Microsoft Teams is radically transforming teamwork as we know it by introducing a sleek platform which integrates popular office 365 apps with audio, web, video conferencing features for seamless collaboration. Since its launch in March 2017, there are 200,000 organisations and nearly 70% of Skype for Business enterprise customers using Teams.
Adopting Microsoft Teams signals a dramatic transition towards a more digitally-savvy workplace and requires a significant culture change throughout your organisation. Therefore, building an effective business case to validate c-level sign off, with compelling evidence and ROI projections is essential.
Consider these key enabling steps in order to build a business case for introducing Microsoft Teams.
Knowing your organisation’s current state of communications
Before approaching IT decision makers, it’s key that you understand exactly how your system for communication is currently organised, how old it is, the user experience and what the main issues with it are. Consider how this setup works with current workplace trends such as flexible working hours and bring your own device policies and what the main shortcomings are.
Is your business able to connect effectively from department to department or does communication sometimes become slow or bottleneck? Draw up a list of key capabilities that your collaboration solution needs to have to make your communications more efficient.
Considering what other solutions are out there
It is important to understand what other solutions are available before putting forward a business case for Microsoft Teams as the best option for your business. Microsoft Teams was released as a direct competitor to Slack, which since its launch in 2013 has been a key player in office communications with its chatroom structure and organised platform.
In just one year, Teams has become a popular alternative for businesses with an Office 365 business subscription and Microsoft has made updates to ensure it keeps up with its rival. Familiarise yourself with your options to ensure that your decisions are informed and that the software you choose is an intuitive communication option for your business.
Communicating the expected benefits of Microsoft Teams
It is crucial to be clear on the benefits of your new technological solution and how this could directly affect the way your business works so you can communicate these to c-levels effectively. Could productivity be improved with the real-time chat software of Teams instead of waiting for updates to come via e-mail or conversations splitting into different email threads? How could employees benefit from a Skype functionality, the easy integration of third parties and everything being together in one platform?
Consider how Teams can bring benefits to the business as a whole, such as reducing the risk of data leaks with Microsoft’s compliance and security audit functionality, that can give your organisation an edge over competitors. Teams also has the ability to be integrated with bots and artificial intelligence (AI) tools which will considerable increase user productivity, and therefore improving ROI. This will help senior stakeholders to understand the wider benefits.
Planning how it will be implemented properly
Providing stakeholders with a plan for implementation is essential to help them understand the process and minimise any concerns regarding disruption. Have a comprehensive plan that covers how you will get employees on board, who will manage the change, the types of training and resources that are required and how this may affect different departments. This will provide stakeholders will everything they need to understand what is required for the project to be successful.
Keep in touch with users to manage expectations as this will help drive adoption and iron out any problems as they arise. Consider scenarios specific to your business that may occur in the process to anticipate any issues that your stakeholders may foresee and have firm back up plans for if the project overruns or hits an obstacle during implementation.
Consider how much this will cost
A common pain point among stakeholders about investing in new technology systems such as Microsoft Teams is cost and whether the ROI will justify the initial expenditure.
Ensure that you have a clear outline of the costs of your technology solution, familiarise yourself with Microsoft Teams pricing packages, including whether you are already paying an annual Microsoft subscription.
Learn how Arkadin can complement your Microsoft Teams implementation with global calling plans and cloud transformation services.
Benoit Grosso is Arkadin's sales director for Unified Communications