Zoho Cliq: An alternative to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft announced in April 2024 that Microsoft Teams would not be included in the Microsoft 365 bundle for new users. This unbundling means that users who want to use Teams as part of their bundle subscription will now need to pay separately for access to the software.

Here's how this change may affect users:

  1. Additional cost: Users who want to use Teams as part of their Microsoft 365 subscription will need to pay extra to access the app. This additional cost could be a concern for businesses, especially those with a large number of users who rely heavily on Teams for their day-to-day operations.

  2. Impact on budgets: For businesses that have budgeted for Microsoft 365 subscriptions, the unbundling of Teams may require a reevaluation of their budgeting strategy. They will need to allocate additional funds to cover the cost of Teams separately.

  3. Potential for switching: Some users and organizations may consider exploring alternative communication and collaboration platforms that offer similar features to Teams but at a lower cost. This could include both standalone platforms and suites offered by competitors.

One such Teams alternative is Zoho Cliq. Let's look at the migration process from Microsoft Teams to Zoho Cliq in detail.

Microsoft Teams to Zoho Cliq: Steps to follow 

Migrating to Zoho Cliq from Microsoft Teams is a three-step process:

  1. Register the app in the Azure portal
  2. Run Python script to fetch data from Microsoft Teams
  3. Upload the obtained ZIP folder to import data

Why register an app in Azure to export data?  

To export data, we'll need API access. Many migration tasks involve interacting with Microsoft Graph APIs to access and manage Microsoft Teams data, such as channels, messages, and settings.

By registering an app in the Azure portal, you can obtain client credentials (client ID, tenant ID, and client secret) or set up certificate-based authentication that enables your app to authenticate and access Microsoft Graph APIs securely.

Step 1: Register the app in the Azure portal 

To initiate this process, we first need to register an app in the Azure portal. Upon registration, we obtain client credentials, such as the client ID and tenant ID. By navigating to the Certificates & Secrets section, we secure the client secret, which is essential for authentication.

Registering an app is just the first step. To enable secure and authorized API calls, we must add appropriate permissions. Among the plethora of Microsoft Graph APIs, selecting the right permissions is crucial.

Here are 18 permissions you'll need to select:

These permissions grant varying levels of access to data, such as channels, chats, contacts, emails, files, groups, teams, and users.

Lastly, to ensure these permissions take effect to call the APIs, granting admin consent is essential.

Step 2:  Run Python script in the terminal  to fetch data from Microsoft Teams

The next step involves running a Python script in your terminal. This script, tailored to fetch data from Microsoft Teams, requires a few prerequisites. Firstly, ensure you have Python 3 installed on your system.

Next, copy the Python script provided from your admin panel and save it with a .py extension. Don't forget to add the client credentials (client ID, tenant ID, and client secret value) obtained during app registration in the Azure portal. Once the script is saved, navigate to the directory where it's located using the terminal. Run the script by typing python3 script_name.py into the terminal (replace "script_name" with the file name).

Upon successful execution, the script will fetch data from Microsoft Teams and download it as a ZIP folder. This data could include information about channels, chats, contacts, emails, files, groups, teams, and users, depending on the permissions granted.

During execution, you might encounter errors. If you encounter an "Invalid active developer path" error, resolve it by running xcode-select --install in your terminal. For the "No module '$module_name" error, resolve it by typing sudo pip3 install requests into the terminal (this installs the missing module).

Step 3: Upload the obtained ZIP folder  to import data into Zoho Cliq

The final step of transferring Microsoft Teams data to Zoho Cliq is a breeze with a simple drag-and-drop action.

Drag and drop the obtained ZIP folder to your Zoho Cliq account, and on completion of upload, you'll see an overview displaying counts of users, teams, and channels. The flexibility extends further with the option to import direct messages and group chats as well.

Migrating Made Effortless with Zoho Cliq 

Switching from Microsoft Teams to Zoho Cliq offers more than just a solution to cost considerations. It presents organizations with a strategic opportunity to leverage Zoho Cliq's abundant features and elevate their collaboration efforts. By seamlessly picking up conversations from where they left off in Microsoft Teams, teams can maintain continuity and efficiency in their workflows in Zoho Cliq.


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