Skype for Business to Teams, a transition story

Skype for Business to Teams, a transition story

– [Nick] Hello, and welcome to today’s Microsoft Teams for
Education virtual event. And we’re gonna be talking about Skype for Business to
Microsoft Teams upgrade, and the process of
transitioning your users between the product. My name is Nick Smith. I’m a Principle Program Manager
in the Microsoft Teams team, and I’ve been working with a number of different
educational institutions, helping them to drive Teams usage. Part of that conversation is transitioning their existing Skype for Business
users to Microsoft Teams. And I wanna share with you today is some of the key points, key resources that we’ve been able to use to complete that transition. We only have half an hour today, so I’m gonna be talking about the strategy and tools that you can use. If you want deep learning and walkthroughs of client experience and all
the configuration capabilities, I will be pointing you to a
number of different resources that are available for
you to consume offline as you are planning your journey. So, first of all, why upgrade to Teams? I always like say that
Teams should a pull. We should be pulling users to be having, to be coming to you, saying,
“Hey, I want to use Teams “as my primary way of conversing,” rather than pushing
them off the old system. And we’ve actually done a lot in Teams to make sure that that pull happens. We’ve introduced advanced
features and capabilities that allow you to do more than what we had in Skype
for Business Online. We’re also rapidly
introducing new capabilities, sometimes every two
weeks, into the product, that give them enhanced,
greater capability, enhanced reliability,
and a richer experience. We’ve also made sure that we’ve modernized the user experience. There are a number of
challenges that we had seen with previous architectures, with Skype for Business,
Server, Online, Consumer, that we were able to address
at a larger scale in the cloud, and provide a great user experience that aligns with how people want to work in the workplace today, and the new way in which people want to collaborate. And so, what we’re doing is we’re taking a lot of the capabilities that had previously been
in Skype for Business, and merging it with the ways in which people want to communicate. Things like persistence of chat, rather than a session that you converse realtime, you close the window, and then where did it go? We’ve also done a lot of design work to improve the overall
performance of the system, to improve the reliability, and to make sure that
meeting join is much easier. Across all of these, we’ve
made vast improvements, and our customers are seeing those. And that is also something that has had having people come to us and say, “Hey, how quickly can I get to Teams, “what is the process, how do I get there?” Teams has also been the fastest-growing business
app in Microsoft history. It’s already used at
over 500,000 companies, 91 of the Fortune 100, and many of ’em have
already gone large on it. Over the course of the next two years, we’re gonna be working with
many of those customers to help them complete their Skype for Business to Teams upgrade, and we’ll continue to iterate in Teams to make that experience better. When we first announced
that Skype for Business was gonna be upgrading into
Teams, about two years ago, we actually went out and
we published a roadmap that talked about the features of Teams and the feature of Skype for Business that were available in the market. And we talked about the number of features that we’re gonna be bringing into Teams. Over the course of those two years, we have delivered a tremendous
amount of features into Teams that weren’t there at launch. So, if you kind of heard about
this and you looked at Teams, maybe you looked at it a while ago, but it was missing a number of features, please look at this list again, because there’s a number of things that we’ve improved into the product. In fact, there are a number
of things on this list that we never even offered
in Skype for Business Online. There were more Skype for
Business on-prem features that we’ve been able to architect
and introduce into Teams. So we’re really working to making sure that you get the complete
experience with Teams of the features that you
had previously in Skype. Now, I don’t wanna say that
we have feature parity, because there are certain things that we do different in
Teams that no longer, no longer equate
one-to-one with what we had for Skype for Business, because we’re doing things
a little bit differently or a little bit better. But, by and large, the
biggest feature sets, we’ve been able to deliver. There are a few things that we know are holding a couple of companies back, and so we’ve also already put out a blog in which we’ve announced what our plans for Skype for Business to Teams are, and we’ve detailed a couple
of those additional gaps that are coming into the product, things like enhanced 911 support. Speaking of that blog, here’s a little bit more about the blog that we released late July. And, essentially, what we did is we said, “Hey, we’ve been working on “a Skype for Business to Teams upgrade “for the past few years. “We’ve been talking
about it for a few years. “And we’ve gotten to the point now “where we have the majority
of features in Teams.” And so, we have announced the Skype for Business
Online retirement date. And we actually gave
you two years’ notice. So, if you’re using Skype
for Business Online, you can continue to use it, but we encourage you
