Many businesses have chosen Skype for Business Online as a collaboration suite because of its numerous features: instant messaging, Skype-to-Skype audio-video conferencing, and interoperability with Microsoft productivity platforms like SharePoint, to name a few. But when Skype for Business Online reaches its end of life in 2021, businesses will have to look for alternatives.
With a variety of choices available, there’s no need to worry. However, adopting a new collaboration platform comes with challenges. Keep these things in mind to ensure your migration goes smoothly.
#1. Identify the goal of migration
A study found that 86% of businesses blame poor collaboration for workplace failures. With no effective collaboration system in place, your organization could suffer from miscommunication and cluttered files.
This is why it’s critical that you identify and communicate the goal of migration across your organization. Inform your staff of difficulties ahead, plans of action that can be taken, and business justification for the switch. Also, make sure that there are people in charge who can address concerns like usability and timetables before, during, and after migration.
#2. Set realistic timetables
During a migration, users may need to use the old and new platforms simultaneously, which is inherently challenging and can affect daily operations. So instead of moving the entire organization to the new system in one go, it’s recommended that you do so gradually and in batches.
Account for users’ ability to adjust to the new system (e.g., Slack), especially if they are still expected to use the old ones (e.g., Skype for Business Online’s applications) to communicate with colleagues, third parties, and other business stakeholders.
#3. Train staff on how to use the new tool
Regardless of whether you’re switching to a platform similar to the one you’re using now or one that’s entirely different, conduct training for your users.
For instance, replacing Skype for Business Online with Microsoft Teams may not present major usability issues since Skype and Teams have similar features. But if you’re moving from Skype to Slack, Chanty, Viber for Business, or other platforms, expect some hurdles. Unlike Skype, these are not fully integrated with an in-house productivity suite and may require extensive training especially for novel users.
It’s certain that users will encounter issues in using new messaging, video and voice calling, and file sharing apps. So get users’ feedback to lessen or avoid future issues.
#4. Consider security
When you switch to a new communication and file sharing suite, your IT department will tackle new sets of risks and threats. Microsoft Office 365, Slack, and Google G Suite come with their own specific risks and threats, so it’s imperative to install defense systems that will safeguard your new tool.
For example, if you’re moving from Skype for Business Online to Slack, there are security risks you must consider. Slack had bugs that would have allowed cybercriminals to take over accounts and access archives. And although moving to Teams seems like the logical next step after Skype for Business Online, there are still security and compliance issues that you’ll need to cover.
And then there’s human error: employees unfamiliar with any new system may easily fall prey to new threats.
Related article: Why security awareness training is important for your business
#5. Seek experts’ assistance
Migration tasks and responsibilities will fall to your IT staff who may also need to familiarize themselves with the new system while handling day-to-day IT tasks. Disruptions are inevitable. When you partner with an IT solutions provider, you get expert help integrating new technology into your organization. Much-needed outside expertise will take the load off your IT personnel’s hands, aid in training and orienting your users, and fix possible problems.
If your small- or medium-sized business in Hanover, Morristown, or Madison needs a managed services provider that can help you ease into a new collaboration tool, get in touch with our computer services providers now.
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