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September 15, 2020

Migrating to Microsoft Teams from Slack, Skype for Business or G Suite

Are you ready to migrate to Microsoft Teams from Slack, G Suite or Skype for Business? If you’re currently invested in Microsoft Office 365 or have simply realized the benefits of using a secure all-in-one collaboration platform, you’re probably wondering what’s involved in migrating to Microsoft Teams.

While there are a ton of great reasons to move to Microsoft Teams (that we’re going to tell you about shortly), there are a few hurdles to consider before taking the leap. To help set expectations and ensure you have everything you need to succeed in a new environment, we have outlined how to move to Microsoft Teams from three of the most popular communications tools.

Microsoft Teams Migration from Slack, G Suite or Skype
Image: Microsoft Teams across mobile & desktop.

Why Migrate from Slack, Skype for Business or G Suite to Microsoft Teams?

Digital workspaces, video meetings, and instant messaging are not new concepts. Every business is using some form of digital communications tool to improve collaboration across departments and increase employee engagement. The trouble is, most of the popular apps we are familiar with do not provide the level of integration, flexibility, and security that we need to do business in today’s remote world.    

Enter Microsoft Teams. It’s not just Microsoft’s default solution or the replacement to Skype for Business – it’s filling a gap that exists in all real-time collaboration tools. One of the biggest reasons why Microsoft Teams has over 75 million users and counting is because it’s more than a chat hub that exists separately from the rest of your business. Microsoft Teams is a cohesive solution that brings together employees, content, and business apps in an easy-to-use and highly intuitive platform.

Microsoft Teams seamlessly integrates with Office 365. It connects video chat, instant messaging, email, document collaboration, and cloud storage solutions in one place to improve the way your employees work every day. Working with just one solution to set up meetings, manage tasks, exchange files, and connect with other members of your team, your entire organization is able to stay focused and in the loop. Unlike other collaboration tools that sit outside of your core business systems, Microsoft Teams makes every conversation, meeting, and file instantly accessible (and searchable) at all times.

How to Migrate Microsoft Teams from Another Collaboration Tool

With a familiar user interface, seamless integration with other Microsoft tools, and continuous improvement happening every day, it’s no wonder organizations are jumping ship from other communications apps and adopting Microsoft Teams. Once you have decided to move to Microsoft Teams from another system, the next step requires some planning.

If this is your first glimpse into the world of collaboration software, your Microsoft Teams journey is relatively simple and straightforward. In fact, you can skip the rest of this article and get focused on usage, adoption, and governance. The likely scenario is that you are currently running one of the three widespread business communications tools and are trying to figure out the best way to transfer your people, messages, files, and apps.   

While Slack, G Suite, and Skype for Business have similar functionalities, there is more to the process of migrating to Microsoft Teams than meets the eye. Moving to a new technology is a significant change for your employees and requires essential planning, customization, and training to adopt the new system successfully.

The first step in your migration project is to decide what information you need to keep. The migration process for Slack is different from G Suite and Skype for Business, so we have provided further details and useful links on migrating data to help you understand what is involved in the move to Microsoft Teams.

Migrating from Slack to Microsoft Teams

How To Microsoft Teams - Move to Microsoft Teams from Slack
Image: Slack across mobile and desktop.

Slack is one of the original digital real-time messaging applications that has transformed teamwork collaboration as we know it. Although migrating from Slack to Microsoft Teams is possible, the level of complexity depends on what data you are bringing over. Here are some of the steps that you will need to consider in your Slack to Microsoft Teams migration plan:     

  1. Microsoft Teams Structure Setup
    The first issue is that Slack “Channels” are known as “Teams” in Microsoft Teams. While they provide a comparable experience, you still have to map your Slack channels and upload them to Microsoft Teams when setting up your structure.    
  2. Conversation Migration 
    The same direct message functionality in Slack is available in Microsoft Teams. To migrate, you will need to convert all Slack conversation threads into HTML, upload your files into the document library, and then move your data into SharePoint to be accessed via Microsoft Teams.
  3. File Migration
    Outside of chat logs, there may be other files you want to bring over to Microsoft Teams. You can upload the files onto SharePoint, but there are a few limitations and risks to keep in mind. Microsoft Teams does not preserve timestamps or track who created the channel, and it doesn’t retain authorship information or support threaded chat with assigned users. In this case, you will have to upload Slack posts as HTML content and post to Microsoft Teams as “root content.”
  4. App Migration 
    Microsoft Teams supports external plugins from third-party companies, just like Slack, but they don’t host all the same apps. You will need to search the built-in apps in Microsoft Teams however, you may have to settle with what is available. 

