Software

SoftServe Migrates Communication and Collaboration Platforms From Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams and Zoom

Company Background

SoftServe is a digital authority that advises and provides at the cutting-edge of technology. We reveal, transform, accelerate, and optimize the way enterprises and software companies do business. With expertise across healthcare, retail, energy, financial services, software, and more, we implement end-to-end solutions to deliver the innovation, quality, and speed that our clients’ users expect.

SoftServe delivers open innovation—from generating compelling new ideas, to developing and implementing transformational products and services. Our work and client experience is built on a foundation of empathetic, human focused experience design that ensures continuity from concept to release. We empower enterprises and software companies to (re)identify differentiation, accelerate solution development, and vigorously compete in today’s digital economy.

Business Challenge

SoftServe needed to transform the digital landscape of its communication and collaboration services. More specifically, it needed to provide a unified platform based on set of highly integrated, best of the breed tools - Microsoft Office 365 and ZOOM. SoftServe’s goal was to improve collaboration and communication within the company by shifting from the obsolete, insecure toolsets to modern cloud-based suites. Without a widely accepted, and standardized toolset SoftServe faced challenges around collaboration between different business functions, which had significant impacts due to the company’s matrix organizational structure.

SoftServe was utilizing Skype for Business which didn’t provide the expected quality, was complicated to use, had poor UX/UI (especially for MacOS), and didn’t support Linux. Microsoft had also announced it intended to discontinue S4B in 2 years. Without a new toolset implementation, SoftServe could not fully utilize the value from Office 365 due to lack of licenses, also known as ‘gray’ licensing and it could not effectively back up its massive ±10TB of project data in the cloud.

Deploying a new set of collaboration and communication platforms would improve customer satisfaction, unify employee experience by improving collaboration within teams and projects, improve the efficiency of the hiring and onboarding process, and allow SoftServe to depreciate the Skype for Business service due to product end-of-live.

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Project Description

SoftServe’s IT department prepared a transition plan and organized communication and educational programs to promote and simplify the transition. Automated license management/provisioning was developed as a foundation for reliable transfer. MuleSoft Anypoint platform was used to integrate user profiles with corporate HRMS (Workday).

The IT team defined collaboration and communication business capability and introduced a new role of Collaboration and Communication Capability Lead to facilitate the transition directly within the business. The Capability Lead is a business relationship manager (BRM) in the scope of the collaboration and communication.

The project took over a year, During which SoftServe increased adoption of Office 365 to almost 100%. It’s focus is now on best practices of using the advanced and security features of the Office 365 and ZOOM.

The project was segmented into four phases:

  • Phase 1: Validate the UCC solution to replace Skype for Business – shortlist main layers, test integrations with corporate services, validate main use cases.
  • Phase 2: Early adoption – increase adoption rate for ZOOM and Microsoft Teams and initiate contracts.
  • Phase 3: Transition existing Skype for Business users to ZOOM and Microsoft Teams, moving team by team.
  • Phase 4: Gradually decommission Skype for Business configurations.

A communication plan was prepared for each phase, Workplace by Facebook was used to improve the awareness of the initiative among employees, educational sessions were conducted with the leadership of most corporate functions. The implementation team ran all project-related communications with stakeholders using Office 365/Teams and ZOOM for meetings.

Neither Teams nor ZOOM supports smooth integration with corporate telephony as Skype for Business did, so it was decided to migrate this specific feature to Cisco Jabber at least temporary until SoftServe has it in the new toolset.

ZOOM is a cohesive ‘glue’ for communication services, as it perfectly integrates with Microsoft Teams, Robin, Workplace, and Slack. Microsoft Teams is a connector for Office 365, integrating with productivity tools including Trello, Power BI, Asana, Jenkins, and Visual Studio.

Value Delivered

SoftServe successfully implemented a transition from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams and ZOOM, significantly increasing adoption, importance and user satisfaction across the organization.

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* 130% means adoption rate was even higher than initial baseline

Having this synergy of popular tools - Office 365 and ZOOM – SoftServe can cover most of its common operational scenarios including:

  • SharePoint for collaborative work with documents
  • Stream for storing video content
  • Teams to improve collaboration inside project teams
  • ZOOM for meetings with prospects and customers
  • ZOOM rooms + Robin for booking meeting rooms
  • ZOOM + Workplace for video streaming and large events
  • New PPM tool for managing project tasks
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