Earlier last year, Microsoft began migrating the Skype for Business application to their Teams collaboration platform. Microsoft touts this as a big win for customers because they will have a more streamlined workflow on the integrated application. Users can collaborate on files, communicate through chat, and have virtual meetings at the same time, on one platform. With “one touch to every meeting,” the company says the pace of work will move much faster.
Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams
While many businesses have begun the process of transitioning their contract from Skype to Teams, organizations vulnerable to the risks of non-compliance face additional challenges. IT and compliance professionals in regulated industries like financial services know this is no small feat. And it’s only one piece of what they are facing in today’s rapidly changing communication landscape. New apps and tools are constantly emerging, while existing programs will transform, expand or retire.
Smarsh has helped companies configure solutions and build processes to ensure a smooth migration from Skype and Teams. To manage this transition in the face of regulatory oversight and stay ahead of changes in communication preferences, we recommend these tips for moving things forward:
- Take advantage of available resources and develop a transition plan
Microsoft has an extensive support system that includes documents, kits, FAQs, and workshops. Skype for Business will stay active until 2021, but to completely ensure uninterrupted communications capture and monitoring, the time to build a transition plan is now. Configure the scope of your plan based on the number of users and integrations currently using the Skype application, with the same consideration for how you’ll use Teams. Align all stakeholders on the plan: IT, compliance, and legal teams, and anyone involved in adhering to regulatory requirements.
- Give equal consideration to the past, present, and future
Research the migration processes, customer support and EOL (end-of-life) provisions for Skype for Business. Make sure to allocate the necessary resources for pulling existing information from the retired application to maintain compliance. When planning the migration to Teams, or for any new third-party platform, it’s important to know the underlying infrastructure, implementation processes and ongoing support that are available to you. Don’t forget to consider how to prevent interruptions in supervision programs throughout the process!
- Enable new communication channels
Change is inevitable. Your employees, customers and strategic partners will adopt the newest and coolest apps to communicate, and what starts as a consumer application always has the potential to become a business tool. But these new collaboration platforms breathe new life into employee productivity. A flexible communications archive and carefully considered supervision strategies will enable collaboration when these inevitabilities happen.
The 2019 Electronic Communications Compliance Survey Report from Smarsh found that a quarter of companies surveyed didn’t have an archiving solution in place for collaboration platforms, even though they allowed employees to use them. That number rose to 40% without archiving for SMS/text messaging. Keeping your supervision policies highly tuned and up to date will enable your organization to be collaborative and productive on all channels.
- Keep policies & training up to date
When adopting any new communications platform, make sure your usage policies are always current and made available to employees. Enable and encourage collaboration within the parameters that make sense for your business. Whenever possible, offer training and proactive guidance through transition periods.
Perhaps the most important part of your transition plan is to have the right tools in place for mitigating risk. Smarsh has capture, archiving and supervision capabilities to support 80+ platforms – including Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams – and relieve the regulatory burden for small firms, medium-sized companies and global enterprises alike. No matter how much volume and variety of data needs to be monitored in our always-on workplace, Smarsh can customize a solution to keep companies compliant.
Skype to Teams won’t be the last change ahead; the ways we collaborate and conduct business have never been more fluid. Whether it’s email, instant messages, texting, or a method of communicating that hasn’t even been invented yet, firms in regulated industries need to ensure they can accurately and efficiently monitor employee communication and stay focused on their bottom line.
Need extra help managing compliance as channels keep changing? Add reinforcements and optimize your process with the Assisted Review service.
Smarsh® helps organizations get ahead – and stay ahead – of the risk within their electronic communications. With innovative capture, archiving and monitoring solutions that extend across the industry’s widest breadth of channels, customers can leverage the productivity benefits of email, social media, mobile/text messaging, instant messaging/collaboration, websites and voice while efficiently strengthening their compliance and e-discovery initiatives.
A global client base, including the top 10 banks in the United States and the largest banks in Europe, Canada and Asia, manages billions of conversations each month with the Smarsh Connected Suite. Government agencies in 40 of the 50 U.S. states also rely on Smarsh to help meet their recordkeeping and e-discovery requirements.
The company is headquartered in Portland, Ore. with nine offices worldwide, including locations in Silicon Valley, New York, London and Bangalore, India. For more information, visit www.smarsh.com.
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