Blog & Thought Leadership 5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Microsoft Teams & Skype Adoption

Organisations are always on the lookout for ways to improve productivity and teamwork among staff. Strategic to this is the adoption of enterprise level software with Microsoft Teams and Skype high on the user preference scale. With the integration of Skype for Business into Microsoft Teams, users can have one place for their content, contact and conversations for seamless teamwork.

These five tips will help you maximise your implementation.

Tip 1— Create Awareness for Better Adoption

An organisation looking to adopt operational software such as Microsoft Teams and Skype for business must raise awareness of what each platform is and how they can help each line of the business. Businesses must prioritise business use cases and scenarios to showcase what success using the software will look like.

One way to do this is through events hosted by the IT and marketing departments of the company and enthusiastic employees where demos will be run and success case studies passed around.

A Microsoft end-user study showed that learning from co-workers: “champions” is among the most effective methods in learning how to use a new technology. Remote offices could join in such events online through the software being demonstrated. Talk about different features of the products, and how it will affect key groups in your organisation. This will prove better than sending a general email to your staff about the upcoming migration.

Tip 2— Involve Key Stakeholders and Executives

Making the most of your Teams and Skype adoption will require a highly collaborative approach from the most integral units of the business. A considerable part of the outcome of your adoption will be determined by how involved key stakeholders and executives are during the awareness and implementation phase.

Identify and put together a “Success Team” comprised of C-level executives, reps from IT, Marketing, HR and legal who will own and drive the organisation’s desired outcome. This team can act as a face for the program, identifying business value cases to drive awareness among staff.

Tip 3— Profile End Users for User Training

When adopting a new collaboration and communications tool like Microsoft Teams and Skype, evaluating your end users based on their work requirements is critical. Not all users will fit nicely in one user group as they’re not the same. Therefore, you should group your users into categories based on user type. This process is called profiling. Profiling will help the subsequent user training be as hassle-free as possible.

This way, employees will better understand why the changes are necessary and how it affects their role in the company. Further, profiling will help you use familiar real work scenarios and business processes per each user group as a way to create connections between their tasks and the new tools.

Tip 4— Create and Test Your Communications Strategy

Although Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business are constantly changing with new features and updates added. It is important users don’t get caught up trying to use every single feature available.

Of course, Microsoft Teams and Skype offer similar communication functions like instant messaging and audio calls, which is good for interoperability; organisations should instead create specific plans that outline particular situations where you should use one software over the other.

This step will help end users define which tool to use and when despite the overlap in functionality which can be confusing. Therefore, it is expedient to run pilot tests for different profile groups to provide guidance.

Tip 5— Minimise Email Communication

A key most benefit of Microsoft Teams is that it allows businesses keep all their communication in one place. This saves users the hassle of shuffling through long email chains for internal communication.

Installing the Microsoft Teams app on user’s desktop PCs will facilitate this as they will be unlikely to default to email to engage other users due to Teams desktop notification feature. Also, Microsoft Teams and Skype make onboarding employees and users easier. Rather than forwarding numerous emails or handing over a massive pile of documents to new team members, you can simply share conversations and projects with them.