Microsoft Teams: In a Sign of Maturity, Another Vendor Joins the Migration Party
Successful Microsoft products tend to follow a certain path. There's the splashy introduction, followed by a rapid adoption gold rush, where Microsoft and its partners work flat out to enable deployments at unparalleled scale.
In the middle stages of that gold rush, even as most of the focus is on onboarding new seats, second-order problems start to emerge. One of the biggest of those second-order problems is that some early adopter customers need to migrate their deployment for various reasons, such as mergers and acquisition.
That's where we are with Microsoft Teams -- Microsoft's three-year-old collaboration platform. With a huge assist from the global shift with coronavirus to working from home, Teams daily active users (DAU) has soared to 75 million, as of April, and Microsoft claimed more than 200 million meeting participants in a single day in April.
ShareGate, a Montreal-based company with a decade of experience in SharePoint migrations and other Microsoft cloud tools, jumped into the mix this week.
Benjamin Niaulin, who runs strategy and roadmap for all ShareGate products as head of product, this week announced the addition of a Microsoft Teams migration feature to ShareGate Desktop in the 13.0 version of the company's migration tool.
The tool allows organizations to migrate teams to a new tenant in a process that includes retaining conversation history, channels, team settings and files.
The problem was getting significant attention from vendors well before the current remote work surge.
In May 2018, Teams was about a year old and many companies were uncertain where the tool would fit with Microsoft's many collaboration technologies, including SharePoint, Yammer and Office 365 Groups. AvePoint Inc. took the new tool seriously enough to add support for migrating Teams from one tenant to another in its FLY tool for cloud and SharePoint migrations.
In July 2019, as Teams was getting some traction with around 13 million DAU, BitTitan introduced Teams migration capabilities by folding the functionality into its MigrationWiz product for broader Office 365 migrations.
As demand for Teams was building last November, a time when Microsoft claimed about 20 million DAU, Quest Software was also addressing the issue of Teams migrations. The company updated its Quest On Demand Migration tool that added Microsoft Teams migration support to tenant migration support for Exchange, OneDrive and SharePoint.
Following the usual Microsoft product rollout playbook, there is plenty that Microsoft still needs to do to make migration a more seamless transition, even with third-party tools and community-created PowerShell scripts. In a November post, Mike Campbell, a senior solutions architect with Perficient, discussed some of the common gaps in the Teams migration experience, mostly due to underlying limitations in Microsoft's APIs.
"Teams provides the integration glue that holds together so much collaborative goodness, but the result is a complex Teams Tenant migration story," Campbell wrote. "The nature of Teams integrations and extension means that there are likely to be gaps in the migration experience for the foreseeable future, especially for extensively used Teams that take advantage of a full range of Teams capabilities. That's understandable, but we should also collectively encourage Microsoft to provide better tenant portability for the core Teams workloads."
(Editor's Note: This article was updated on June 3 to include AvePoint Inc.'s support for Teams migrations.)
Posted by Scott Bekker on May 29, 2020 at 6:36 PM