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Migrating to Microsoft Teams from a PBX

Mike Hanks
March 1, 2019

For years, maybe even decades at this point, you’ve relied on a legacy PBX phone system for connecting your business phones. It’s seen you through all your company’s trials and tribulations and was the top of its class when you first got it. Sadly, the old phone system has run its course. It’s time to upgrade from your old PBX system to a real-time collaborative environment by migrating to Microsoft Teams

Why you Should Consider Migrating to Microsoft Teams

This kind of change is a big deal. You’re about to eschew your old business phones for something entirely new, and that can be intimidating. Choosing which solution is best for your organization is even more so.

While you won’t get the same features on this new system, you’ll find a whole new communication methodology to meet the demands of new technology in the modern world on Office 365 with Microsoft Teams. This solution includes chat, calls, specialized conversations, meetings, app integration, file storage, and file sharing that monitors who accessed what and when. 

Collaboration is key, and while your old system allowed for that in the past, migrating to Teams will only make it better. PBX systems may have come with features such as conference calls and extensions, but Teams makes conferencing easier and more efficient. In the modern workplace, it’s common for an individual to be on multiple teams. With older systems, it can be difficult to manage information pertaining to these different teams and their tasks. One of the core services of Microsoft Teams is an easy way to set up different channels for each team. This provides access to calls and chat, as well as specific conversation threads that keep any chatting on a particular subject carefully organized and in one readable space. To top it off, Teams offers intuitive scheduling, planning, file sharing, and note-taking for meetings. All it takes is a few clicks and your team can have an effective video conference. 

With Microsoft’s announcement of voice capabilities for the platform, there has been a growing buzz about a key technology that will help businesses adopt Teams: Microsoft Calling Plan & Direct Routing.

If you still think moving to Microsoft Teams sounds daunting, picture the following scenario.

A Day in the Life of a Microsoft Teams User

Let’s say you’ve woken up ready to get to work, but someone on your team has an important question they need to be answered as soon as possible. Fortunately, with the Microsoft Teams smartphone app, you can answer that question easily before the day has even begun. Now that the workday has started in earnest, let’s say you have to review important files with your team. No need for anyone to troll through emails to find the necessary attachments, as Teams allows you and your team to keep your important files organized and easily accessible. Is today the day for that important meeting? Even if you almost forgot, count yourself lucky, because either you or someone else on your team scheduled it already, and you’ll receive a notification as soon as it starts. No need to worry about being late. One-click and you’ll be able to join in on the call. Is your team scattered to the four winds? Maybe you have team members on an important trip, vacation with their family, or working remotely. Whether you have people in the Pacific Northwest or North Africa, you’ll be able to hold your crucial conference with little difficulty and with no extra cost.



Coexistence with Skype for Business 

When it comes to UC (Unified Communications), Teams is a very useful solution, but it’s not the only option that Office 365 has to offer. Skype for Business includes many of the same features as Teams, though it lacks the collaborative features that Teams provides. For one reason or another, some businesses choose Skype for Business over Teams. Fortunately, when it comes to your unified communications, it doesn’t have to be either/or.

Microsoft has a system in place called “Coexistence Mode” that allows for a customer to run both Skype and Teams. “Mode” consists not of one, but five different individual modes that vary in features. This includes “islands,” which allows the user to test both clients. Also included is “Skype only” and “Teams only”, which features one solution respectively. Two other modes include Skype with extra Teams functions. One mode includes collaborative features and the other mode offers both “collaboration” and “meetings”. Of course, it warrants mentioning that while your options are open, the end goal of “Mode” is to transition from using Skype for Business to using Teams.

Skype for Business might seem less intimidating than Teams, and therefore a good choice for your business, but bear in mind that Microsoft has recently announced end of life for Skype for Business Online. Office 365 users are currently being onboarded to Teams, whether they actively use Skype or not. This is no cause for concern for current Skype users, however, as on-premises servers will continue working unhindered. Nevertheless, for a prospective user, this might be a good reason to cut out the middle man entirely and jump straight into Teams. 

Change can be a frightening thing, and it’s rarely ever easy, but upgrading to Microsoft Teams can work wonders for your business. The age of PBX systems is over, and the era of Unified Communications is now.

Skype for Business End of Life

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