Everything You Think You Know About Teams is Wrong.

Well, probably not, but you may find a few common misperceptions here that could change your strategic planning for your company’s technology platform over the next decade.

The adoption and implementation of Microsoft Teams® can be an operational game-changer for companies with 2 to 20,000 employees.

MS Teams® can transform your traditional, premise-based file management system to a more secure, searchable, and accessible cloud-based file management system.

MS Teams® can help your company adopt new cloud-based end-user management, security systems, file management practices, and productivity tools.

MS Teams® can extend your telephone strategy beyond the traditional VOIP Systems you are likely considering today to a new, more simplified, and cost-effective platform for all of your SIP device needs and perhaps even your PBX requirements.

While you may be evaluating MS Teams® as an alternative solution for Zoom or SLACK, or as a new Integrated Communications and Collaboration platform for your company, you may be missing the opportunity to assess how MS Teams® could be the single most impactful aspect of your entire Cloud IT Strategy.

Recognizing the Challenge

It is arguably the most prolific, current strategy for companies to migrate their traditional, premise-based IT Infrastructure out of their server roams and data centers into a Cloud-Centric environment. 

The advantages of a Cloud-Centric strategy to companies have moved from the theoretical to facts: 

  • Reduced Operational Costs (hardware, databases, servers, licensing, IT human resources) 
  • Migration from Capital Expense model to a more flexible Operating Expense model 
  • Proven reliability and availability (99.99% Uptime) 
  • Realtime scalability 

    In the arena of Cloud Enterprise providers, vendors’ field has narrowed significantly over the past 5 years. In this writers opinion, there are but 3 elite providers that provide the types of services needed by any business of any size and do so at a price-point that is meaningful to even the smallest of the Small-Mid Size Businesses (SMB’s).

    In a 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant assessment, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, and Google were identified as the world leaders in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) arena. In the broader sense of Cloud Enterprise resources, business owners have come to depend on their Cloud Solution Provider to be an Everything as a Service (EaaS) provider. Everything is defined as Software, Infrastructure, Security, Databases, Storage, Productivity Tools, etc. This is where Cloud Solution Providers’ field has clearly narrowed to the top 3 (AWS, Microsoft, and Google). We see Microsoft emerging as the provider who best meets the needs (both technically and financially) of the SMB’s.

    At this point, you might be asking yourself, “Why is this guy pontificating on Cloud Solution Providers?”, “Isn’t this an article about MS Teams®?”. These are exceptional questions. Allow me to create the nexus.

    While it is easy to find yourself assessing Microsoft Teams® as an alternate solution for Slack or Google Hangouts, or you are considering either augmenting or replacing your IP Phone System with Teams®. The truly high-value assessment of a Microsoft Teams® deployment comes from recognizing that Microsoft Teams® can provide your company with an enabling pathway to your over-all Cloud-Solution strategy deployment.

    Let’s break this down.

    A Microsoft Cloud-Solution can seem daunting to many businesses.

    The migration of your file systems, user management, security, applications, and communications away from your tried-and-true on-premise solutions is a significant shift in your strategy. It comes with significant challenges such as needing to learn new technologies, planning new file management strategies and organizational design, physical migration of your files from your ‘old system’ to your new Cloud-Solution systems, User Migrations, Application Migrations, and a significant change in your employees’ behavior.

    Many companies become paralyzed in the starting blocks, intimidated by the sheer scope of the challenge and the uncertainty of how to move from their current model to their new model successfully.

    In this writer’s opinion, this is where the successful deployment of Microsoft Teams® shines and adds the greatest initial value.

    Microsoft Teams® can enable you and your business to take a potentially fresh look at how your company does business. Ultimately, you will find that most businesses operate by organizing groups of employees around specific, shared, and common objectives or missions. Hence, a Team. Each of these teams needs to communicate with each other effectively and efficiently. Each team needs to collaborate and share files both within the Team and with others outside of the Team. Deploying Microsoft Teams® into your company’s business teams instantly enables all of these communication and collaboration capabilities and tools. The Microsoft Teams® application functionality and user interface are contemporary and similar to many Social Media tools that your employees are already familiar with. As a result, we find that many companies can deploy Microsoft Teams® with little or no focused training investment.

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    Because you have successfully deployed Microsoft Teams® across your business teams, you will find that you have also successfully established and deployed a key part of your Cloud-Solution File Management Strategy. Microsoft Teams® is fully integrated into the Microsoft Cloud-Solution File Management System known as SharePoint®. Through their use of MS Teams®, your employees begin using the SharePoint® Cloud-Based file management system, and the Team fully manages the file Organization and Security. This opens the door for the business, on a team-by-team basis, to begin, and complete the migration of their files from the old premise file management environment to their new web-based environment. As files are used from the old system, they are moved to the new Team-based file system.

    From a communications standpoint, as your Team-Based employees adopt Microsoft Teams®, they will discover that using the Chat (Instant Messaging) and Discussion Posting and Reply offered by Microsoft Teams® is a more efficient and effective method of communication than their traditional behavior of using e-mail for inter-team communications. Similarly, they will find that a simple click of a button to open a voice or video conversation between team members is far more efficient than using traditional telephone handsets to achieve a similar communications session.

    These are a few simple ways to find that a successful Microsoft Teams® deployment can help a business fast-track their over-all Cloud Solution Strategy.

    As your company matures with your use of the Microsoft Teams® platform, you can expand the features found within Microsoft Teams® as needs arise. For example, if you find yourself needing to add or replacing your business telephone system, you will find that Microsoft Teams® can provide you a cost-effective, full-service business telephone system complete with PBX, Call Management, Voice Mail, and other standard business telephone system features.

    In closing, everything that you think you know about Teams may not be wrong, but we strongly encourage you to consider Microsoft Teams® as more than a single feature solution alternative.
    Microsoft Teams® can be a transformative tool not only to your Communications and Collaboration infrastructure, but it can also be a force-multiplier to your overall Microsoft Cloud Solution Strategy.

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