Microsoft Teams is a chat-centered collaboration platform that brings together collections of people, content and tools to get things done. Before Microsoft Teams was launched as a new product and still in the concept stage, our global IT organization collaborated with Microsoft on the early technical preview, providing input on the types of use cases relevant in a large, multinational enterprise and the requirements needed for enterprise scale and security. Accenture also participated in the early product pilot, along with other key Microsoft beta customers and partners, to provide input—while also pushing the envelope with Microsoft on Teams’ capabilities.
When Teams went live, we continued piloting and adopting the product as a secondary, supplemental tool while using Skype for Business. Favorable aspects of Teams included integration with Microsoft Office, cloud file storage built on SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, and better mobile connectivity. Our global IT organization chose an organic adoption approach for using Teams while the product continued maturing. For the first year, download and use was primarily word of mouth with a light promotional campaign aimed at generating buzz and general awareness.
During this time, our global IT organization had been preparing for full migration to Microsoft Teams. A project team worked with Microsoft to prepare Accenture’s environment and features required. As a company that leads in the New, Accenture’s approach with Teams was to push the envelope to use Teams while continuing to work with Microsoft to adapt the product and prepare migration steps. Accenture people were being empowered—and encouraged—to use Teams if they desired, with many caveats around the newness of the tool and that enabling Accenture’s network for an optimal experience was a work in progress.
When Accenture deployed Teams, we did so in stages in order to transition from organic growth to large-scale access and adoption. Today, all Accenture employees have transitioned from Skype for Business to Teams.
Teams presented a different way of working, which drove a rigorous change and adoption program. Awareness was raised through a well-orchestrated program disseminated through multiple mediums and channels throughout the entire transition. This program included the engagement of leadership ambassadors, Teams champions and key stakeholder groups from the outset.
A 24/7 Microsoft Teams Operations team helps support our Teams’ needs along with monitoring of key network devices as well as local office capacity using standard tools. Reporting consists of a combination of Microsoft-provided data with Accenture organization data, which allows us to custom slice the data. New reporting gives us the ability to support Teams from the Accenture office perspective to the end-user device level. An emphasis on the Accenture office quality allows us to focus on sites and devices that are at the root of any issues.
Key to Success:
- Engage Microsoft and other vendors
- Create reporting solution
- Establish operating model, including network experts
- Create support strategy
- Institute monitoring program with focus on call diagnostics
- Account for legal and data privacy concerns
- Ensure workstations are continuously updated and can support Teams
- Assess how chargebacks to the business will be handled
- Roll out user adoption and training program
- Set a goal to get to the cloud