A Finance Exec View of Microsoft Teams and Skype

Thought I’d share a recent experience that I feel is indicative of the market acceptance of Microsoft Teams and the direction it’s going, especially if you’re new to Office 365.

Recently I’ve been advising a niche investment management firm on their journey to Microsoft cloud communications – consulting on business value, ROI and roll-out costs with their CTO and exploring meeting room solutions as an initial step towards value. Our plan was anchored in replacing the hosted VoIP system with Office 365 Phone System and Skype for Business Online. In parallel, the internal IT team were enabling Office 365 for the first time for analysts, advisers and managers.

Then an interesting thing happened. As the roll-out of Office 365 has been gaining momentum with the migration of email, a subset of executives have discovered Microsoft Teams and started trying it out. This initial dip of the toe in the water has led to Teams being used for their board meetings, which I’m really impressed by. In addition, previously an all-hands call would be run at the start of the week with files shared over email and a PSTN dial-in conference setup. Since the advent of Teams, that event has moved to a dedicated Teams channel where relevant files and notes are shared with attendees and an audio/video meeting runs when the call is scheduled. Truly a great example of rapid innovation on the platform driven by the business.

This firm still have some life left in their hosted VoIP solution (it’s not up for renewal or causing any business problems), so it’s likely they’ll put their Skype deployment on hold and wait until the voice features in Microsoft Teams mature later this year, then roll Teams out off the back of the success in the business already. A smart move to leverage goodwill, quick wins and confidence in the tech.

Microsoft Teams has been a quantum leap for them culturally and they’ve embraced it completely. It’s really interesting and positive to see the value Teams is bringing for organisations brand new to Office 365 in different industries and how simple it is for people to start using it.

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