Authored by Magnus Eldevik, NTT Communications and John Faria, Arkadin

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably considering an upgrade to Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft are certainly encouraging customers in that direction by not selling Skype for Business Online to customers with fewer than 500 users, and by automatically upgrading some of their smaller customers to Microsoft Teams.

The obvious questions in the mind of IT leaders are:

  • Should we consider the move to Microsoft Teams?
  • If so, how and when do we start to plan for it?
  • What are the pitfalls?

At NTT we’ve been taking customers on the journey to Microsoft Teams since it was launched. We recommend a four stage process:

  1. Developing a business case
  2. Assessing your readiness for Microsoft Teams
  3. Planning your upgrade
  4. Delivering your upgrade to your end users

In this series of articles we’ll take a deep dive into each of these stages, and introduce the key points you need to consider to upgrade to Microsoft Teams. With this first article we’ll start at the beginning: Building a Business Case.

Every project needs a business case and a Microsoft Teams upgrade is no different. Like any UC technology, just putting it out there doesn’t lead to adoption. If you’re going to invest in moving to Microsoft Teams though, you need to be sure you are going to see a return on investment. Fortunately, there are many business benefits to migrating to Microsoft Teams and you can look at some or all of these when building your business case.

Here are four standout business drivers for the upgrade to Microsoft Teams:

1. Reduce Costs

Naturally if you want to reduce costs you need to know what you’re spending today. Look at the costs of hosting and managing servers, software licensing, your existing web conferencing or audio conferencing costs, and your telephony charges.

The transformation to Unified Communications enables businesses to communicate among geographically dispersed locations without long distance call charges while reducing the complexity and cost of maintaining traditional PBX solutions. Unlimited audio, video, and web conferencing help to reduce travel costs as well as the cost of third-party conferencing solutions. Furthermore, if you’ve already made the investment in the Microsoft cloud and have either E3 or E5 licenses, you already have a subscription to Microsoft Teams included.

2. Cyber Security

Cyber security is now a key part of every IT strategy, and any unified communications service needs to meet the privacy and compliance requirements of your organization. Microsoft Teams enforces team-wide and organization-wide two-factor authentication, single sign-on through Active Directory, and encryption of data in transit and at rest. It has built-in security, encryption and archiving, along with Office 365 industry-leading compliance commitments that are enabled by default.

The traditional concerns of the cloud being less secure than on-premises, no longer apply. In fact, the cloud is often more secure than the IT infrastructures of most companies by now.