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Skype for Business: Build a Winning Team
August 15th, 2016

Skype for Business: Build a Winning Team

Edgar Atino

The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.—Phil Jackson, decorated basketball CoachNo matter how much talent individual members of your team have, the...

The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.

—Phil Jackson, decorated basketball Coach

No matter how much talent individual members of your team have, the combination of their expertise — technical and non-technical — is what makes a winning team.

Most UC implementation focuses on the technical aspects. However, a mix of technical and non-technical knowledge offers 45% better results than a techno-centric team approach. These are ranked priorities in building a Skype technical team.

1. Communication and training

Communication and training are the biggest priorities when building a Skype team. Your communication experts must understand what you expect regarding their contribution to the team. There must be meaningful communication between the technical and non-technical staff.
Establish a reliable resource for ongoing training. Only through communication and training will your team learn how to use the tools and train new users.

2. Skype for Business

Given that Skype for Business is at the root of your UC business strategy, selecting members with technical experience is critical. These team members can develop or modify the design architecture of the software to make it suitable for goals and requirements of the company. It is preferable these team members are proficient in the technical design of Skype for Business or have expertise in researching best practices.

3. Network expertise

A successful technical team will also have network experts knowledgeable in debugging and troubleshooting quality issues, and test video and voice for end-to-end prioritization across the WAN and LAN. If you are incorporating wireless capabilities, have network experts with skills in troubleshooting, design, and access point deployment.

4. SQL, Microsoft Exchange, and Server OS

Successful Skype deployment needs experts with technical skills in SQL, Microsoft, and Windows Server OS (note, Skype for Business relies on SQL as a repository). The tools in Microsoft Exchange that include end user picture storage, IM conversion history storage, auto attendant, missed call notifications, and voicemail are critical for employee communications. That said, include someone with experience upgrading systems particularly updates to Microsoft Exchange to avoid communication disruptions.

5. Change management

Help employees change their current habits to ones that coordinate with Skype for Business. For example, they many need to abandon phone calls from a desktop device and start using headsets and softphones to call via a laptop.
For smaller organizations, this transition may require your full input as project leader with the training and communications team. Explain how this change positively affects employee outcomes.

6. Project management and leadership

Create a balance between leadership and management to ensure your team achieves the overall project objectives. As the leader, you carry the vision for change. While you may have a separate project leader and manager, you could have one person undertake both roles.
Build a successful team with careful consideration of priorities, methodical execution, and one with both technical and non-technical expertise.

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