June 30, 2021

A controlled approach to MS Teams adoption

Introduction

Microsoft Teams deployment is the first step to yield the benefits. The next step after deployment is a good adoption and change rollout. An organization cannot solely depend on organic adoption for Teams growth as there are possibilities of bad user experiences due to a sudden change. Hence, it is imperative to use a controlled approach for Teams rollout for a long-term success.

Further in this blog, we will learn about the difference between the organic and controlled approaches of adoption and know how the latter facilitates a harmonious and stable work environment for seamless collaboration in the technical setup. Let’s begin –

Two approaches of Teams adoption

Since Microsoft Teams is incredibly user friendly, the two ways that a business can consider implementing Microsoft Teams are –

1. Organic approach

MS Teams by default provides free collaboration to all. If you have decided to release Teams in your organization without any protocols, then any user can use the platform the way they want. This freedom to explore and experiment with Teams gives rise to usage and adoption at the initial stage organically.

2. Controlled approach

This involves setting up an organizational boundary around Teams environment for regulating the entire workspace and promoting good user behavior to overcome unruliness and inconsistencies in the platform.

What causes chaos and confusion in MS Teams

The organic growth of teams is surely a positive sign of adoption success. However, teams may begin to multiply soon if an organization has a large number of users. This leads to the proliferation of content where Teams ecosystem gets overloaded with both useful and unnecessary teams and even teams with the same name.

Eventually, users get to a point where they can’t easily find what they need and may stop using Teams at all due to frustration. Alternatively, they may switch to less secure apps to do their tasks which further raises several security risks and issues of content misuse and theft.

How to ensure Teams adoption success with governance

To run a civilized Teams environment, an administrator must impose conventions and policies to improve platform usability.

  • Team creation must follow a request approval process.
  • The purpose of every team must be clarified before creation.
  • Teams naming conventions must be enforced to discard duplication of teams.
  • Teams must be tagged and labeled for better classification and protection of content.
  • A framework must be designed to authorize permissions, privileges, roles, and responsibilities to users to manage user rights and control user access to content and resources for enhanced IT security.
  • Teams must be monitored effectively, and all activities happening inside must be identified to learn usage status and detect anomalies if exist.
  • Files or documents shared within and outside of the organization must be regularly tracked to detect any illegal activities.

Eliminate Teams disorder through Automation

While governance strikes the right balance between the security and productivity of the platform, it is no less challenging either. This is so because Teams has no central governance panel. Secondly, governance in MS Teams is profoundly manual which leads to unnecessary time consumption. To overcome this, you need to streamline governance processes by automating the platform and simplify admin solutions to ease the strain on IT.

Moreover, automation eradicates every possibility of human error and helps you to regulate teams, sites, and groups much more efficiently and securely.

For instance, using automated site provisioning, users can use a dynamic form to create a team. Then, the submitted details are verified by administrator before a team finally comes into existence. This imparts greater control on the team creation process and prohibits sprawl which is the fundamental cause of almost all security issues in Teams.

In another instance, you need better monitoring and assessment tools in the post-pandemic world to gauge the remote workforce in real-time. This is when automation can help to turn corporate raw data into useful insights instantly. So, let manual aggregation and crunching of data be a thing of the past.

Before we close, we suggest you automate analytics and reporting in MS Teams to reveal hidden information i.e, strengths and weaknesses of your entire collaboration system, and then build high-performing teams taking best and informed decisions.

To learn more about automation, please visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com to request a demo

Read more

June 30, 2021

How to find inactive teams in MS Teams

Introduction

Organizations with a teams sprawl often have unused teams, that create a burden on resources both physically and administration-wise. A better way to organize teams is to classify them as active and inactive teams. This helps in minimizing the clutter, optimizing resource utilization, and securing the content. Inactive teams should hence be either archived or disposed off after a project is over to keep Teams environment clean. This boils down to the detection of obsolete or inactive teams in Microsoft Teams. But is there a straightforward way to do it? Let’s find out –

MS Teams limitations in team visibility and restoration

To get visibility on all team activities in Microsoft Teams, you need to visit the admin center and derive a usage report. Sadly, you can detect only active teams based on chat, conversations, file sharing, etc. Hence, to identify inactive teams, you need to filter them out manually. In MS Teams, there is no automated way to find team status. Secondly, if you accidentally delete a team, you can’t restore its content if a timeframe of 30 days is passed after deletion.

