Teams: A natural extension to any practice - Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program

Teams: A natural extension to any practice

Team pointing to meeting notes

As organizations transform digitally, their workforces have become more mobile and global, their workers more social and telecommuting much more common. Teamwork and collaboration have become the work mode of the modern and diverse workplace and it is causing tremendous cultural shifts throughout organizations as they adopt intelligent cloud technologies.

Consider the implications of these change drivers:

  • Mobility: 72% of workers will work remotely at least part of the time this year
  • Diversity: There are now five generations together in the workforce
  • Connectivity: 80% of employee time is spent collaborating
  • Community: 45% or workers use social tools at work

Source: Developing an ACM Practice Partner Guide

Delivering and driving adoption of tools and processes to support these new workstyles has become crucial for organizations today, and partners can provide the deployment, security, governance and change management necessary to implement and optimize customer solutions and help organizations keep up with the ever-evolving business landscape.

An extensible, multi-function communications and collaboration platform like Microsoft Teams can help streamline several processes and tools to make the transition smoother. Teams brings the functionality of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype and more under one platform to help customers connect and collaborate in amazing new ways and build or grow a teamwork practice.

The Teams opportunity

We explore the ways partners are bringing new value and building successful Teams-focused practices in our new Microsoft Teams Practice Development Playbook. We’re excited about the latest in our series of guidance, written by partners with survey data from MDC Research.

The playbook details four key entry points for building a practice:

  • Deployment, security and governance – For customers to realize the full benefits of the platform, it must first be deployed in a manner consistent with a customer’s security and data retention needs.
  • Education, adoption and change management – To really bring your customer’s business use cases to life and realize their ROI, it’s critical that users adopt new services as part of their natural rhythm of work. According to a Forrester Total Economic Impact study, partners with an adoption and change management practice grew their business by 10% year over year.
  • Callings and meetings – By offering integrated messaging, calling and meeting solutions built on Teams, you can deliver a more immersive experience to enhance collaboration across teams around the globe. This includes Public Switched Telephony Network (PSTN) capabilities and phone systems for a rich cloud-based calling experience supported by a variety of certified devices, and Teams Rooms for a modern, consistent experiences to meeting spaces.
  • Custom Solutions – Every team has unique needs and its own set of applications and workflows. Teams is an extensible platform and its capabilities open enormous opportunities for partners to customize and extend the Teams platform with your own SaaS apps, a Microsoft Power Apps integration, or your customers’ LOB apps to build tailored Teams workspaces.

An essential tool for collaboration and efficiency

Teams is a solution that many organizations will require in order to encourage a more collaborative and efficient way of working, but only 20% of partners currently include a Teams offering.

In our Digital Transformation eBook series, we highlight the empowerment of employees and customer engagement as key pillars of transformation. A universal communication and collaboration platform is the anchor technology for those motions.

I encourage you to explore the opportunities for a collaboration practice in the Microsoft Teams playbook. As you define your practice, the people and skills you’ll need to build it out will be an important consideration, and the playbook provides very specific guidance on the roles to fill and the needed skills. And to keep growing those skills from within, there is also guidance on the training programs and offers available from Microsoft to help get you started on continuous skills development.

Learn practice areas and expertise required for each, how to define your offer and value proposition, roll out your solutions, and support customers. Whether you are building a new teamwork practice or adapting a current offering, the playbook will help you develop the right approach.

And check out our other Practice Development Playbooks, each providing guidance on specific digital transformation opportunities and how our partners have successfully gone after them. We get great feedback on these resources, which have seen nearly 500K downloads since the first playbook published three years ago.