to start thinking about your journey to Microsoft Teams, how you’re going to adopt it,
how you’re gonna get there, because we plan on retiring
that service on July 31st, 2021. That’s a full two years’ notice. A couple things that I do
want to call out about this is that this is specifically
to Skype for Business Online. If you are running Skype
for Business Server, which is the on-premise version, or if you’re working with Skype Consumer, those are not affected. We have not put out a
retirement date for those. Those are gonna continue to be supported. We’re gonna be continuing
to work with those. Another thing to call out is that many of you who may have deployed Skype for Business as a phone system, and have a number of
third-party IP phones, we realize that you’ve made the investment in that infrastructure, and the investment in that hardware, and that even though
you’re moving to Teams, you still need to use that hardware in order to make phone calls. And so, what we have announced is that we will continue
to support the gateway, allowing those third-party IP phones that were designed to connect to Skype, they’ll still be able
to connect into Teams, and they’ll still be able to make calls all the way through 2023, which is about the same time that many of those devices
are going end-of-life. So we will continue to support that and allow you to use those,
even against the Teams backend. I mentioned a little bit earlier a couple of features that
we know are coming to Teams that some people may be
waiting for from Skype. We do have a plan on
delivering dynamic 911, shorter retention periods of chat, Teams and Skype Consumer interop, and then we’re also working
with a number of partners on making sure that we have contact center integrations
and compliance recording. We have found, through our
survey with many, many customers, that these are the things with both that we’ve already delivered
and that are on this list that will help unblock
people from getting to Teams, and with that, almost everyone
can make it into Teams. So, with that said, what do the Teams upgrade paths look like? How do you get there? Just a couple things that I
wanna make sure that we set from a terminology standpoint. We have a number of different modes that you can go through and
configure via an admin policy and assign to your organization or users that define what your experience is between Skype for Business and Teams. By default, if you have
made no other changes, you’re probably in something
called Islands mode. And what Islands mode is means that Teams is an island and Skype
for Business is an island, and the two don’t communicate right now. And so, that means that if I send a chat in Skype for Business, as long
as I’m still in Islands mode, that is always going to
land in Skype for Business for whoever I’m sending it
to, within your organization. If I send a chat message in Teams, that’s going to land in Teams. That’s the meaning of Islands mode. You have two different
applications that both provide somewhat overlapping
features and functionality. This also means that they have the ability of scheduling Skype
meetings and Teams meetings. Now, the reason why we have
Islands mode by default is because, when we
think about the strategy of wanting to upgrade users from Skype for Business to
Teams, we don’t just wanna change their experience
completely overnight. We want them to have the
ability to go through and become familiar and
build trust with Teams, and that’s where we
want to work with that, have them working with Teams, that eventually turns
into that pull motion, that I talked about earlier, of users coming to you and
saying, “Hey, you know what? “I really wanna use Teams
for all these communications. “How can I just make this
my only application?” That’s gonna be your
indicator that it’s time to start making that
upgrade and transition. And so, what we do is we want to spend the time in which we’re in Islands and going through and making sure that everyone who is using Skype is
getting introduced to Teams, that they’re building
familiarity and capability. And once we see that our
usage level and our adoption within those departments is the same is when we will start, is when we will look at
configuring the policy so that we can upgrade everyone to Teams and start delivering all
these messages into Teams. There are a number of different
modes that can be configured based upon the transition
path that you want to take and whether or not you
are an on-prem customer, a hybrid customer, or Online. If you are strictly Skype
for Business Online, our recommendation is that
you go from Islands mode, you get saturation, and
then you go to Teams mode as quickly as you can. What that does is it helps
to reduce user confusion, it helps to reduce kind
of the help-desk term, and it gets everyone into Teams, using it as a collaborative
platform, at the same time. You can assign these policies to users, you can assign them at the organization. So, if you wanted to test this
within your IT department, you could assign that policy
to a couple of users to test. One thing that I wanna call out is that you could have different modes
assigned to different users. And so, if you have Islands
mode assigned to one user, and you have a mode like Teams Only assigned to another user, what will happen is that we
will redirect chat messages to whatever platform is necessary based upon the configuration
of the receiving user. And I’ll tell you what that
means in just a second. So, the destination mode