Ways to identify inactive teams

Now, let us summarize three important ways to discover inactive teams to maintain a healthy and efficient environment for collaboration –

1. Teams Usage Report in Office 365

The Teams usage report in the Microsoft Teams admin center gives you an overview of the usage activity in Teams. This includes the number of active users, channels, guests, and post messages via chat and conversations to know how many users in each team are actively using Teams to communicate and collaborate.

Screenshot of the Teams usage report in the Teams admin center with callouts

Also, you can view only the last 7 or 28 days of activity of teams using the Teams usage report which might not reveal adequate insights

2. Activity Report with PowerShell

You can also generate activity reports using PowerShell scripts and identify the information as needed. The script checks the audit records of inactive teams and provides an HTML report file based on SharePoint site activity in the group’s document library in the past 90 days and conversations that occurred in the mailbox in the past year. However, as writing PowerShell commands is complex and time-consuming, it may get challenging for administrators to produce multiple reports demanded on daily basis.

3. Identifying Inactive Teams using Activity Threshold

Another method to detect inactive teams in your Teams environment is by setting an expiration policy for the associated group in Azure AD. This notifies the owner of the team or group by sending an email to renew or delete the team after specified days if no activity is detected. But in case the owner fails to notice the mail or renew the team within a timeline of configured policy, the team gets deleted by itself and can’t be restored after 30 days.

4. Use TeamsHUB by Cyclotron

TeamsHUB by Cyclotron is third-party automation software that can closely monitor your Teams environment to give you smart insights in real-time. With an intuitive dashboard, you can view everything that happens with each team. TeamsHUB by Cyclotron uncovers the truth behind your data and displays the number of owners, members, and guests, inactive teams, archived teams, orphaned or ownerless teams, files shared by users externally, and more with eye-catching graphs and charts.

Not only that, but you can also manage the entire lifecycle of teams, sites, and other workloads in your tenant with just a few click, without risking any data loss. With end-to-end governance features, TeamsHUB by Cyclotron has much more exciting things in store for you.

To learn more about TeamsHUB by Cyclotron, please visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com to request a demo

Read more

June 24, 2021

OneDrive – a key to successful Microsoft 365 adoption

Introduction

OneDrive for Business is a powerful cloud storage and collaboration tool available in Office 365 or Microsoft 365 suite. It enables users to save documents in the cloud so that they can access and co-author the content in real-time using any device and from anywhere in the world.

Deploying OneDrive for Business in an organization is an excellent plan to derive most value from Microsoft 365. However, the fear of losing sensitive information in the cloud may cause IT leaders to restrict its usage.

But is this a good idea to do so? Does this prevent security issues at all? Certainly no!  Users may then be seen backsliding to their old ways of working or even choose an alternative cloud solution such as Dropbox, Google Drive, etc., to get their work done quickly. Sadly, this later gives rise to a new problem called shadow IT, one of the most prevalent security issues in organizations today.

Governance considerations for OneDrive

Governance policies address these concerns and determine how access takes place in OneDrive. OneDrive governance ensures proper controls in place to secure data by implementing certain protocols.

Further, we list out four important steps you must cover in OneDrive governance framework –

  • Determine who will access OneDrive for Business. If you are considering external or guest users also to access it, then you must identify processes to strengthen security to the application.
  • Consider device management policies if users are going to access OneDrive for Business through mobile devices, BYOD devices or unapproved web terminals.
  • Audit OneDrive files to check how they are used and shared. Audit trails to analyze usage trends and user activities.
  • Enable eDiscovery tools to analyze user data by creating a Legal Hold policy and avoid data deletion.

Conclusion

OneDrive governance plays a vital role in improving the usability of the cloud platform i.e., Office 365. Additionally, establishing OneDrive governance policies ensures a successful adoption of your Microsoft 365 roll out.

You can also choose to automate OneDrive governance, drive consistency, enhance performance of the platform and reduce manual and error-prone processes. To see better and quick results after deployment, we suggest using a readymade automation software such as TeamsHUB by Cyclotron that integrates critical governance steps in a visual workflow.

To learn more about TeamsHUB by Cyclotron, please visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com to request a demo

Read more

June 20, 2021

Key features that drive Microsoft Teams adoption

Introduction

Successful migration to a new software solution in an organization depends largely on quick user onboarding and acceptance. If you exercise an employee-centric culture, to get great results after migration, it is critical for your employees to start working better and faster with the new software in hand. This raises a pertinent question – what if they are reluctant to use it?

