Jun 11 2021

Maximizing Microsoft Teams for Higher Ed Hybrid Work

What does it take to integrate Microsoft Teams into your university’s hybrid productivity workstreams?

Whether we like it or not, hybrid work is here to stay. According to a report by PwC, 55 percent of workers surveyed at the end of last year said they wished to continue working remotely three days a week.

Many higher education institutions have invested in multiple videoconferencing platforms for effective hybrid communications. However, to survive pandemic budget shortfalls, universities must scrutinize each collaboration investment closely. To avoid unnecessary cuts to projects, it is important you are maximally utilizing and deploying your current videoconferencing investments.

Microsoft Teams is one such investment with a feature rich platform that gives universities the toolset for their collaboration environments. To help IT managers unlock all the benefits of Microsoft Teams — especially as institutions transition from Skype for Business to Teams — here’s a look at how higher education can optimize existing Microsoft investments.

The Essentials for Microsoft Teams Adoption

It’s not easy to gain a comprehensive understanding of how Teams fits into the Office 365 productivity stack. It can also be difficult to effectively manage the platform’s annual maintenance fees and software tweaks.

Successful adoption requires a plan for long-term cloud success. It also requires IT departments to be well-versed in Microsoft’s Security and Compliance Center features, with an emphasis on content protection, mobility and governance that is specific to higher education’s use of Teams.

You also need a roadmap for integration, not only in the classroom but also for the university’s front office. This calls for an adoption and communication plan that is specific to the unique needs of your institution.

To ultimately ensure successful deployment and adoption year after year, the right people and processes need to be in place. Many higher education institutions need a dedicated partner like CDW•G to help them effectively maximize this investment from start to finish.

With experience helping IT organizations navigate Microsoft’s wide selection of solutions, we are uniquely qualified to advise on IT solutions that simplify and also detect unnecessary spending at your institution.

RELATED: How can metered consumption help higher ed save money?

Upgrading Skype for Business to Teams

While Microsoft offers upgrade planning workshops that highlight best practices and key migration considerations, you may need extra support from a managed service provider to effectively complete the upgrade.

At CDW•G, we can help with:

  • Data loss prevention in Teams
  • Technical environment discovery and assessment
  • Hybrid coexistence (nonvoice) configurations
  • The migration of nonvoice users from Skype to Teams
  • The transition to Teams within a single pane of glass
  • Technical services engagement
  • An adoption management plan with curriculum directors and key leadership

Working with a partner, you’ll have peace of mind and know that you are fully utilizing your platforms for long-term success with cloud.

This article is part of EdTech: Focus on Higher Education’s UniversITy blog series.

 

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