that we wanna get to is called Teams Only. And what this does is it
essentially goes through and on the services in the backend, it will go through and it will redirect any chat or calling messages, and it will actually
deliver those to Teams instead of Skype for Business. So, if you had a user that was Teams Only, but the rest was in Islands, any message sent from
Skype for Business or Teams would show up in Teams. They would be able to reply back, and it would go to the originating system. But this is something
we have called interop. And interop allows us to make sure that we connect the two systems in the time in which you’re
going through the upgrade, but this is also where we see
the most amount of questions, and a slightly different experience. And even from a user perspective, we’ll prompt them with a message saying, “Hey, this conversation is happening “with a Teams user or a
Skype for Business user. “We recommend that you
both switch to Teams to get the greatest set of capabilities.” You can certainly do this at a user level or departmental level,
but our recommendation is that as you go through,
you get saturation, you go ahead and upgrade the enterprise to Teams at the same time. And that way, it limits the amount of time that you’re in this interop mode, and it also reduces confusion
from your users and help desk in terms of, when I send a
message, where does it go? Some other things that we do when you set someone to Teams Only mode. So, not only do we redirect
all chat and calling to arrive in Teams, we also go through and
look at any meetings. We will remove the ability to schedule a new Skype for Business
meeting from Outlook, and they will only have the ability to schedule Teams meetings. And we will also go through
and look at their calendar and any Skype for Business meetings that that user has scheduled using the Skype for
Business meeting add-in will automatically be updated with coordinates to join
that as a Teams meeting. So we’ll go ahead and
take care of that for you in the backend, and
what that means is that, when you go to join a meeting, you’ll start to join Teams meetings, and meetings will be
scheduled as Teams meetings. Now, the one exception to this is that if you are a
user and you are joining someone else’s meeting that has not yet been upgraded to Teams, or is maybe using Skype for Business in a different organization, they will still have their
Join Skype for Business link. What we will do is we will leave the Skype for
Business binaries installed, and when you click on that,
we will actually launch the Skype for Business client, we’ll allow them to join the meeting as the Skype for Business client, but they’ll have limited functionality in Skype for Business. It actually won’t let them
send any new chat messages outside of the context of a meeting, and it actually won’t let
them see their contact list, because we’ve migrated
all of that to Teams. They will also get a warning in the Skype for Business
client when they first launch it that says, “You’ve been upgraded to Teams. “Go and communicate there.” So, we do as much as we can
within the client experience to make sure that they know
that they’ve been upgraded and they should go communicate
in Microsoft Teams. The other thing that we do is
we go and we look at the data that had previously been
in Skype for Business, and we transition that into Teams. So we’ll go and find any
of the existing contacts and federated contacts, and
we will put that into chat underneath their contacts section where they’ll get all of the contacts and all the contact groups
that they previously had. So we will go through and do a refresh, make sure all of that
information is within Teams as they get migrated to Teams Only mode. So, very quickly, who’s done this? We have a number of different customers, enterprise and education, that have already gone through this. We have customers of all different sizes, whether it be a very small institution or fairly large institutions, that are already in the
process of doing the upgrade or have already completed it. What we have here is the
University of South Florida, who was gracious enough
to give me a quote. They recently completed their Skype for Business to Teams upgrade, and what they found is that as they were deploying Teams, they very quickly had more users on Teams than they did for Skype for Business. And I see this very common
within education customers, where Skype for Business is
used on the staff/faculty side, many times in the administrative units of the education business, but is not used broadly enough in which it’s being used by all students or it’s being used by
the entire community. And so, we see, very quickly, that Teams growth has outpaced
the adoption of Skype. And that’s when we know that
we wanna start looking at when do we set the policies
in order to do the upgrade? One thing that I wanna call out is that if I have a thousand
users who are active on Skype and a thousand users
who are active on Teams, that doesn’t necessary mean that they’re the same thousand users. And I’ll show you a tool in just a moment to help you identify how
close those user sets are. But as you can see, the University of South
Florida went through this, they went through their Teams deployment. They saw that they could reduce confusion and that they had already
kind of introduced Teams into many of those departments. So they went ahead and set a notify on the Skype for Business clients, saying, “Hey, Teams is gonna be
upgraded in the next 30 days.” They set that switch,
they sent out emails, they communicated it,