Well, the idea cannot be forced as it will backfire. This suggests that the software must be likeable and workable to solve the problems of the users and promote seamless workflows. Above all, it should enable free-flowing communication and must have sufficient functionalities to spur ideas, creativity, and innovation in the digital workspace.

In today’s era of flexible working, there are very few technologies that can help migrate to with confidence that fulfills business goals, manages a remote workforce, and improves productivity. Also, how do you ensure a positive adoption of that technology in your firm?

Why MS Teams facilitates quick adoption

Microsoft Teams has set a benchmark with millions of daily active users worldwide. An incredible inclination of a multitude of organizations towards Teams prompts that the working environment it provides is most conducive.

MS Teams facilitates quick adoption because it is a mobile-friendly chat and collaboration system, a great tool to boost efficient teamwork, communications, and employee engagement. It offers a bundle of modern features for uninterrupted business operations which makes it readily accepted by users.

Further in this blog, we will take a look at some key features that help in increasing MS Teams usage and adoption. Let’s begin:

  • Teams and channels – To head-start adoption, you may want to quickly create teams that include channels as a discussion board. Each channel by default contains many tabs and third-party apps to allow sharing files and notes and access conversation.
  • Connect from anywhere – Download Teams mobile app to chat and collaborate while on the go regardless of location.
  • Tailored channels – Make files easier to search for your teammates by simply uploading them to the channel and pinning it.
  • Chat – The most basic functionality in Teams is chat which can be one on one or in a group. You have a compose box to type in your messages and format them in various ways. You can use @mentions and other indicators to highlight posts and ensure the information is not missed by your team. There are also different ways to search and filter the messages.
  • Document storage in SharePoint – A team is associated with a SharePoint site at the back end which acts as a document library folder. The site automatically stores all files shared across all conversations in that team. You can change permission and security settings of the library folder if the data is sensitive.
  • Video calling and screen sharing – This is another important feature that Teams provide to support interaction among different kinds of users within and outside your business. Video calling encourages real-time collaboration and helps in bringing faster solutions to problems. Teams also offers screen sharing to deliver presentations.
  • Online meetings – MS Teams incorporates meeting and conferencing capabilities to support company-wide meetings for better information reach for various business purposes. You can host about 10,000 users at a time in online meetings. You have options to schedule meetings, invite external users, schedule meetings in a channel calendar as a new event, send messages or upload files in a meeting, and more.
  • Telephony and audio-conferencing – Microsoft Offers Microsoft 365 Business Voice to turn Microsoft Teams into a powerful and flexible telephone system, It is easier and affordable to manage as compared to VoIP vendors. You can set up both toll and toll-free numbers, call menus to help callers get to the right department, audio conferencing that lets you host conference calls with people who don’t have Teams or don’t have an internet connection, and more. You can even give people their own phone numbers so they can get calls directly.

How to boost Teams adoption using TeamsHUB by Cyclotron

MS Teams is extremely user-friendly. By default, every user is free to do anything with the platform as they want. This apparently gives a rise in organic adoption of the platform shortly after the deployment. However, if you are a large-sized enterprise, teams may explode in number and create confusion and mismanagement. This may eventually decline the adoption of the platform and deprive businesses of deriving long-term benefits out of it.

Built on top of MS Teams, TeamsHUB by Cyclotron promotes a controlled approach to managing the platform without hampering user productivity. With a staunch permission model, access management, and site provisioning, TeamsHUB by Cyclotron streamlines end-to-end governance in MS Teams where you can easily decide who can do what with the platform. We provide you secure ways to control and maintain your valuable data, transfer files externally and manage guest users with the advanced monitoring system.

Moreover, you can give your employees personalized content for a tailored experience, bring all critical company details and insights onto one page, and let them socialize and collaborate to boost a greater engagement using our intranet portal.

Lastly, we provide you a self-service adoption and training portal to help your employees quickly search the content they need, upskill themselves and give output without delay. The micro-content such as quick video clips, tips, and tricks, short notes, etc. available in our portal accelerates Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Office 365 adoption for other workloads such as Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, and OneDrive.

