A successful Teams deployment is about much more than software. Here are five key factors to keep in mind.

 

If you want to be successful in today’s rapidly-evolving business environment, there are a few tech tools that you absolutely have to have. And top of the list is an effective unified communications and collaboration solution.

 

Whether you’re keeping in touch with remote and flexible workers or meeting customers on the channels that matter to them, getting this right is the key to better productivity, higher staff morale and, in turn, improved growth.

 

But doing this is about much more than finding the right software. While the likes of Microsoft Teams offer a powerful solution that will be at the heart of almost everything your firm does going forward, it can’t be viewed in isolation.

 

Rather, it needs to be just one piece of a comprehensive ecosystem that incorporates your entire technology stack. From hardware and networking infrastructure to ensuring your data is protected. If there’s a weakness in any one part of this environment, your firm will never reach its full potential.

 

5 factors you must consider when deploying Teams

 

Therefore, it’s important that you consider all the supporting factors that will be necessary for an effective solution whenever you’re considering a transformation for your comms systems. Here are five that no business should do without.

1.  Voice

 

Teams offers some native VoIP functionality, but being able to incorporate this platform into your existing telephony systems offers a much better, more integrated system that’s ideal for hybrid working. It means, for example, there’ll be no need to reroute incoming calls when users are working outside the office.

 

With the right partner to help with the installation process, you can find a deployment model that’s right for your circumstances. Whether you’re looking to maintain a legacy phone system or migrate away from traditional phone services completely, a Teams integration makes these activities easier.

2.  Hardware

 

The hardware tools you’re using also matter. For many deployments where voice tools are a top priority, quality headsets may be all that is required to turn any laptop into a full communications hub, but others will have more complex needs.

 

For instance, for use in the office – where background noise levels can reach as high as 75 decibels – hardware solutions with effective noise-cancelling capabilities will be hugely useful. Then there are meeting rooms to consider. Large-screen displays, presentation boards and mics may all be required, as well as solutions that allow anyone to come in and get started quickly, with no fiddling around with setups. Even tools such as panels that can show the status of a room and allow you to easily book an available meeting space can hugely improve productivity, and these can all be integrated into your Teams platform with the right expertise.

3.  Infrastructure

 

Ensuring your supporting IT infrastructure solutions are up to the task of supporting these solutions mustn’t be overlooked. This can cover a wide range of issues. For example, is your connectivity up to standard, both in the office and anywhere else users may need to connect from? This may include ensuring Wi-Fi can cope with large volumes of real-time data such as voice and video that demand low latency, as well as strong broadband services and networking solutions like SD-WAN to intelligently manage traffic.

 

Issues such as licensing also fall under this category. As well as Teams, you’ll need licences for essential applications such as Office 365 in order to get the full benefit of Teams. As you add more applications to your environment, managing these can quickly become complicated.

4.  Additional functionality

 

Different companies will all have their own needs, and what’s on offer in the core solution may not always meet these requirements. As such, being able to integrate additional functionality solutions within the ecosystem will also be vital. Such tools will be especially important if you’re using your Teams ecosystem in areas such as contact centres.

 

In these scenarios, solutions such as attendant consoles and advanced call routing features will be highly useful, as will technologies to provide functionality such as call monitoring and recording, both in maintaining compliance and ensuring your employees are working effectively. On top of this, issues such as PCI-DSS compliance will also be essential if you’re looking to take payments via a Teams-enabled contact centre.

5.  Security

 

Finally, security is a factor that needs to be at the forefront of everything you do, and an integrated Teams platform is no different. You can’t rely on the inbuilt solutions to protect your business, especially when it comes to managing the vast range of threats firms face today. Whether it’s email security solutions to protect your users from phishing attempts or ensuring data used across Teams applications is encrypted both at rest and in transit, effective third-party security services matter more than ever.

 

Securing the right solutions

 

Of course, you could manage all these factors separately. Secure a contract with telephony and broadband providers, install your own headsets and videoconferencing equipment, then find a suitable security solution vendor to protect them all, for instance.

 

But this will quickly become a complex process that can overwhelm an IT team and lead to significant delays in deployment as extra efforts have to be made to integrate systems and ensure everything’s compatible. This is also when a range of problems can emerge, especially if you aren’t familiar with all the disparate systems you have to wrangle to get working together.

 

That’s why it’s a great idea to turn to a single expert provider that can assist you with all these needs. An experienced partner that understands all the intricacies and complexities of a successful Teams deployment can ensure everything is compatible and working as it should, while you also benefit from the greater simplicity of having a single point of contact to turn to for any technical issues.

 

Find out more about how Teams can transform your business and what you need to make it a reality in our latest ebook.

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