The Road to the New Normal with MS Teams (Creating a UC Ecosystem that Works)

It our recent webinar, hosted in partnership with Microsoft and Crestron, we learnt about Microsoft Teams Across the Workflow, and we now know how Microsoft are transforming the meeting space.

We also heard from Crestron about the best hardware and technology out there to enable Microsoft Teams Across the Workspace.

But, how do you get there?

The eventual goal is to create an ecosystem that works, but what are the realities a service owner may face? What do you do if things go wrong?

Not every deployment is a 100% green field, there’s a lot of sunk investment still out there in other technologies and assets to consider. There will always be exceptions and some variations between one customers journey to the next.

So we are going to look at three common scenarios we are seeing a lot at the moment.

Part One

We are at various stages across all these examples now with clients and all with the common goal of migrating fully to MS Teams, just with some different and some the same milestones along the way.

Each is aiming for the same destination, from start from quite different points and undertakes different journeys.

‘The Accelerated Migration…’

For this example, we are using a fictional Healthcare organisation. They have rolled out Teams quickly to cope with demand for collaboration and they require their meeting spaces to work with Teams natively.

  • SFB to M365 and Teams
  • Rapid Deployment
  • Could be Green field or 'rip and replace' approach to meeting space or specifically application driven

The New Normal has meant that Teams is engrained into their way of working.  Teams Across the Workflow has happened. Teams Across the Workspace must reflect this and fast.

 

‘The Collaboration Coexistence Conundrum…’

Our example Legal firm may need to connect to courts and/or engage with other firms using other tools and private rooms and secure platforms are an important part of this.

Lawyers working on a case will have a need to be physically present at times and with their client whom they are representing.

As a result, they are starting with a mixed UC estate using multiple video and collaboration platforms, spread amongst teams and offices, both internal and for 3rd party use.

The ‘New Normal’ has brought a greater reliance on collaboration tools but they now need to consolidate into a single platform, but still co-exist with others so that everyone can collaborate seamlessly.

 

‘The Long Game…’

Using a Bank for this example, we can assume that they are highly secure and locked down environments but with all the same challenges as the others we have looked at. Call centre staff may be conducting video consultations from home.

  • Accelerated to Teams, but the rooms have been left behind.
  • Incompatible, expensive legacy equipment.
  • Reduced budget or sunk investment means that these meeting spaces need to work well with Teams, (i.e. they are not going away overnight!)
  • Retain as much legacy hardware as possible to manage costs and get to that native Teams experience everywhere but over a longer time.
Part Two

Some of the milestone challenges will be common across all three examples.

‘The Accelerated Migration…’

  • Time is of the essence
  • Many MTR’s to choose from and a huge range of options
  • Fast changing technology, ensuring meeting spaces work now, and are future proofed.
  • Ensuring staff embrace change quickly, adopt the new tools and can connect easily
  • Staff can connect and collaborate wherever they are working from, or from whatever meeting space they are in.
  • How do you support this ecosystem?

 

‘The Collaboration Coexistence Conundrum…’

  • A lot of Known unknowns.
  • 3rd parties…could be on anything.
  • Line of business requirement.
  • Organisations want different but the same. It is vital to provide a seamless workflow experience for everyone and the same level of support.
  • Executive demands.

‘The Long Game…’

  • Meeting spaces need to work flawlessly with Microsoft Teams whilst protecting legacy Investment.
  • Some meeting spaces may only have been installed recently.
  • Call control, directory services, firewall traversal, management may all be delivered currently on-prem.
  • Security – ISO 27001 (information security) is a request we get a lot.
  • Ongoing support.
Part Three

Now we move onto the results, the target goals are:

  • Microsoft Teams as the primary platform.
  • Protect reputation of IT and investments made.
  • Fully interoperable with external platforms and any legacy internal platforms.
  • Flexibility during uncertainty.
  • Reliable ongoing support.

 

‘The Accelerated Migration’

To Smoothly migrate to Teams at the desktop and in the room for a native experience, Our Healthcare example got there quickly and with an independent support partner, they achieved their objectives across their entire Ecosystem.

 

‘The Collaboration Coexistence Conundrum’

With our Legal example, they achieved the same native teams experience but with a robust BYOD policy. We’ve learnt that flexibility comes with capability and that Microsoft does play nice and can use Teams Guest Join Access for other services.

‘The Long Game’

And finally, our Financial services opted for a CVI (Cloud Video Interop), or even Private Cloud Video Interop which will enable standards based to work with Teams

Now they can call-control in the cloud (or private cloud) and remove expensive infrastructure if they have not already. They have the benefits of Firewall traversal & trusted device registration, one-touch-join with a ‘big green button’ across both standards-based meeting spaces and MTRs (Microsoft Teams Rooms).

In conclusion

Each of our examples ended up at the same destination, from started from very different points and were steering along the way by very different objectives and business requirements. In each case, working with a trusted UC partner like Videocall helps each to achieve their desired outcome, keep their organisation flexible and equipped to deal with the new normal and support their business-critical UC eco-system to maintain a reliable service.

 

This excerpt was taken from our recent webinar, “Returning to the Office with Microsoft Teams”. You can find out more and watch the full webinar here.

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