To know more, please visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com to request a demo

Read more

June 13, 2021

Areas to address in Microsoft 365 Governance: A planned approach

Introduction

Designing governance policies for Microsoft 365 is about mapping business requirements and goals with appropriate cloud services and platforms. Before rolling out any new system, it is important to integrate governance policies in a framework to establish the RACI matrix of people, processes, and technology. This ascertains minimal security risks while allowing the most flexibility and productivity of the platform to let users enjoy collaboration.

Every enterprise has its own unique governance requirements. As always start by taking small steps first – focusing primarily on areas that are most important. This lets the changes percolate gradually and also gives users sufficient time to adapt to a new working environment.

In this blog, we will quickly share basic governance parameters first which align with all types of organizations regardless of their size and structure. Later, we will discuss a framework depending on the services being utilized in an organization. Let’s start –

Moving on to an ideal governance framework appropriate for your business needs, we suggest evaluating the following areas before rolling out Office 365 –

1. Ownership, roles, and responsibilities

Development of a permission strategy delegates permissions and tasks to users with right level of access. Segmenting users into administrators, owners, team members and guests allows you to provide the most suitable role to each user with appropriate level of control.

2. Site provisioning

Let not the Office 365 workloads be created without a reason or purpose. Develop a structured process to create teams, sites, groups, etc., through provisioning. Ensure that the tenant is explored and utilized within organizational rules.

3. Access Control

Enable controls or policies to govern how users access content or resources of an organization. Maintain a complete control over corporate data by customizing access levels to various users including guests and limit sharing of content whenever necessary.

4. Sharing

Implement controls to govern external file sharing. Keep track of confidential documents whenever shared with people outside of your organization. Ensure that the content is encrypted before exchange and the access to it is revokable on detection of a suspicious activity.

5. Archiving

Control the information lifecycle from creation to archival and disposition. Reduce the risk of information overload or loss by applying expiration policies. Archive content when not in use or delete it after specified days when project is over. This helps you to get full data visibility and enhance better organization of workloads.

6. Monitoring

Monitor all activities across Office 365 tenant using advanced analytics and reporting. Grab smart insights into all workloads like Teams, SharePoint, Yammer, etc. to check usage and adoption. Get actionable reports in real-time for making quick and informed decisions to prevent future threats.

Foster collaboration by automating Microsoft 365 governance

As collaboration requirements change as per business needs, managing and monitoring a multitude of teams, departments, and applications using complex scripting or manual effort get tedious and error-prone.

Microsoft 365 automation leverages new levels of efficiency to eliminate operational IT errors caused manually. By automating configurations and policy settings, you can empower your administrators with time-saving tools such as TeamsHUB by Cyclotron and improve key operations by cutting down man hours while reducing security risks.

If you want to learn more about TeamsHUB by Cyclotron, please visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com to request a demo

Read more

June 07, 2021

Debunking popular myths about Microsoft Teams

Introduction

Digital transformation aids innovation, effectiveness, and competitiveness to keep businesses ahead of the curve. For instance, Microsoft Teams positively impacted the whole world when the demand for digital collaboration increased recently during the pandemic and the various lockdowns globally. It led millions of employees all over the world to adapt to a home-based working environment successfully. Today, multitude of organizations globally are reaping enormous benefits after transitioning to MS Teams in terms of productivity and ROI.

However, as the path of technology transition is a risky one, there are some organizations including government and private sector that show interest in implementation but with serious considerations. Hence, it is important that any misconceptions around MS Teams must be exposed for a better understanding of the product capabilities and functionalities.

In this blog, we will address five common myths or misinformation about MS Teams helping organizations to grasp realities of the product so that the transformation is exquisitely executed with proper planning. Here we go:

1. “Microsoft Teams is just another version of Skype for Business.”

It is a misnomer to call Teams a replacement for Skype for Business. We must understand that Teams is not just a chat-based tool but a collaboration system to support remote work with next-gen capabilities. Some of the key features that differentiate Teams from Skype for Business are as follows:

  • In Teams the length of persistent chat service is managed by retention policies whereas in Skype for Business, it is not.
  • With latest integrations such as virtual whiteboards, live meeting captions, background customization, content cameras, proximity join and more, Microsoft Teams meeting experienced is more enhanced than Skype for Business.
  • Microsoft Teams is tied with SharePoint and OneDrive for file storage and collaboration in real-time.
  • Teams can easily integrate with other platforms via app store. Apps can be added as tabs or in a feature ribbon for easy access.
  • Teams constantly updates new features and functionalities to manage collaboration and provide greater user experience.