Once you have set up your Microsoft Teams structure, exported your content from Slack, and uploaded it into Microsoft Teams or SharePoint, you can add your users with the appropriate permissions. There are some beneficial Microsoft Teams training videos that can help you get started with the basics. The video below shows you how to create a team, add people and add channels.

While Slack and Microsoft Teams have some crossover in functionality, there is a lot for your users and administrators to learn about optimizing the software and taking advantage of its full capabilities. Before you get lost in the sea of Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online sites, there are experts and software, like Orchestry, here to help you quickly and easily adopt Microsoft Teams.

Migrating from G Suite to Microsoft Teams

G Suite to Microsoft Teams - How to Microsoft Teams
Image: Applications available in G Suite.

In order to migrate from G Suite to Microsoft Teams, you have to move your G Suite Drive files to Microsoft 365. The video below shares a step-by-step guide on how to do this, including how to save your compressed files in Microsoft OneDrive.

Even though Office 365 has similar functionality to G Suite and the physical migration to Microsoft Teams might not seem all that labour-intensive, making the switch requires a considerable amount of planning, training, and change management. In order for your organization to use Microsoft Teams effectively, your users need to know how to email, exchange files, co-author a document, and everything else that Microsoft Teams has to offer.

One of the major challenges for G Suite users will be getting used to Microsoft’s approach to desktop, web, and mobile apps. Coming from Google where every business app is web-only, this is once again a distinct change in the way a company is used to sharing information, hosting meetings, and communicating online. The best way to adapt to change is to be prepared.

Migrating to Microsoft Teams from Skype

Migrating from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams

Whether you are using Skype for Business Online or a Skype for Business on-premises environment, Microsoft has created an upgrade guide to ease the transition. Recognizing that it’s not just a technical upgrade, but a complete transformation of how your users will communicate and collaborate, Microsoft has included a step-by-step framework on bringing together project stakeholders, defining the project, assessing technical and user readiness, deployment, and maximizing business value post-implementation.

Due to the fact that Skype for Business is being retired on July 21st, 2021 and will no longer be supported by Microsoft, it’s important to get started as soon as possible. You can manage your users’ migration all the way to their subsequent upgrade by slowly introducing them to new features and functions. Users can run Microsoft Teams alongside Skype for Business as two separate solutions by default, so they get accustomed to the similar and overlapping capabilities on their own time. 

For more details on the upgrade process, read about Accenture’s migration from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is now deployed across the global company of more than 500,000 people, enabling them to communicate, collaborate, and interact effectively from anywhere. 

Are You Ready to Make the Move to Microsoft Teams?

While all of these migration paths differ slightly, there is one common denominator: change management. Microsoft Teams is powerful but can be overwhelming in its’ setup, features, and functions. With so many tools and applications at your fingertips, it is a challenge for people who are familiar with other technology to hit the ground running with Microsoft Teams. The only way you can successfully adopt and use Microsoft Teams to its fullest is by taking the steps required to get your people up to speed and start embracing the software.

At Orchestry, we believe that simplifying the Microsoft 365 experience for both users and administrators is essential to driving usage and adoption. We offer a balanced platform composed of adoption tools, engaging templates, intelligence workspace governance, controlled provisioning, and empowering self-service to help you on your journey to Microsoft Teams mastery. Built by a seasoned team of Office 365 Architects and SharePoint MVPs, you can trust us to help you efficiently implement, customize, and manage your Microsoft Teams solution.

To discover how Orchestry can help you start making work simple in Microsoft Teams, contact our team or start your free access today!

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