there was 30 days came, they set the policy for the organization to go to Teams Only,
and they were upgraded. And, in fact, this
process went so smoothly that they really didn’t
have too many support calls. More of, “Hey, where do I get Teams?” for those that hadn’t actually had Teams deployed to their machine yet. But as you can see, they had
a very smooth experience, and it allowed them to
move forward with Teams and go ahead and be done with supporting that additional application with the overlapping workload. So what does the journey from Skype for Business
to Teams look like? So, if you’re already using Teams, then you’re in that period of coexistence in which you have Skype
for Business and Teams and you’re in Islands mode. And, as we talked about, that
is using it side-by-side. When you’re at this
point, what you wanna do is you wanna plan your
upgrade for Teams Only. You wanna look at who your users are for Skype for Business, have
they been introduced to Teams? If they have, then are we achieving the same levels of usage
in those departments? And then we know that we can
go through and do the upgrade. So, there’s a number of
things that you wanna plan. What are your dates that you want to do? How long do you want to notify users that you’re gonna be upgrading from Skype for Business
to Teams beforehand? What type of communications
do you wanna put out? Most of this change is
about change management rather than, hey, we’re just gonna go and replace one client with the other. And so that’s what you
really want to think about. But, once you get Teams introduced, they’re really gonna know
what Teams feel like, they’re gonna know of
the advantages of Teams, and it makes the process a lot easier. If you have a more complex deployment, or if you have on-premise or hybrid, there are some other
steps that you can take, these other policies in which you can move
workloads into Teams. So, if you wanted to use
Teams just for Collab but not use chat, you
could configure that. Or if you want to, you
introduce Collab and Meetings, you can do that. Again, those are for the more complex, if you have on-premise or hybrid. The majority of customers
that we work with are completely in Skype for
Business Online, using Teams, and that’s where we suggest going from Islands directly to Teams Only. If you have not yet started using Teams, then we want to get started now. Like I said, we have two years between now and the end-of-service date, but we wanna make sure that
you are currently going through planning your deployment
and getting things set up. So, start by going and envision how you want to do teamwork
within your organization. Identify some pilots,
identify some use cases where people have an
existing business need that they’re trying to solve,
and introduce Teams there. And then start to deploy
Teams and grow your usage. Really start with those people that are gonna become your champions. And you’ll see that Teams
starts to grow fairly rapidly. And that’s when you get into
the area of coexistence, which is what we had on the first slide. And you continue to grow and adopt Teams, and then you get into
planning your Teams Only mode once you reach that saturation
level in which you know the people who are
using Skype for Business have been introduced to Teams and that they’re gonna be comfortable with what that upgrade means. So, how do you know which users are your
Skype for Business users and which users are your Teams users, and whether or not there’s
a good enough overlap? The good news is that we have something in the Office 365 Usage dashboard called Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics. It’s something that you can go
and turn on for your tenant. It will load all of the
usage in your tenant and it will give you a Power BI report. And these Power BI reports
are very, very powerful because they allow you to
filter down to different levels. I’m showing you a screenshot that has a whole bunch of kind of randomized data because I don’t want to be sharing anyone’s email address or anything else. But a couple things that
I wanna point out here. You can get this Usage
and Analytics report for any Office 365 workload, right? Which is great, because that means that we can look at what
our Teams user activity is, and we can look at what our Skype for Business user activity is, and that allows us to see,
are they the same users, or is there a similar number
of users who are using that? So, you get this report for
all Office 365 workloads. The next thing is that you get to go and see who your top
departments are by usage. And so, this, as long as you have department configured in active directory, it will pull this information, and I can see that there
are some departments that use the workload more than others, based upon the size of the box. When I am planning my Teams rollout and I’m planning it
specifically for the upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams, I know I want to go and
target those larger boxes because those are my
larger amounts of usage. And what we’ll see is we’ll actually see Skype for Business
usage start to tail off. So you can see this
for Skype for Business, you know you need to target it, and then you can see
those boxes grow in Teams so that they’re relatively the same amount of usage as what you had for Skype for Business, and this calls it out. The next thing that this
really helps you with is, a lot of times people say, “Okay, “I know that this is being
used within a big department, “but who are my top users
in that department?” Through the magic of Power