2. “Microsoft Teams deployment can be executed easily without help.”

Microsoft Teams deployment involves integration of organizational workflows and processes which are unique to every business. You need to develop strategies to bring people and processes together before adopting Microsoft Teams. You must show your employees how Teams will derive greater value by creating new efficiencies or new ways of work that are significantly effective over traditional ones.

For instance, automating redundant and complex tasks will reduce manual handling and make employees more productive. Hence, we suggest the implementation of change management for seamless adoption without user resistance and a marketing and training program in place.

3. “Governance will stop end-users to work effectively on Teams.”

If you are an organization with a large team, then without implementing governance policies, Teams can’t provide you expected benefits. Governance is about setting organizational boundary around collaboration so that the teams function in an order.

By default, Teams gives freedom to all users to create teams, allows guest users to view and access team’s sensitive content, enables external file sharing without monitoring, etc. These scenarios give rise to chaos, conflictions and confusions that recede user adoption and henceforth, productivity. Governance, thus, is used to enforce policies and conventions to keep Teams environment secure, well-monitored, and effective.

4. “Teams is not prepared to support voice in the cloud.”

Microsoft Teams is the future of voice in the cloud. Organizations may assess their requirements mapping with a myriad of features and capabilities provided by Teams which are:

  • Direct routing offered by Microsoft Teams enables organizations to connect their own PSTN with Teams by deploying session border control. Using this solution, global organizations can maintain both, conventional and cloud-based PBX model with multiple configuration options.
  • Some of the latest conventional PBX features added to Teams are Location Based Routing, Shared Line Appearance, Busy on Busy, Call Sharing and Group Call Pickup, Auto-attendants and Call Queues, Call Park and Retrieve, etc.
  • Along with Skype for Business certified phones, Teams is providing natively registered phones too to work with Microsoft Teams directly.
  • Microsoft Teams admin center integrates new features such as native device management, Call Quality Dashboard, Teams Rooms, analytics and reporting to detect usage patterns etc. for an enhanced user experience.

5. “Video conferencing endpoint devices are inept to support Microsoft Teams.”

Advanced audio and video devices such as smart conference phone devices, Poly Trio 8500/8800 devices, etc., are available in the market today to enhance meeting experiences in Microsoft Teams. Next, Microsoft Teams Room system encompasses full-fledged meeting capabilities such as one-button join, proximity join and native content sharing to its users. Additionally, using video interoperability services such as Pexip, BlueJeans, etc., existing video-endpoints can access Teams meetings with one-button join.

Conclusion

Microsoft Teams is constantly improving to help its customers enjoy a seamless collaboration than ever. Moreover, if you automate this platform using an in-house or a third-party solution such as TeamsHUB by Cyclotron, you can manage entire Teams ecosystem with just a few clicks and eliminate persistent administrative challenges which are manual and time-consuming.

To learn more about TeamsHUB by Cyclotron, please visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com to request a demo

Read more

June 02, 2021

Microsoft Teams Updates 2021

Introduction

With over 145 million daily active users, MS Teams has become a highly popular application worldwide today. It has lived up to the users expectation in making their lives easier and productive. To keep up the momentum, Microsoft constantly innovates and adds new features in Teams to enhance user experience to serve them better.

In this blog, we will check out some of the selected updates that Teams has rolled out in 2021 and thus, know how far Teams has come along in terms of user engagement. Let’s begin:

1. Meetings and webinars

Here, we will breakdown new features for meetings and webinars:

  • Breakout room retention and participant reassignment – This allows an organizer to reassign participants and move them into different rooms even if rooms are opened.
  • Invite-only meeting options – This option puts those participants in the lobby automatically who were not invited originally.
  • Polls in Teams meetings – Polls are now enhanced with intelligent suggestions as well as analysis to prepare questions and then respond quickly.
  • Enhanced meeting creation and expiration policies – Here, Teams meetings and join links are disabled for users whose scheduling permissions are have been revoked.
  • Improvements to audio permissions settings for attendees – This allows greater flexibility to an organizer to configure audio settings for the attendee.
  • External presenter support for Live Events – This allows you to allow anonymous users without Microsoft Service Account (MSA) or Azure Active Directory (AAD) identity to be a presenter.
  • Producer Management in Teams Live Events – This allows users to manage Teams live events as a producer in a separate window while collaborating with co-workers on Teams.
  • Custom Backgrounds on iOS for Teams meetings – This allows you to customize background from your iOS mobile devices while you are on a meeting.
  • Teams casting from Android and iOS Teams App – This allows one to cast wirelessly to connect to Teams Room and display content using their mobile phones for quick and ad-hoc meetings.

