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Microsoft Teams Migration Checklist

IR Team

Written by IR Team


The geographical distribution of today’s workplace calls for diversity, speed, and utmost ease of collaboration. We need flexible communication tools, and intuitive workspace design, with plenty of scope for customization and integration.

The tools we deploy need to be user-friendly, align with business goals, and include the co-operation of all stakeholders within an organization. These are basic but critical requirements for a business to succeed in the modern world.

Those organizations using Skype for Business Online (SFBO) will be well aware this application is about to be retired. From July 31, 2021, customers with a Microsoft 365 subscription will no longer be able to use SFBO; instead, they will only have access to Microsoft Teams.

Other organizations are migrating to Microsoft Teams from competitor products. And others are making Microsoft Teams available as one collaboration tool in their multivendor ecosystems.

While Microsoft is providing support and various upgrade options to make any migration to Microsoft Teams as seamless as possible, businesses need to consider the challenges brought about by introducing new technology. Importantly, the implementation of new processes affects everyone at every level in your organization, and this is where CIOs, CEOs and tech teams need to pay particular attention.

Table of Contents

> Define

> Engage & Prepare

> Design

> Deploy & Adopt

> Monitor & Optimize

> Conclusion


Download a PDF copy of the Microsoft Teams deployment checklist

Microsoft Teams Overview

Microsoft Teams is a teamwork hub that combines chat, calling, video meetings, file sharing and plenty more, within a single integrated application. Its vision, when first released in 2017, was to provide intelligent communications within Microsoft 365 through a single hub for teamwork, conversations, meetings, Office apps and third-party integration.

Why Migrate to Microsoft Teams?

Teams extends the capabilities of Skype for Business, bringing together the components for chat, calling, collaboration, video conferences, and file storage in a single interface. Microsoft is continually expanding and upgrading Teams’ capabilities in innovative ways, with the end goal to break through organizational and geographical barriers to drive efficiency in process and decision making.

Why Do I Need This Migration Checklist?

Upgrading from SFBO, or migrating from another platform, is more complex than just the technical migration. It’s about a transformation in how users communicate and collaborate, so it’s important to address the fact people within your organization matter - and change in the workplace is not always easy.

The ideal way to approach a Microsoft Teams migration is to look at the technical aspects, while actively encouraging user acceptance and adoption. This is the best way to create a positive user experience and optimize business outcome realization.

The stages of your Microsoft Teams migration

Whether your organization is already using Microsoft Teams, or has not yet started using it, driving adoption in stages is the key to Teams success. In this example, we’ve used SFBO as the starting point, but the same fundamental steps could apply to a migration from any platform.

microsoft teams migration

01 | Define

Define Microsoft Teams business goals. What is it you are trying to achieve above and beyond what your existing platform had to offer?

▢ Identify what you are trying to achieve with the migration:

    • Cost savings
    • Personal productivity
    • Changing the culture within the workplace
    • Bringing remote business units together
    • Increasing collaboration capabilities
    • Project management
    • Modern meetings

Identify the business scenarios that will benefit most from Microsoft Teams.

In what areas do you plan to improve operations?

▢ Which strategic initiatives or transformation projects could be improved using Microsoft Teams?

▢ Understand Microsoft Teams and your existing platform coexistence and interoperability.

▢ Decide if you should conduct a pilot to determine readiness for Microsoft Teams within the organization:

    • Identify pilot users.
    • Create a pilot test plan.
    • Enable pilot users.
    • Decide when you will implement the pilot.
    • Execute a pilot feedback survey.
    • Measure pilot success.

▢ Assign Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and Key Success Indicators (KSIs) to the scope of your migration plan. This will determine if your deliverables have been achieved.

▢ Understand the Microsoft Teams features your organization will deploy:

    • Teams full telephony solution
    • Teams and channels
    • Conversations within channels and teams
    • Chat functions
    • Document storage in SharePoint
    • Online video calling and screen sharing
    • Online meetings
    • Audio conferencing

▢ Identify risks and establish mitigation plans.


02 | Engage & Prepare

It’s important to allow adequate time for on-boarding all stakeholders in the migration to Microsoft Teams.

