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How IT Pros Can Improve Their Command of Microsoft Teams Migration

By David Mills, BitTitan director of product management

It's no secret that adoption rates for Microsoft's unified communications platform, Microsoft Teams, are exploding. Earlier this year, Microsoft reported Teams has more than 13 million daily users and over 19 million weekly users, exceeding Slack's recently reported adoption figure of 12 million daily active users.

Contributing to Teams' surging adoption rate is the upswing in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. In Deloitte's 2019 report on M&A trends, corporate and private equity executives indicated they anticipated an "acceleration of deal flow" that would "extend several years of record M&A activity," with 79 percent of respondents expecting an increase in the average number of deals over the course of the next 12 months.

While the combination of these factors has led to increased Teams adoption, IT professionals have struggled to keep up to adequately handle migrating Teams instances. Part of this is because Teams is comprised of many different parts, making the migration a difficult undertaking. There are Teams, channels, conversations and permissions that need to be migrated, as well as an underlying SharePoint site and folder structure that needs to be moved. Additionally, Microsoft currently doesn't offer full fidelity of migrations with their Teams API. Partner organizations and migration tools must rely on the capabilities of Microsoft's Graph API and SharePoint API when conducting these migrations. This leaves much room for improvement for the migration tools on the market.

A More Structured Approach to Migration

As IT professionals look for tools to migrate Teams, they fortunately have capable options. Earlier this year, BitTitan unveiled Teams migration capabilities in MigrationWiz, a fully automated SaaS solution for mailbox, document and public-folder migrations. These capabilities allow IT professionals to migrate a Teams instance and the individual components within that instance, including Teams, channels, conversations, permissions and files. They were among the first to support tenant-to-tenant migration for Teams with good fidelity of conversations at the Destination. Since releasing Teams migration capabilities, BitTitan has integrated feedback from partners to continue prioritizing and rolling out enhancements for this feature.

There are several common scenarios that challenge IT professionals when migrating Teams. One example is migrating instances of Teams in a merger of two companies, where two separate instances of Teams exist, but may share the same names. Not detecting and properly dealing with this situation can lead to extended downtime for customers and end users. These conflicts must be appropriately evaluated with plans to resolve prior to the start of the migration.

IT professionals using MigrationWiz can also conduct a pre-migration assessment to determine the aspects of a project like the number of Teams to migrate, total file size, overall number of users and the number of migration licenses needed. This information helps IT professionals to better gauge project details such as the migration's estimated timeline and the overall project cost.

Giving Customers More Control

In some situations, migrations can be straightforward, lift-and-shift processes, yet this approach is not always ideal in M&A scenarios. Feedback from customers has indicated that the ability to support partial migrations of Teams is a priority, as they're looking for a more granular ability to select what structure and data migrates over.

Some recently released enhancements include the ability to rename files and folders in bulk from the Source to the Destination to avoid naming conflicts. Guest users are excluded from the overall assessment count, limiting the data transfer to Teams owners and members. Finally, the Teams updates offer support for migrating instances of Teams to U.S. government tenants, offering the ability to serve an important area of the market.

Progressing Toward More Agile Capability

As Microsoft makes enhancements to its Teams API, it's important for vendors to ensure their migration tools are updated to deliver the best possible fidelity for Teams migrations. Additionally, if Teams adoption continues to outpace that of Slack, we may see increase in demand for new Teams migration Sources, such as Slack to Teams, which will require its own unique type of support.

The market continues to evolve and challenges with migrating Microsoft Teams continue to exist. But similarly, updates and enhancements continue to roll out for migration tools, providing true agile development and better equipping IT professionals to meet this growing market demand. The process for migrating instances of Microsoft Teams should become smoother and more precise.

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About the Author

David Mills 

David Mills is director of product management at BitTitan, driving product strategy, defining product roadmaps and ensuring customer success. David is an experienced product management leader with more than two decades of industry experience. Prior to BitTitan, he worked as a principal consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a product manager at Microsoft and director of product management at Avanade. His areas of expertise include product planning, cloud infrastructure and applications, and marketing communication.
Published Monday, October 28, 2019 7:37 AM by David Marshall
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