2. Devices

Updates are announced to both Teams Rooms on Windows and Android. On Windows, with an improved meeting join experience that supports Advanced Threat Protection sale link service, users can now have a seamless meeting join experience with external users. On Android, center-of-room meeting console support allows meeting participants to now control the center-of-room touch control console the same way they do on Windows devices.

Additionally, using improved display, you can view insights into the room’s daily schedule. Further, you can join meetings from the room console in personal mode. You can apply background effects, record the meeting, and initiate white-boarding to share with both in-room and remote participants.

There is also intelligent detection and remediation for Microsoft Teams Rooms which allows easy detection of incidents, vulnerabilities, and missing security KBs. It also includes advanced threat detection and security update management for Teams Rooms.

Microsoft announced surface accessories certified for Teams like Modern USB and Wireless headsets with advanced microphone systems for enhanced call controls. Microsoft also introduced a modern USB-C Speaker for the speakerphone experience.

For enhanced video capability, Microsoft released Modern Webcam viz The Yealink UVC20 and Poly Studio P5, with 1080p and 78-degree field of view and True Look technology. It comes with privacy shutter slides closed with an LED indicator to indicate whether you are visible in meetings. Audiocodes C435HD and the Yealink MP52 are some low-cost phones for personal use to suit your budget.

3. Chat and Collaboration

Microsoft introduced a product feedback tool to review the feedback automatically that you submit and provide help documentation related to the topic, if available. Additionally, once enabled by the administrator, you can share your email address when submitting feedback in Teams, so Microsoft can follow up with you. Other updates regarding chat and collaboration include:

  • Windows 10 native notifications in Teams – This allows you to choose the style of your notifications: built-in Teams or Windows native notifications with respecting focus assist mode to avoid distracting notifications when you need to focus and review your notifications in one place.
  • Visual update – This provides has a new visual look and feel in Teams mobile app on Android and iOS devices with new headers, icons, and styling along with the ability to automatically switch to a dark theme when you set your device to a dark mode.
  • Organize chats – In the Teams mobile app, you can pin chats and filter the Chat list. This is helpful when you want to get back into critical conversations quickly.
  • Emoji library and GIFs In the Teams mobile app, Microsoft provides an expanded library of emojis, and the ability to trim GIFs directly in the app on Android and iOS devices.

4. Teams Management

Microsoft introduced a pre-configured website tab in team templates. It enables an admin to add a URL of their choice to the website tab in a team template. The pre-built template makes it easier to distribute standardized content to the entire organization while creating a team. It also allows end-users to access critical corporate resources with minimal manual setup.

Then, with the app customization and branding capability, app developers can provide the option for their customers to customize the app. If so, then admins can customize app properties to deliver a branded app experience right within Teams.

Next, we have the Teams user usage report to get insights and metrics into Teams activities and usage. The reports can be generated on a per-team and cross-team basis to learn about interaction with peers and across the organization. Also, Microsoft introduced anonymous user usage reports where an admin can anonymize user data such as username, email address, etc., and protect user privacy while viewing and accessing the Teams usage report data.

Then there are custom policy packages that enable Teams admins to configure their own set of policy packages personalized to users with similar roles in their organization.

This summarizes the latest updates for Microsoft Teams for 2021 so far. However, to get details on new features Microsoft introduced for Frontline Workers and Government in Teams, please check out the link here.

Read more

June 01, 2021

Identifying barriers to MS Teams adoption and uncovering solutions to amplify it

Introduction

No matter how efficient it is, a newly adopted technology still produces adoption barriers in an organization, largely due to end-user behavior. Though Microsoft Teams is known to be the user’s favorite hub for teamwork, yet it unexceptionally needs certain adoption and security strategies in place to improve and maintain its usage after deployment.

In this blog, we will be discussing the essential practices for Teams optimization that must be considered to achieve long-lasting collaboration and business success. Here we go.

