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Part 2: How to Accelerate Microsoft Teams Adoption

This week, I had the chance to sit down and co-host a “How to Accelerate Microsoft Teams Adoption” webinar in NAM, EMEA and APAC webinar with one of our key partners, Peter Bean with SHI. Peter is a senior video solutions architect with years of experience helping companies with their Microsoft solution implementation and is considered one of the key subject matter experts at SHI for Microsoft Teams.

As the second webinar in a three-part series, Peter and I broke down the fundamentals for how to think about a plan to increase overall Teams adoption [also see: Nemertes' Best Practices for Deploying Microsoft Teams with Video].

One of the key takeaways from this webinar is that Teams deployments cannot be considered in the same vein as any other software deployment or technology migration.

The desktop workflow that we use every day is ingrained in who we are. These workflows are sacred to us even if we don’t know it - how we open an email, how we make a phone call, how we save a file. These things are core to how we work. With Teams, how we do some of these things will change,” says Peter.

For this reason, he believes it’s essential to look at a Microsoft Teams roll-out as a culture shift, with those in charge of deploying Teams considering the culture of their organization and approaching the transition from the point of view of their users. To address the culture shift, organizations should ask themselves three questions:  

  1. What matters to your users?
  2. What workflows do your users care about?
  3. What disruption are you causing with this new way of working?

The key is to highlight how users stand to benefit from Teams and the productivity gains that it can provide. Like with any new technology, Peter recommends creating “wow” moments for users, so they see the value and feel the delight of the solution. While a technical roll-out plan is vital—and Microsoft has a lot of supporting assets to help with that—presenting user stories in a logical and sequential manner to the users while, highlighting the benefits they will get, is essential to achieve success.

Another key to success? Involving senior leadership from the start. When senior leaders use Teams to collaborate at work, others in the group follow.

A successful Teams rollout plan includes thinking through how to make room systems work with Teams meetings. Making sure users can use their conference rooms with Teams meetings is essential for adoption because people are familiar with their room systems. It also helps the protect hardware investment that companies have made to equip their room systems. Using a cloud video interop solution like our BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams allows them to easily connect their room systems with Teams meetings.

The BlueJeans Gateway solution lets organizations avoid ripping and replacing their conference room hardware. As a certified Microsoft Partner, BlueJeans has a long history of creating interoperability solutions with Microsoft’s platforms. With BlueJeans Gateway, customers can connect any SIP or H.323 room systems. Gateway also enables sharing HD video and content and the scheduling of rooms through Teams or Exchange. As a SaaS-based solution built on Azure, with the Gateway customers can infinitely scale whenever capacity requirements increase without extensive planning or disruptions. Additionally, the BlueJeans Gateway comes with features such as automatic updates, global failovers and load balancing built into the solution and price—with no additional virtual machines to manage [see: KelCor review here].

Looking for ways to measure success? With BlueJeans Command Center, administrators can see live and historical meeting data and room analytics from endpoints connected through the BlueJeans Gateway. Therefore, Command Center provides an additional tool to evaluate and understand Teams adoption challenges.

For those getting ready to rollout Teams, Partners like SHI have a multitude of resources to help organizations. They can help create an envisioning plan to create the ideal rollout scenario and to avoid common mistakes. The professional services they provide also include deployment support like network assessments, conference room setups, interoperability, Gateway, adoption and training services needed for a successful Teams deployment.

At BlueJeans, we also take onboarding very seriously, because we understand how important the post-sale experience (onboarding, support, training) is to customers. Having worked across customer success, operations and onboarding for almost a decade now, I know firsthand the intricacies that customers face when ramping up a new technology. Outside of offering a dedicated team to help every step of the way, the BlueJeans' Support Page provides resources to customers to help with their Teams Gateway adoption.

Here’s a glimpse of the support my team provides—It starts with a BlueJeans onboarding program manager who works with the customer on their goals for the rollout. From there, we’ll deliver technical support throughout the deployment and a customer success manager post-deployment, as well as technical resources throughout. Everyone at BlueJeans is committed to the relationship to make sure the organization is successful in meeting their adoption goals.

If you missed my webinar with Peter, or still have some lingering questions about rolling out the BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams, be sure to watch recording here. In the meantime, here’s a snapshot of the questions we got from this week’s webinar [summarized]:

Q. What are some of the differences between the different Cloud Video Interop providers?
PB: Working at SHI, I talk about all three providers. There are two ways to look at this – the end user side and the IT and procurement side. The user experience is somewhat similar when you have one-touch join. People walk in and you push a button and join a meeting. But how that’s set up for end users is very different in the background. It’s what you do to get it up and running that is different. Naho mentioned it took 36 minutes to deploy BlueJeans Gateway. It typically takes me an hour or an hour and a half with BlueJeans Gateway. With competitors, often call-controls, registration, installation need to be purchased which add cost, add complexity and add work. Also make sure you look at the roadmaps of these providers. BlueJeans has some exciting things coming up in their roadmap. For pricing models, BlueJeans offers are far more flexible with three plans – named user, concurrent port and enterprise license. When I am doing cost analysis for my customers, we typically see BlueJeans providing some of the best prices.

Q. What are some of the common hurdles that are getting in the way of a seamless Teams adoption that you have seen?  
PB: The top ones that come up are things that do not work. It creates the watercooler effect. That’s why I recommend not to away the things that users are used to too soon. Conference rooms come up all the time. Those are big investments. It’s also hard to find the budget to replace all meeting rooms with new hardware. That can delay a lot of deployments and that’s when they try to learn about CVI. However, number one is fear of changing how people work. That is why taking the human approach that I’ve talked about in this webinar is so important.

Q. How do I add BlueJeans Gateway to my environment?
NB: The deployment will involve inviting the Microsoft tenant admin in a quick call with BlueJeans and running a few PowerShell commands. There will be an integration with your Microsoft Exchange so that you can book meetings using Outlook add-in, and this will also ensure the meetings show up on your native endpoints.

Contact us to learn more about BlueJeans Gateway for Teams and join us again in October to participate in the last installment of this three-part webinar series for a deep-dive on Teams and the BlueJeans Gateway!

You can also try the BlueJeans Gateway for free for a limited time today!