▢ Define all team administrators and assign project team members accountable for driving migration success:

    • Assign Teams Communications Admin role.
    • Assign Teams Communications Support Engineer role.
    • Assign Teams Communication Support Specialist role.
    • Ensure organization admins, tech leaders and support desk are prepared and accountable for a high-quality experience.
    • Verify IT teams have all the information they need.
    • Revisit training plans as new features are released.
    • Understand how users work, and if necessary, define the different use groups who will use Microsoft Teams in specific ways.

▢ Prepare a user-readiness plan to define how you will communicate, train and support users.

▢ Prepare your network to support Microsoft Teams workloads.

▢ Set up Microsoft 365 or Office 365 organization.

▢ Verify that your environment meets all prerequisites, including dependencies among Microsoft services and Teams.

▢ Configure Microsoft Office 365, or Office 365 Domain, SharePoint, Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business.

▢ Make sure all users have Microsoft Teams licenses.


03 | Design

It’s time to test technical deployment and network architecture by conducting a user pilot so you can evaluate Microsoft Teams as a viable solution to meet your organization’s needs.

▢ Outline pilot logistics:

    • Ensure you have included the right stakeholders.
    • Determine the duration of the pilot.
    • Design your test plan and feedback survey.
    • Decide whether to pilot all functionality at once or use a gradual approach.
    • Ensure you have an open feedback channel to track progress and measure outcomes.

▢ Assess the outcome and evaluate:

    • Gather feedback survey results, network stats and support tickets for analysis.
    • Decide whether your organization is ready for a broad deployment of an extended pilot.
    • Decide if you need to add additional users to the pilot.
    • If the pilot did not achieve the required outcomes, make appropriate adjustments and revisit.

▢ Identify what security, governance and rights management will be required to ensure secure data.

▢ Define firewall rules, SIP Trunks, accounts and certificates for each use case.


04 | Deploy & Adopt

Once you understand who your users are and how they will use the technology it’s time to move to the deployment and adoption stage. Your starting point is based on your current environment:

Migrating from Skype for Business Online

  • Assign the co-existence and upgrade mode.
  • Decide if you want to upgrade all users to Microsoft Teams at once or in stages.
  • Set the co-existence mode for users to Teams-Only.
  • Check phone system and PSTN connectivity options.

Migrating from Skype for Business on-premises environment

  • Deploy hybrid connectivity.
  • Implement your chosen upgrade journey.
  • Transition on-premises phone systems to Microsoft Teams.

Migrating from another platform

  • Identify integration options and how to leverage these for a smooth transition.
  • Customize the experience with other app integrations.
  • Implement your chose upgrade journey.
  • Educate your users on Microsoft Teams functionality and best practices.

In every scenario you will need to:

▢ Give users guidance on available Microsoft Teams clients and device compatibility.

▢ Identify and leverage internal influencers to encourage the adoption of Microsoft Teams.

▢ Decide on governance (naming conventions; or who can create teams).

▢ Consider any relevant limitations and specifications like the maximum number of members in a team.


05 | Monitor & optimize

An optimal operation plan includes monitoring your environment for health and quality so you can continue the adoption of user momentum to ensure a positive user experience.

▢ Define how you are measuring success.

▢ Develop a user awareness and adoption strategy.

▢ Create an interactive feedback process to allow evaluation for each new site or group.

▢ When problems arise, invest in the right tools to quickly pinpoint, and resolve them.

▢ Implement a performance monitoring solution like IR Collaborate to enable you to proactively and pre-emptively detect problems and create alerts before they impact users.

▢ Optimize your Microsoft Teams environment by using IR to monitor, report, troubleshoot and analyze all aspects of your ecosystem in real time, 24/7.


Technology is undergoing a constant, dynamic growth cycle. Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 roadmaps will continue to evolve, adding value to your organization’s communication and collaboration infrastructure.

Microsoft Teams provides a number of Microsoft and third-party apps to help engage users and support productivity, as well as integrating commonly used business services into Microsoft Teams.

By using a third-party performance management tool to monitor and troubleshoot what can be a complex communications environment, you’re ensuring your Microsoft Teams migration will be seamless and painless.

Download a PDF copy of the Microsoft Teams deployment checklist

Topics: Communications Performance management Proactive troubleshooting UCaaS management High availability Migration, deployment and adoption Operational costs Microsoft Skype Microsoft Teams Collaborate

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