Ensuring MS Teams Adoption & Security

Let us go through some scenarios as signs of the declined rate of adoption of MS Teams and also, check out solutions to overcome them –

Scenario 1: Users may stop using Teams if they can’t find their files or documents easily

By default, users can create teams with duplicate names. When all users start to create teams haphazardly without a proper naming structure, information explosion in the form of teams sprawl and data overload occurs. This causes workspaces to override which later gives rise to data loss, poor search of content, and difficulty in locating files.

To overcome this issue, configure teams naming conventions and proper classification to eliminate any inconsistency in Teams. Next, manage the lifecycle of teams by configuring expiration policies so that unnecessary teams are archived or deleted after their purpose is over.

Scenario 2: Users may try to find an alternate solution to complete their tasks if services are disabled for security reasons

To control the overgrowth of teams, if the team creation process is switched off, users may lose the sense of belongingness or ownership to their tasks. Additionally, they may choose to download unsanctioned cloud apps as a substitute, which further generates a greater security issue called shadow IT.

To overcome this issue, the team creation process can be controlled by developing an automated approval-based request system where the name, purpose, owners, members, etc., in a team being created can be clarified.

Scenario 3: Fear of data leak may cause a limited usage of the platform

Users may only feel free to use a platform once they are confident about cybersecurity and the protection of their data. Hence, it is imperative to protect the sensitive business data that resides in your Teams environment, encrypt it, or watermark it to ensure safe data travels.

An excellent solution to this is enabling sensitivity labels to better classify as well as protect your data and control user access whether in transit or in rest without impeding the collaboration.

Scenario 4: Users may choose not to collaborate externally due to the lack of governance and control

If you are an organization that often needs to collaborate with third-party vendors or contractors for business outreach, you must implement a robust governance in MS Teams to control guest user collaboration.

Furthermore, to sort out this issue, you can use a governance automation application such as TeamsHUB by Cyclotron to track externally shared files and revoke access to files if any misuse or suspicious activity is detected.  

Scenario 5: Due to poor user training and guidance, the user may fail to understand the true value of MS Teams

Last but not the least, there is no substitute for user training. Users must be primarily guided about the usage and benefits of the platform. They must be clear about how MS Teams can revolutionize the business and can help drive better user experience, productivity, and ROI that lead to business success.

Furthermore, we recommend you use TeamsHUB by Cyclotron that has all necessary elements – govern, engage, secure, and adopt to remove the existing loopholes in MS Teams. For increased user adoption, it provides a self-training user portal on MS Teams with the most sought-after content such as video tutorials, tips, and tricks, editor picks, etc. for naïve users to get productive from day one.

To guarantee Microsoft 365 or Office 365 adoption success, TeamsHUB by Cyclotron is meticulously created by our engineers to promote flawless and fearless collaboration with end-to-end governance. With advanced analytics and dashboard enablement, you can even derive actionable insights into your entire M365 environment, track user activities, detect anomalies in real-time and determine remedial solutions before it negatively impacts your organization.

To know more, please visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com to request a demo

Read more

May 31, 2021

How automation takes Microsoft Teams to the next level

Introduction

Have you ever thought of integrating automated governance with Microsoft Teams?

When Teams governance is automated, it improves platform efficiency remarkably. Those who pay no or little attention to it, must be thinking – isn’t Teams already efficient without governance?

OK. So, let us first explain by saying that Microsoft Teams is designed with default configurations to fulfill common and basic requirements of every organization. However, to meet the unique requirements of your business, it must be extended or enhanced with additional policies to remove potential productivity barriers. Hence, governance does make a significant difference. But is governance enough?

Well, you might walk away with a formal governance plan if you are a small or midsize organization. But, if your organization is large sized, you cannot stay ahead of content sprawl, content invisibility, security risks, shadow IT, etc. without using governance. Also, governing Microsoft Teams manually is not an easy task. Rather it is a ton of work with repetitive processes.

Users such as IT leaders, administrators, and stakeholders work tirelessly to manage governance-related tasks without errors. Automating MS Teams governance helps such users to free up their time and use it constructively.

This is why, with no automation, businesses fail to empower users and deliver an enriching user experience which ultimately hampers productivity.

When to automate Microsoft Teams

Organizations are always considerate about minimizing risks without affecting their businesses. While using Teams, it is important that you know who has access to your content and resources and what they are doing with it.

