Guest Column | October 28, 2019

Taking A More Structured Approach To Microsoft Teams Migration

By David Mills, BitTitan

Federal Cloud Migration VAR Opportunities

As many IT professionals have found, there is considerable opportunity around migrating instances of Microsoft Teams.

Since its debut two years ago, Teams and its adoption rates have soared at a meteoric pace. The Redmond giant touts 13 million daily active users and 19 million weekly users of Teams, which is ahead of chief rival Slack’s recent report of 12 million daily active users.

The rate of Teams adoption is compounded by healthy activity in the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market, which often results in migration projects for merging or separating companies. In Deloitte’s 2019 M&A trends survey, corporate and private-equity experts forecast accelerated deal-making for the next 12 months. This indicates a rise in Teams migrations, as often, migrating Teams goes hand-in-hand with other Office 365 migrations for mail, OneDrive and other products or platforms.

And yet, despite this growing opportunity, many challenges exist with migrating Teams tenants.

The Difficulty Facing IT Pros

As it stands, IT professionals are looking for an optimal solution to Teams migrations. Part of the challenge around migrating Teams is due to Microsoft currently not having an available Teams migration API. IT professionals and the tools they use must rely on leveraging a combination of Microsoft’s Graph API and SharePoint API.

Migrating instances of Teams can be complicated, as it requires moving an abundance of data pertaining to Teams, channels, conversations and permissions. Furthermore, the migration involves moving underlying SharePoint site and folder structure and the associated underlying files.

In a merger situation, IT pros may often encounter files and folders with the same name from both the Source and Destination, as well as conflicting usernames. Both issues require valuable time to remedy and should appropriately be scoped and identified prior to beginning the migration. Otherwise, customers are prone to experience extended downtime with delayed migrations and post-migration troubleshooting, which means lost productivity for the business.

Enhancing The Migration Method

The good news for IT professionals is that, despite the lack of a full-fidelity Teams API (for example, no support for migrating conversations), there are other qualified tools on the market that can help with meeting the demand for these migrations. Earlier this year, BitTitan released Teams migration capabilities with MigrationWiz, its fully automated 100-percent SaaS solution for mailbox, document and public-folder migrations. These capabilities allow IT professionals to migrate Teams instances as well as individual components such as Teams, channels, conversations and permissions. Using MigrationWiz, IT pros can conduct a pre-migration assessment to determine project elements like the number of Teams to be migrated, total file size, total number of users and the quantity of migration licenses required. This information helps IT professionals to better determine aspects of the migration, such as its projected timeline, and accurately estimate the overall project costs.

Since releasing these updates in July, BitTitan has continued to enhance its Teams migration capabilities to help IT pros boost project efficiency and meet the needs of customers. These feature enhancements come directly from partner feedback and are prioritized accordingly to best meet their needs.

The recently released enhancements include the ability to rename files and folders in bulk from the Source to the Destination to avoid naming conflicts. Guest users are excluded from the overall assessment count, limiting the data transfer to Teams owners and members. Finally, the Teams updates offer support for migrating instances of Teams to U.S. government tenants. More enhancements are on the horizon and include the ability to select Teams for migration via CSV for partial migrations, plus user and Teams name-mapping.

Providing Versatile Solutions

The rollout of new features and capabilities around Teams migration is not yet finished. As adoption numbers continue to rise and IT pros wait for the release of a full-fidelity Teams API, the market landscape continues to shift. New challenges continue to emerge. Vendors are steadily looking for a more precise ability to select what data migrates over in Teams migrations.

Hurdles remain when it comes to migrating Teams instances, and solutions providers must continue to refine their ability to address this market need with true agile development. But the process is becoming more enhanced and should allow IT pros more control when migrating Teams tenants.

David Mills, BitTitan 10.19About The Author

David Mills is director of product management at BitTitan, driving product strategy, defining product roadmaps and ensuring customer success. David is an experienced product management leader with more than two decades of industry experience. Prior to BitTitan, he worked as a principal consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a product manager at Microsoft and director of product management at Avanade. His areas of expertise include product planning, cloud infrastructure and applications, and marketing communication.