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Setting the scene for a smooth Microsoft Teams migration

IR Media

Written by IR Media


Setting the scene for a smooth Microsoft Teams migration

The date for the Skye for Business Online (SFBO) is fast approaching, and the pressure is on for organizations using SFBO to start finalizing their transition to Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams isn’t just a replacement for Skype for Business Online, it’s a significant upgrade. But as with any upgrade, or major change in technology, there are some key things to think about, whether your organization is migrating from SFBO or another collaboration platform.

In this guide, we'll talk about some of the challenges an organization might face when migrating one tenant to another, and how to manage your migration with the minimum of fuss.

Watch 'Crush your SFBO migration to Microsoft Teams'


Microsoft Teams plus points

  • Microsoft Teams is part of the Office 365 suite. It's a collaboration platform that has been embraced by millions worldwide due to its ease of use, flexibility and adaptability.
  • Integrating with the entire Microsoft 365 suite and other third party programs, Microsoft Teams combines audio and video calling with a wide variety of features essential for the 'new world' of remote working.
  • Tasks like file sharing, teams chat, application integration and group messaging are easily available, and all at your fingertips, creating the ultimate in workplace communication and collaboration.
  • Microsoft Teams allows a huge breadth and scale of collaboration, and the ability to carry out work projects and processes for a seamless working environment no matter where in the world your team or clients and external users are located.
  • Microsoft Teams also integrates with the company's Microsoft 365 subscription Office productivity  suite, featuring extensions that can combine with non-Microsoft products.

Need to update your workplace collaboration platform?

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Migrating Microsoft Teams from one Tenant to another

The past year has seen a significant increase in cloud to cloud, or tenant to tenant migrations. With more and more large organizations embracing cloud migration, IT admins are now more likely than ever to encounter a Microsoft 365 tenant to tenant migration in the context of a business merger or acquisition. However, migrating from one Office 365 tenant to another can present some challenges.

To consolidate Office 365 infrastructure and services, such as Exchange Online, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, organizations need well thought-out, judiciously planned solutions. There are plenty of Office 365 tenant to tenant migration tools that allow you to simply and securely consolidate and migrate all your Office 365 tenants. Some leading software providers offer a free migration tool to use with the purchase of their software licenses. But using a free migration tool can severely limit what you can do, which affects your planning and impacts revenue. IT professionals, should avoid rushing into a free cloud migration solution without knowing the product’s features and whether it aligns with the scope of your project. 

It would be considered a successful migration if all Microsoft Teams data is migrated within an agreed time frame, and without data loss or user downtime.

Pre-Migration Tips

It's a fact that everything scales a lot more quickly in the cloud, so to avoid duplicating groups and teams, and to keep organizational data secure during a Microsoft Teams migration, you need to declutter. There are some basic things you can do before you migrate Teams to ensure it all goes seamlessly (and even on a regular basis afterwards)

Archive unnecessary content in Teams

While Teams is relatively easy to use, many users haven't been adequately trained and don't know the different ways to great a new Microsoft 365 group or team. This often results in accidental duplication, and means there are dozens of unnecessary or inactive teams, and tenant data sprawl.

Ensure that every team or group has an owner

Sometimes even the best preparation can't factor in the uncontrollable. For example, employees may move around, whether starting a new job at an organization, switching between departments or projects internally - or leaving their current role for a new one. Keeping track of users is crucial with regard to resource accountability in Microsoft 365 - i.e. ownership of teams in Microsoft Teams and each of their associated workloads. Ideally teams should have more than one owner, and Microsoft does include some measures to manage ownerless teams.

Regularly review external access and link sharing

It's vital to have a complete understanding of how sharing is being used in your organization’s Teams by conducting regular access reviews.

Option 1: Verify guest access in Teams. Depending on your SharePoint configuration, Teams guest users most likely have access to their teams shared documents. IT admin should always review guest users to determine what is being shared and with whom.