When users work remotely and teams explode, Teams governance becomes critical as control may get out of hand. At this stage, what is required of an administrator is to manage an unfettered growth of teams and constantly monitor access activities, and detect unusual incidents. This is largely when automation helps.

How Microsoft Teams automation brings collaboration revival

Let us see how automation transforms MS Teams into a new-age collaboration platform –

  • Simplifies administration and scales your Microsoft 365 governance
  • Improves collaboration enabling better teamwork with self-service features, pre-configured policies, and permission management.
  • Doesn’t require users to go through rigorous and manual training sessions
  • Quickens provision of services to end-users and facilitates MS Teams adoption
  • Helps to deliver better services without IT burden
  • Eases lifecycle management of teams without PowerShell and configuration
  • Limits context-switching and drives user focus
  • Eliminates duplication or overlapping of workspaces
  • Enhances discoverability of workspaces
  • Strengthens external collaboration with controlled information sharing
  • Reduces service desk workloads
  • Enhances trackability of content in real-time and monitoring of the platform
  • Improves communication with automated notifications, alerts, or emails

If you are struggling to manage and govern Microsoft Teams, leverage automation and avoid falling into the traps of existing loopholes of the platform.

To learn more about MS Teams governance automation, please visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com to request a demo

Read more

May 25, 2021

Unveiling 5 distinct features of TeamsHUB by Cyclotron for simplified user experience

Introduction

Administrators who proactively govern MS Teams environment are aware of its complexity when it comes to managing their daily tasks that are long and time-consuming. For instance, if a new user needs to be added to three or four teams simultaneously, there is no other way except adding that user one by one to all teams individually.

Automation is one such powerful opportunity that drives effectiveness at scale by faster execution of operations when used with Microsoft Teams. With this regard, considering simplification of the platform for user empowerment, TeamsHUB by Cyclotron leverages the power of automation for end-to-end coverage of administrative solutions for Microsoft Teams.

In this blog, we will brief out some interesting customizations in MS Teams by TeamsHUB by Cyclotron for easy ways of working. We will keep it limited to five very distinct and unique capabilities which we believe your IT team would love to incorporate in MS Teams. Let’s start:

1. Updating multiple teams in bulk

Just select any number of teams that need to get updated and fill in the details as per your requirement such as add/remove owner or member, apply sensitivity label, delete selected teams or include them all in a group or hub in ONE GO. Performing bulk updates like this with a visually attractive platform using TeamsHUB by Cyclotron is a much better way to manage teams; an important functionality not found in MS Teams.

2. Merging similar teams into one

Merging teams in another unique capability provided by TeamsHUB by Cyclotron. Here, you consolidate two or more teams into a single team and carry over all the data, channels, and artifacts such as permissions, guest members to the merged team. To do this, you just need to select source teams that you want to migrate and move it to the intended team, the destination. Besides, you can also schedule the merger of teams at a specified time, if not required instantly.

3. Creating hubs

You may want to create a group of teams based on a preferred or search criterion such as team name, tag, classification, etc. and frequently visit them for various operations. Once again, you won’t find this option in MS Teams. Thankfully, TeamsHUB by Cyclotron lets you create a group of teams called ‘hub’ by filtering out your favorite teams, for quick reference and discovery of content.

4. Classifying teams using tags and labels

Tags and labels help in the classification of teams and enhance your control around sensitive content to strengthen security. TeamsHUB by Cyclotron allows users to easily tag a team if it belongs to their department, location, or project for better organization and faster search.

Next, you can create and apply sensitivity labels to teams so that they can be appropriately classified based on confidentiality level. Sensitivity labels also protect the data along its journey. TeamsHUB by Cyclotron provides you one single interface to tag and/or labelize the content without navigating and configuring policies using multiple admin centers.

5. Custom site provision

If you ever need to create categories first before creating teams for high-level organization of teams, then use custom site provision. This allows you to create custom site type categories, custom site types and simplify site request forms to meet the needs of employees and clients quickly.

Using TeamsHUB by Cyclotron, the administrator can design the request process of creation of customized teams, sites, or groups in a manner that follows your business mandates.

Conclusion

We aim at automating MS Teams administration and process simplification to promote user engagement and empowerment. Removing unproductive and complex tasks with automated policies, TeamsHUB by Cyclotron fulfills diverse governance requirements of a company for enhanced collaboration.

To know more about TeamsHUB by Cyclotron, please visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com to request a demo

Read more