BI, you can go through and click on that department, and you can actually, in the bottom, have a filtered list that
shows who your top users are and what pieces of the
technology they are using. So, in the case of, “Hey, we’re doing “Skype for Business to Teams upgrade,” here are the ones that need
a little bit more assistance, because they’re the ones who are actively using
the system a lot more. They’re the ones that you
want to target and say, “Here’s the advantage of Teams.” Make sure that they’re
really introduced into Teams, because they will also
become your champions within the department
making that transition. So this is the tool
that you will really use as you’re going through
to say, “Am I ready? “Is this department
ready to make the jump?” Because what you’ll see
is that you will see either the equal amount of Teams usage to Skype for Business in there or you’ll see Skype for
Business usage tailing off and Teams usage in those
departments going up. And that’s when you know that you’re ready to make the change. So, this has been a very
high-level conversation, but I wanna make sure that I also give you the links that you need to go for that more technical conversation. What are the policies that I can do? What is the client experience like? What do I need to do from a end user change
management adoption? Unfortunately, we didn’t
have enough time in this call to cover all of it, but I wanna make sure that you have access to these resources. So, first of all, we
have a great resource out at This is an entire page dedicated to how people can make the
transition from Skype to Teams. It will give you links
to videos that detail the entire technical process, all the different admin capabilities, what interop looks like. But it also gives you a lot of
different adoption resources that help you to go
through, how do I plan this? Who are my project stakeholders? What are we doing for
technical user-readiness? How are we making sure
that it’s out there? And how are we continuing to grow and build our champions for Teams? That not only helps you do the Skype for Business to Teams upgrade but puts the infrastructure in place to really have the champions to drive Teams usage
within your organization. So I highly recommend that you go and you check out these resources. It will give you information about things that are coming into
Teams, how to structure these, what sample timelines look like, and what the technical
information looks like if you are the IT administrator. And then, we also have a number of other links in here that will
help you with Teams adoption. ‘Cause, like I said, the first
part of doing this upgrade is to get to Teams adoption out there. So, lots of great resources. If you are an adoption specialist, I highly, highly, highly recommend that you go and check out
the Teams Adoption Toolkit. This has a number of different videos, a number of different posters, a number of different resources you can go through and look at, hey, how do you go and get Teams deployed? How do you drive user awareness? What are some posters, email samples, other things that you can send out? Then along the side, we also
have lots of things about, you know, we talked about Skype To Teams, we have Teams Training so that you can get a foundation in what Teams is, why it’s different from
Skype for Business, why we made certain decisions. Teams is also so much more than
what Skype for Business was. I wanna make sure that I stress this. If you look at Teams as just a Skype for Business replacement, then you’re gonna look at it and say, “Well, why did they do certain things?” But if you think about Teams as not only are we bringing the Skype for Business workloads into it from a private chat functionality, from a meetings perspective, but when you overlay it with the way in which
people can collaborate, the way in which people
can co-edit documents, the way in which people
can work out in the open, then the architecture of Teams and the user experience of
Teams, makes so much more sense. And so, I really want you guys to look at not only is Teams just a
replacement for that capability, but it’s so much more, and you’re getting a lot more that you can
do with the product. I did talk about a few
Teams Roadmap items, and so that’s where you can go and see Teams Roadmap
at And then another fantastic
resource is Success With Teams. This is a website that you can go to that pretty much kinda
gives you, at the beginning, a guidepost of what is your
role, what are you trying to do? And it helps you to navigate
the wealth of information that we have out there
about Microsoft Teams, and gets you into the resources
that are most valuable for what it is you’re trying to do, whether that’s, I’m trying to find out how to do the upgrade, or technical policy management of Teams, or where do I find end user training? Success With Teams is the place that will take you through and show you all those different capabilities and help you to navigate that information. So I highly suggest you go
and check out these resources, they’re gonna be very helpful in having you go through the process of actually doing the upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams. With that, thank you very much. I appreciate your time today. And please go out, check
out those resources. Based upon your role, they’ll give you the technical specifics that you need for policy configuration or end user change management
adoption during the upgrade. Thank you very much.

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