In this article, I wanted to discuss how you could move to Microsoft Teams if you’re currently in a Hosted Skype for Business environment. Depending on your contract with your provider, you could be using dedicated compute and software instance for your Skype workload, or you could be using a multi-tenanted version of Lync 2013. Obviously, your existing hosting provider should and probably can help you on your journey to Microsoft Teams in either of these environments. However, what if you’re using Microsoft Teams as the driver to exit a contract or service altogther? Can it be done? And what are the penalities for doing so?
At first breath, you may be thinking that this challenge is a bridge to far and that you feel locked into a model that is no longer suitable for your organization to grow. However, the journey to Microsoft Teams can be simpler and less painful than you have initially envisioned.
First, talk to your hosting provider about their capabilities in moving you to a Microsoft Teams solution that is suitable to support your needs. This is often the path of least resistance. However, this may limit you to a service contract that you’re not entirely happy with and want to consider your options.
Your organization should own your Office 365 tenant (assuming you have one). You shouldn’t rent this from anyone other than Microsoft and you should have full control over its evolution. If you do not have an Office 365 tenant, then sign up for one.
Obviously there are many different scenarios you could find yourself in already that adds complexity to your move. However, as long as you’re not currently consuming Skype for Business Online as part of your hosted Skype Solution, you can read on. If you are, then this may not work as intended for you.
1. Tenant Preparation
You can do a lot of configuration in your tenant to support Teams without impacting your user’s Skype functionality. You can configure Identity and Access Management, Create Teams policies, Compliance settings etc. all without BAU being impacted.
2. Domain Registration
As Teams relies of UPN for chat and calling routing and not SIP, you can (with a caveat) register what is going to be your existing SIP domain with your tenant without impacting Skype. The caveat is, that you shouldn’t enable the Domain for Skype for Business Use. If you do then any federated partners you currently communicate with who have Skype for Business Online will not be able to reach you via Skype.
3. Configure Direct Routing
Registering your domain allows you to configure Direct Routing in advance of your move to Teams, without Skype for Business hybrid being set up. If you are concerned about your Domain registration, then use a sub-domain as a registered domain for your SBC configuration, and address the main domain further down the line.
Assuming you have made it this far, you can create all your calling policies for your users, test out calling scenarios and make sure that the solution is stable at your own pace.
4. Enabling Users for Teams
Although this is labelled as step 4, in reality you could do this alongside Step 3 as the two are not intrinsically linked. Enabling users for Teams for Chat, P2P AV, Meetings and Collaboration at this stage means users get to start using Teams whilst your hosted Skype service is unaffected for important workloads like Enterprise Voice. This gives you an advantage and head start with early adoption while you focus on the more complex voice element of your move.
An important consideration at this stage is users will need to continue to use Skype for their Voice and any federation communication with external partners.
Think of this stage as a Pseudo-Islands Mode, but your tenant is operating in Teams Only Mode.
5. Move Federation
When you are ready, you need to move federation away from Skype and to Teams. You can do this by enabling the Skype service on your Office 365 Domain and changing just the SRV record for sipfederationtls._tcp.domain.com to sipdir.online.lync.com in your public DNS. After propagation has completed, federated chat will move from Skype to Teams.
6. Move Enterprise Voice
You have two choices here, or may be a mix. New DDIs for Direct Routing or number porting. With the latter, initiate your port request if you need to your DR SIP service. Assign users their phone numbers in Teams in advance of the porting schedule so that when the port completes, calls will be delivered to Teams instantly causing very little disruption to services.
7. Say Goodbye to Your Hosting Provider
That’s it, you can now turn off your hosted Skype as your organization is now using Teams and you never had to tell them a thing!
This article is not chapter and verse, its about showing you a way to achieve something. Your mileage may vary depending on your complexity so please consider carefully before executing.
Mark is an Independent Microsoft Teams Consultant with over 15 years experience in Microsoft Technology. Mark is the founder of Commsverse, a dedicated Microsoft Teams conference and former MVP. You can follow him on twitter @UnifiedVale