There’s never been a better time for businesses to upgrade to Microsoft Teams. For one thing, if you’re still using Skype for Business, it will no longer be available as a service after 31st July 2021. Will this be a big change for your business and workforce?

Why upgrade to Microsoft Teams? Need help?

Microsoft seem to know it’s a big deal for businesses to change, for instance, migrating every doc and file to the cloud, and no longer emailing colleagues, but using cloud-based applications instead. Which is why they’re answering your every query in their Support Centre, and encouraging users by throwing constant improvements into work-enabling applications, like Teams, to make it even more appealing and powerful for businesses.

Need to persuade your workforce? Try the free Teams first

If you’re starting to think about your upgrade to Teams, and concerned about workforce engagement, a good way to get staff to engage gradually, is to encourage their use of the free version first. Once they have a taste of what can be achieved, and how work and projects are so organised and visible, without endless email conversations going back and forth, it may be easier to implement the wholesale upgrade.

As with any cloud migration, it takes time for people to get out of the habit of saving files on local drives and tracking email conversations about different workstreams. You can assure your team, once upgrade time comes that it will take all their teams, chats, permissions and files with them, effortlessly, with no hard work required by them at all. It will be easier than they think.

Seek and appoint your Teams ambassadors

In every team you will have those that naturally want to move forward into new ways of working and embrace change, and those that don’t. Putting out a request for those volunteers will be a good step towards spreading Teams throughout the rest of your workforce. Each ambassador can be the Team ‘go to person’ for when others need help, reassurance and advice.

Get chatting about Teams

Making a big comms splash about a forthcoming change, full of real examples of what can be achieved, and how working will become easier, is a good positive move to get your workforce buzzing. When it comes to technology and working practices, the future really is exciting! Share the feeling!

Make Teams appropriate to each audience

Different areas of your workforce will have different tasks to accomplish so make sure you tailor any presentation or demonstration of Teams to each department. For instance, if your sales staff will mostly be using it for calls and your accounts division will mostly be using it for collaborating on reports, show the best of what Teams can offer for each of these areas of your workforce.

There’s no going back, but you won’t want to

Once you upgrade, you can’t go back to the free version of Teams. And you can’t upgrade some users and not others; you would have to entirely remove them. The message is really to just get upgraded, because, to be quite honest, you won’t want to go back once you have. Teams is so intuitive and easy to use that once users take the leap, they won’t be able to imagine working any other way, in a very short space of time.

Don’t forget, Skype for Business is ending

Next year will be here before you know it, and using Skype for Business will no longer be an option after the end of July 2021.

Once you upgrade to Teams full version, via Microsoft Office 365, you’re as up to date, compliant and using some of the most powerful tools your business needs to progress. And whilst some users may at first be resistant to change, you and your organisation will not look back to how you worked before Teams.

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