Option 2. Review external sharing automatically. There is no simple way to review external access for each team using Microsoft's out-of-the-box solutions. A third party solution like Collaborate allows you full visibility into who has shared what, and with whom.

Identify and fix potential issues

With a Microsoft Teams migration from one tenant to another, it's important to ensure that everything reaches its destination with all permissions and access fully intact. Some factors that could potentially cause issues during migration include:

  • File sizes
  • URLs and file names
  • File extensions
  • Character limitations
  • Unique permissions (who has access to all files)
  • Folders containing over 5,000 items
  • Orphaned users
  • Custom solutions
  • Checked out files

Microsoft Teams has become central to the Microsoft Office 365 user experience due to its continuous development of new features, its user-friendly interface, and its seamless integration with other Microsoft tools.

Migrating Microsoft Teams from one tenant to another is a critical process due to the need to transition user workflows to the destination environment seamlessly. But one of the reasons that a Microsoft Teams migration can be a challenge is that most Teams data is not stored in Teams. Some is stored in SharePoint online in each team's associated SharePoint site. Other locations include:

Exchange team mailbox

This is where group chat and channel chat conversation history, contacts and team mail is stored.

Individual user Exchange mailbox

This contains private chat conversation history, calendar meetings and voicemails.


Private chat session files, or chats during meetings or calls are uploaded and stored in the OneDrive account of the user who shared the files.

SharePoint team site

Contains files and folders shared and stored in the teams and channels document library as well as external emails sent to the team.

The Microsoft Teams migration checklist

To ensure a seamless and trouble-free Microsoft Teams migration, and successful upgrade, it's important to develop a timeline keep to tabs on what’s completed and what’s coming up, to ensure all the moving pieces end up where they should.

4-6 weeks before upgrade:

Notify key stakeholders

Before and during the planning, CEOs, CFOs, IT execs, marketing, HR and helpdesk all need to be in the loop about impending technology changes. Those at executive level have a vested interest in the success of the processes and outcomes.

Prepare your organization

For a successful migration, you need a clear picture of how your organization plans to use Teams, and configure your environment accordingly

4 weeks before upgrade:

Review SFBO usage

Now is the time to review your current SFBO usage, and identify those users in need of extra support. This helps to establish a baseline against which to track your upgrade success.

2-3 weeks before upgrade:

Provide ample notice of upgrade to users

If they're not already familiar with Teams usage, now's the time to tell them about the whys and whens of the proposed changes, and how they can prepare.

1 week before upgrade

Activate notification of upgrade

Enable the user upgrade notification via visual alert in the SFBO admin portal. Remind users about available training and additional support to help make the migration project a positive team experience.

1-2 weeks after upgrade

Monitor usage against expectations

Keep constant checks on usage to verify that the Teams migration has been a success. Ensure that users are utilizing Teams at least as much or more than they used SFBO. Follow up with users who aren't using Teams at expected levels.

2-3 weeks after upgrade

Measure user experience and satisfaction

To get a true picture of the success of your Teams migration, you should regularly reach out to users to measure feedback about their satisfaction with Teams.

Monitoring your Microsoft Teams environment

IR Collaborate now includes support for Microsoft Teams, uniquely available as a cloud service or for on-premises deployment.

Collaborate enables cloud insight to help customers better manage their migration to Teams, as well as accessing key success metrics, such as user adoption, device utilization, and service health. In addition, Collaborate provides end to end visibility to proactively monitor, troubleshoot and alert users to issues across their entire UC ecosystem.

Key capabilities include real-time performance insights, deep data analytics, complete UCC visibility, customizable dashboards, flexible deployment options, rapid end-to-end troubleshooting and proactive alerting.

Click here to find out how we can help support your Microsoft Teams migration

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Topics: Migration, deployment and adoption Microsoft - Teams - Skype Cloud and hybrid UC Microsoft Teams

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