This is big and yes it changes everything. Let’s talk. I’m anxious to get started and I want to work with you.
Looking for more information from Microsoft on Project Cortex or where to sign up for the preview?
Update: You can join Joel on an upcoming Project Cortex webinar where he’ll dive into the business value of Project Cortex or see the latest Business Value infographics on Project Cortex he’s been working on.
|>>Register for the Panel
Microsoft Ignite Conference 2019 is currently being held at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Florida from November 4th – 8th. Microsoft Ignite is Microsoft’s biggest conference of the year with over 30,000 attendees. It was filled with announcements from the product teams including new releases and updates. It also shares an opportunity to learn innovative ways to build solutions as well as migrate and manage your infrastructure to the cloud.
Some of the Microsoft MVP’s who participated in the conference will be hosting a post Ignite live MVP panel session to go over key announcements, new releases from Microsoft, and many other important highlights that were announced/discussed during Ignite .
Microsoft MVP Panelists
|Join us for this webinar and get caught up on the latest from Microsoft on Office 365, Sharepoint, external sharing and much more!
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