A Comprehensive Guide on Moving Users From Skype To Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is making it simpler for organizations to bring their workers together, hold conversations and organize live voice and video meetings, and share content under one platform. Teams also allows people to work on other apps including Skype right within the Microsoft Teams app. Recently, Teams has become a very powerful corporate chat-based application that is gradually taking the place of other applications including Skype for Business.

Organizations that still depend on Skype for Business are considering a switch to Microsoft Teams for a whole lots of additional features and without sacrificing any feature of the Skype for Business. If you have decided to migrate from Skype to Microsoft Teams, following these steps and guidelines would make the transition comfortable for you to achieve.

1. Identify Groups of Users for Upgrade

Often time, organizations may decide to upgrade their organizations in success waves of users. It is important to first identify these users in order to make it easy for you to search for them in the Microsoft Teams admin center. You can as well do this more efficiently using PowerShell as an alternative. After you might have identified the group of users for a particular upgrade wave, you can then proceed with the remaining steps.

2. Set Notification for the Users in the Current Upgrade (Optional)

Microsoft Teams admin center supports TeamsUpgradePolicy configuration for up to 20 users at once. If it is Microsoft Teams admin center you are using, you would be able to configure TeamsUpgradePolicy for up to 20 users at once. To do this, select ‘’Users’’ in the Microsoft Teams admin center and find and multi-select the checkbox for up to 20 users who should be upgraded. Then select ‘’Edit setting’’ located in the top left corner of the listview and change ‘’Notify the Skype for Business user’’ switch to ‘’On’’ in the ‘’Edit settings’’ pane located on the right, under ‘’Teams upgrade’’

3. Ensure you have Skype for Business (SfB) Server Hybrid with Skype Online

This is a requirement to fulfil before you can migrate users from Skype for Business (SfB) Server to Microsoft Teams. Apart from being a prerequisite to switch users from SfB Server to Teams, this will also make sure that Federation works perfectly and prevent Microsoft for automatically upgrading your Office 365 Tenant to ‘’Teams Only’’.

4. Choose Your Coexistence Mode

There used to be three modes that can be configured from the administration console (Islands Mode, Skype for Business Only and Teams Only). Islands Mode is the default mode for Skype for Business and Teams coexistence. Skype for Business Only mode allows users to only use Skype for Business, while in Teams Only mode, users are allowed to join only existing Skype for Business meetings or else, Teams must be used. 

However, there are now two additional modes that support for easy upgrade to Teams. The Skype for Business with Teams Collaboration mode which contains some features of Microsoft Teams including channels and access to files, and the Skype for Business with Teams Collaboration and Meetings mode, which allows organizations that depend on Skype for Business on-premise to benefit from all of the Teams features.

5. Get Out Of Islands Mode

If your organization want to consider mass adoption of Microsoft Teams, Islands is not a long term Coexistence or Interop mode for you. Any organization that is ready to commit some users to checking out Microsoft Teams as the unified client needs to first get out of Islands mode. You should also make other users use Skype as the unified client as well. You can set your tenant to a Skype Only mode and your pilot Teams users to Teams only. This will bring out more consistency when considering a change to user’s communication tools.

6. Set the Coexistence Mode for Users to Teams Only

When you are ready to upgrade to Microsoft Teams and want to start using it as your only application, you should set the coexistence mode to Teams Only for the users. You can configure TeamsUpgradePolicy for up to 20 users at once using the Microsoft Teams admin center. Select ‘’users’’ in the Microsoft Teams admin center and then select the checkbox for up to 20 users. 

Select ‘’Edit settings’’ located in the left top corner of the listview, and finally set the coexistence mode to ‘’Teams Only’’ in the drop-down list located in the ‘’Edit settings’’ pane on the right, under Teams upgrade section. Alternatively, upgrade to Teams Only can be done easily at once using PowerShell. 

7. Optimize Your Network

If you are using Skype for Business On-Premises, then the larger ratio of your Skype for Business traffic would be found on your WAN. Since Microsoft Teams is a public cloud solution, it is therefore essential for you to get your internet router optimized to carry Real Time Media from inside your network to Teams in Office 365. 

8. Roll Out to End Users

Once you have got your network optimized for Microsoft Teams and you have ensured that all your policies and processes are in order, the next step to take is to start rolling out Teams to users. Here, change and adoptions are important factors. To roll out to end users, you should follow the guidelines contain in the adoption hub to get the right tools to support your Teams rollout.

9. Switch from Skype Meetings to Teams Meetings

The best and easiest way to switch meetings from Skype to Teams is to enable ‘’Skype for Business with Teams Collaboration & Meetings’’ mode on a user by the user basis. Enabling this mode would allow organizations that depend on Skype for Business on-premise to take full advantage of all of the Teams features.

10. Configure Direct Routing or Phone System

People that use SfB as their phone system are most likely to have an SBC on-premises. They need to be able to route their telephone number to Office 365 in order to migrate a user to Teams Only mode. The best way to go about this is to contact your SBC vendor or IT Service Provider to learn about how to connect to Direct Routing. Direct Routing gives ultimate control to the users. With Direct Routing, you will be able to move individual DDIs to Microsoft Teams, comfortable roll back and keep your existing Telco provider. Once you have every of your users moved to Teams Only mode and you can provide solutions for any complex voice requirements, you are allowed to decommission your Skype for Business Server.

If you want to move users from Skype to Microsoft Teams, then you should follow these steps and guidelines. They would help you a long way to upgrade the users in the current wave to use Teams as their only application.

Published 08/23/19