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Upgrading to Microsoft Teams, but also have Slack users?

Moving from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams but also have Slack users?


Upgrading to Microsoft Teams, but also have Slack users?

Moving from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams but also have Slack users?

When Microsoft announced Teams’ feature parity with Skype for Business, the scenario where two collaboration tools become one is finally possible. With Skype for Business users estimated to be around 1.43 billion, there’s potential for a whole lot of Teams migrations and integrations.

As of April 2021, Microsoft Teams has adoption of 145m+ users.

There are also many companies who use Slack in addition to Skype for Business, given that Teams adoption is, by comparison, immature.

If this is the case at your company, read below as there are special considerations for those Slack users when the rest of your company is migrating from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.

Guidance from Microsoft

Microsoft has set guidelines for when to use Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams.

But, with the option to use both, this leaves customers without a clear sense of how to reach the hybrid UC coexistence.

We started with the Skype Operations Framework. Since the introduction of Teams, this has evolved into Practical Guidance for Cloud Voice.

These are both robust, tried and tested frameworks that help deploy and adopt Skype for Business and now Microsoft Teams.

Skype Operations Framework is now Practical Guidance for Cloud Voice

Options for upgrading to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has stated its vision for bringing together Intelligent Communications and collaboration is focused on Microsoft Teams.

We’ve put together a guide to the core differences between the two platforms for new users and admins here.

Once you decide to upgrade, there are two standard paths provided by Microsoft: Basic & Pro.

  1. Upgrade Basic is for smaller organizations or those with low Skype for Business adoption. This is designed to upgrade your entire organization to Teams at once.
  2. Upgrade Pro is for organizations with expanded functionality. This is aimed at enterprises who’d benefit from a phased approach.

It’s worth reviewing both paths extensively to determine the best approach for your organization.

Since writing this article, Microsoft has started an initiative where small businesses are being auto-upgraded from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.

You can read about that here.

Microsoft Teams pilot

Before you undertake your Microsoft Teams deployment or migration from Skype for Business, it’s always advisable to conduct a pilot. It’s important to note the terminology here.

This is not a proof of concept. Businesses often get bogged down with a proof of concept – the concept has been proven, Microsoft Teams is a stable platform transforming business all over the world.

What you are doing here is running a pilot to suit your needs. Your Microsoft Teams pilot needs to be tailored to your business’s unique needs and bespoke requirements.

A select pilot committee is crucial. You need your most vocal users and key stakeholders on-side from day one.

Failure to engage and win over the right people could put the entire pilot – and migration – in jeopardy.

A typical Microsoft Teams pilot

What is missing from these plans is a common scenario we run into with our customers that is the elephant in the room: Upgrading to Microsoft Teams when some users also use Slack.

The journey from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams doesn't consider Slack users - but it can!

Slack vs Microsoft Teams…
Slack and Microsoft Teams?

This was a real-world blocker for some customers.

Often, the migration from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams is denied or delayed by not knowing what to do with your Slack users.

When you plan for that great day when your Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams migration is complete, do you have a plan for your Slack users? 

What to do with Slack users when migrating from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams?

Your Slack users may have organically introduced Slack as the collaboration tool in your company, with Skype for Business reserved for voice calls.

But, with Teams running too, what does this hybrid UC co-existence scenario look like? Is it even possible?

You have two options, and you may not have known the 2nd was even possible!

1. Kill Slack and get everyone on Microsoft Teams

An extremely common question is: “How do we move users off Slack when we move to Microsoft Teams”.

We often hear this following a merger or acquisition – when the new company is using Slack and the assumption is that everybody has to collaborate in the same app.

Do you block Slack and go full Microsoft?

Here are two key considerations as you work to get buy-in from your Slack users:

You’ll need to prevent data loss when migrating Slack channels to Microsoft Teams channels:

You will need to re-map channels that exist in both Slack and Microsoft Teams into one Teams channel and migrate all of the existing content over.

You will need to tell your team they should prepare to lose data or have a lapse in access to that data for a period of time.

You’ll need to transition your Slack integrations & workflows onto Microsoft Teams:

You’ll need to work out what functionality you will lose, if any, by moving off Slack.

Ask your Slack users what integrations they use and workflows they’ve built into Slack that need to be replicated into Microsoft Teams.

If the integration is not available for Microsoft Teams yet, you may need to find a workaround solution or a different SaaS provider entirely.

Remember that in general, people will be adverse to losing the app they live in all day, without a good reason.

This effort may take many weeks or months of careful planning.

2. Microsoft Teams Slack integration

Collaboration apps are extremely personalized and users will have their favorite integrations and bots that they use and rely on, day in day out.

In the long term, planning to support two or more messaging environments, like Slack and Microsoft Teams gives your UC strategy more flexibility, as long as everyone can work together across different chat platforms.

That’s where Mio can help.

Connect Slack and Microsoft Teams

Mio keeps everyone chatting and collaborating in their existing Slack workspaces and their Microsoft Teams environments while federating messaging across all platforms.

This truly is the best of both worlds. Everyone gets to collaborate the way they prefer, without the need for a big migration plan.

Mio for Slack + Microsoft Teams interoperability

With Mio, your Slack users don’t need to change platforms and will still be able to chat with colleagues on Microsoft Teams, and vice versa.

If Microsoft Teams Slack integration is on your agenda then you’re in the right place.

Mio is simple to set up:

  • Sync all the chat apps your teams use by creating your Mio Hub
  • Import all users and channels at once, or select them one by one
  • Team members in your Mio Hub can immediately chat in DMs or groups with members on other platforms
  • File sharing, threaded messages, reactions, and the ability to edit and delete messages are all supported with Mio
  • New conversations will be mirrored in the primary chat platform each employee prefers to use
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