How to deploy Microsoft Teams successfully

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is not just a video conferencing tool that will help your organisation conduct business during lockdown. So much more than that, it is a unified communication and collaboration platform for local, remote and global user bases. It comes with a long list of features that includes one-to-one chat, team chat, file storage with collaboration, meetings (audio as well as video) and PBX functions.

Microsoft Teams has been designed to provide agile working within a collaborative workplace and, when deployed correctly, this versatile platform can increase productivity in any organisation. For maximum benefit, it’s vital that Teams is deployed with a user-first mindset and, to help with this, here are a few tips to set your business on the right path.

Can Teams be a PBX replacement?

Teams most definitely can replace your PBX, but that’s only a fraction of what Teams can offer your organisation, and with ever-changing telephony technology, just replacing your PBX won’t suffice.

These days, you should be working towards one seamless solution across all your digital communication channels. You don’t want to be using one system to IM, another to join a conference and then another to make a phone call. Or get caught up in a web of endless emails when you work together with colleagues on a single document.

Enabling Teams as your PBX nationally or globally gives you the capability to run your legacy PBX with Teams side by side. Introducing Teams just for internal calls can be a great way of migrating users in a controlled and leisurely manner.

The chances are, you’ll meet some resistance along the way. Two of the most common phrases I hear are: “Teams will not truly replace my PBX as some users will never move on from their phones” and “but we have always done it that way”. These common obstacles can be overcome by a transition that is carefully planned to meet all your user and business requirements.

Then, of course, there’s Contact Centre with Teams. I haven’t forgotten about this important area, but it will take a dedicated blog to cover properly - so please look out for my next post which will focus on this.

Consider your network

With Microsoft Teams, it is important to remember everything is real-time. This means you not only need to consider your site locations and the number of users at each site, but you should also take into account where your Office 365 Tenant is hosted.

Here are some other questions you need to ask yourself:

  • How is traffic going to enter and traverse your network?
  • What will the impact be on your WAN?
  • Do you have sufficient bandwidth?
  • Have you evaluated your QoS requirements?
  • How and where is your PSTN going to be presented and routed to users?

Failure to prepare your network properly is likely lead to unhappy users which can, in turn, lead to poor adoption and expensive alterations down the line. Take a little extra time and thought with your preparations at the outset and this will dramatically increase your chances of lasting success.

Teams Change and Adoption

A successful deployment of Microsoft Teams will result in many benefits for your organisation. The problem is, too many businesses simply turn Teams on and wait for the magic to happen. This kind of hands-off approach is unlikely to work, as a successful Teams adoption requires a managed, structured approach. ​

First, you need to make sure that your use of Teams matches your business needs. To do this, try identifying typical user personas and user journeys that reflect how people work and capture their daily business needs. Use the findings to draw up a Teams blueprint that is sure to generate business value at a company and personal level within your organisation. ​

​Identifying and creating typical user journeys will also help structure how Teams can be used to meet specific business needs and achieve desired outcomes.

Try to follow recognised best practice as you adopt new ways of working, as this is sure to give you a better chance of getting off to a flying start. Introduce a solid governance framework to lower the risk of ‘Teams sprawl’ and users generating siloed content during your Teams rollout. To maintain control, you should also monitor progress via a core analytics framework and regularly track milestones, benefits and KPIs.

Engage with a partner that specialises in Microsoft Teams

Teams can be complex, and some rollouts fail as users simply don’t make the most of its full potential. As a result, they find it hard to appreciate how this unrivalled collaboration platform can enhance their lives and improve their productivity.

Here at Resonate, we specialise in Teams and we have a vast level of knowledge and experience that your organisation can tap into. With our totally flexible approach, you can engage as much or as little of our help as you need.

So, for example, whether you want comprehensive assistance starting from scratch or you just require a little support with adoption or Direct Routing, we can tailor a package to suit.

If you’d like to talk to a friendly Teams specialist who focuses on meeting business needs rather than just technology for technology’s sake, then please contact us today.

Craig Robertson, Solution Architect at Resonate UCC, works with a range of businesses to develop Microsoft Teams Roadmaps, including PBX replacement strategies and user mapping to understand and drive adoption. This blog provides some useful tips to help ensure you are well equipped to successfully adopt and deploy Microsoft Teams.

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