There’s no doubt Microsoft Teams is gaining a lot of momentum and becoming a core part of many organizations’ communications and collaboration strategy. Irwin Lazar and his team at Nemertes have been looking at the team collaboration space for over three years now, and the firm's latest "Best Practices for Deploying Microsoft Teams with Video" research found some interesting growth numbers.
To start, where in 2017 only 19% of organizations were using team collaboration (mostly in small groups, such as IT and app developers downloading and testing it out before growing it exponentially), by mid-2019 almost 23% of participants had deployed it enterprise wide—with 23 to 24% planning to deploy by end of 2020.
And while many companies have yet to implement team collaboration solutions, Nemertes is starting to see some clear success measures for companies that have. Those companies:
- Have a user awareness and adoption program to encourage the use of VC within the organization
- Measure Utilization (Room + Desktop)
- Have High Utilization of Room Systems
- Use the Same Videoconferencing Provider Across All Meeting Room Types
- Use Dedicated Room Systems in Small Rooms
- Use Cloud-Based Videoconferencing Services
- Offer High Quality Desktop Experiences
Most organizations with lots of existing room systems don’t necessarily want to have to go in and revamp all of those rooms in order to integrate them into the Microsoft ecosystem so that they're enabled for a Teams meeting.
As such, many organizations are turning to interoperability services like the BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams. In fact, Irwin's research found that 50% of organizations are already using—or planning to use—such services to join Teams meetings using existing room systems and then manage the room from an end-to-end standpoint through meeting analytics.
Irwin recently joined BlueJeans for the first installment of a three-part webinar series to discuss his research findings and answer attendee questions related to Teams. Here are some of the questions participants had during the "Best Practices for Deploying Microsoft Teams with Video" webinar:
Q: Have you seen a difference in Teams deployment times and adoption when enabling vide upfront vs. later on?
IL: Our research has found that most organizations start with Teams as a chat application (replacing instant message or a Skye for Business replacement) to have the ability to have persistent chat spaces and set up channels to integrate data, etc. From there, they start thinking about how to integrate with meetings applications. That's when we see Teams meetings starting to gain a lot of momentum in the Microsoft user community—when they start looking at integrating video.
Q: Have you seen companies do a big bang cutover from Skype to Business to Teams? Or is it a gradual migration process?
IL: It really depends on the company. Smaller companies (a few thousand seats) can do a big bang cutover. It can be disruptive for companies though and require a lot of upfront training to ensure you don’t lose conversations. For this reason, larger companies tend to transition business unit by business unit. It also tends to be slower for companies transitioning from on premise to cloud migrations.
Q: For Microsoft Teams, do you usually see large orgs go enterprise wide? Or in phases?
IL: Microsoft shops typically have at least back office deployments on an enterprise-wide basis—possibly not for frontline and field workers, but we're seeing a pretty enterprise top down approach versus freemium software out there that tends to be more bottom up.
Q: Does Teams adoption vary on rooms size?
IL: What we’ve seen historically is video is still largely the domain of a medium (5-10 participants) to larger size meeting room (10 people+). As organizations are rolling out video, the huddle/small space, while a fast growing area, may not have as large of an existing install base. So things like a Gateway service are mainly going to be focused on integrating those existing room systems into the Microsoft environment.
Q: What kind of suggestions do you have to increase adoption among users?
IL: Do some work upfront to explain to people what Teams is and how team collaboration changes the nature of collaboration. Biggest challenge is often getting senior leadership to use it. Selling the “why is this better than email or IM” use case will be important.
Ultimately, those organizations (and leaders) that view Teams as a hub for work tend to have much higher gains in productivity, while reducing their email volumes and meetings. Being able to make status updates within the Teams integration workflow makes work more efficient, and being able to utilize existing room system equipment to unleash a Teams meeting means valuable time and resources saved.