Advanced collaboration tools will be indispensable in the coming years. Work is more collaborative and remote than ever, and that trend is continuing. 72% of workers will be working remotely by 2020, and 80% of employee time is currently spent collaborating.
Adopting Microsoft Teams could be the best way for your company to step into the new world of work. For the past twelve years, Gartner has placed Microsoft’s collaboration tools in their upper quadrant. As good as this may sound, it’s worth noting that Teams collaboration has to be done carefully. After all, Teams is designed to make collaboration easier. If Teams adoption leads to technical difficulties and disruption, that defeats the whole purpose.
Here are a few of the benefits of Teams, and how Microsoft and Softchoice can make it work for your specific needs.
Complete Integration, with an Intelligent Twist
The key point of Teams is that it’s a core communication client. It allows you to unite IM, Office 365 Groups, traditional phone services, and other channels.
Simplicity is important. But it’s not the only thing. Microsoft is adding AI tools to enhance the collaboration experience. Soon, you’ll be able to walk into a room and join a meeting just with the sound of your voice, which will be recognized by cognitive computing. Real-time translation will make international collaboration smoother than ever. As well, all calls will be uploaded to Microsoft Stream, making discussions easily accessible and searchable for future reference.
Teams is also able to replace all the functionality of an enterprise’s current phone system, with full PSTN support. This creates a new level of ease—simply right-click on any phone number and you can issue a traditional phone call.
The implementation can be handled in a number of ways. In some cases, Microsoft can create phone numbers for every member of an enterprise. If that’s not economical, or in countries like Mexico where this isn’t possible, Direct Routing provides an alternative. With this service, a third-party carrier can provide services through a Session Border Controller, either run on-premise or in the carrier’s data center.
Teams provides a truly unified communication service. This is a big shift in how your enterprise communicates. Luckily, Microsoft offers many options for getting you there.
Two Tracks, Easy Coexistence
There are two main paths to Teams adoption. The first is IT-driven. This is the choice for large organizations or those with customized needs. In this route, the orchestration is left up to enterprise administrators, who can exercise a great deal of control over the process. Primarily, they can choose to move specific groups of people and/or business units over at a time, and choose the cadence of their move based on internal training and communication.
For smaller firms that don’t require this level of customization, Microsoft can help them drive the upgrade on their own. This is done through the back-end where they will do a cut-over, so on Friday you would be working on Skype for Business and on Monday the entire organization would be on Teams.
To make the move as smooth as possible, Microsoft has created various intermediate coexistence modes. These exist on a spectrum between Skype-only and Teams-only. At one end of the spectrum, Skype for Business retains control of all functions. On the other end, Teams takes overall functionality, only yielding to Skype for Business in the case of an outside Skype invitation. Any of these modes can be mixed and matched, meaning that different parts of your company can take different paths to transition over to Teams based on their level of comfort in adopting this new collaboration tool.
While there are many options, the upgrade to Teams still requires a great deal of thought. It’s both a technological and a social shift: the specific communication needs of your employees have to be taken into account. What are the most important use cases? How will Teams enable your people in new and better ways? These are all important considerations in developing a proper strategy and driving adoption – the true litmus test of a successful deployment.
Hopefully, this post has given you some of the information you need to get started on a new way of improved collaboration. To learn more visit: https://www.softchoice.com/product-catalog/partners/microsoft/office365/resources