February 08, 2022

Fully protect your Microsoft 365 data with TeamsHub.io’s backup and restore feature

Introduction

In a cloud world where cyberattacks are pervasive and data loss can occur unexpectedly anytime, data security is not an option. Over the last few years, a staggering number of companies have suffered a massive data breach due to ransomware and malware attacks. In addition, software and hardware failures, power outages, programmatic errors, accidental data deletion, natural disasters and malicious insiders are other common causes of data loss. By all odds, businesses must prepare well in advance against sudden and unanticipated downtimes to overcome financial and operational risks associated with data loss.

But aren’t native cloud security controls enough? Protecting data using preventive measures such as firewall configurations, network security, anti-virus software, data governance, etc., is certainly required but is only a part of the solution. Without immunizing your organization against data loss by using proper remediation measures, data security remains incomplete.

Limitations of Microsoft 365 backup and retention policies

Organizations that use Microsoft 365 environment need to protect their cloud data beyond native controls. We must keep in mind that Microsoft 365 is fundamentally designed to raise office productivity and not to protect business data. In a shared responsibility model, Microsoft ensures the availability of cloud infrastructure services whereas businesses are expected to keep their own data safe. In a specific clause under Services Agreement, Microsoft clearly states that it shall not be deemed responsible for any data loss that may occur due to outages or disruptions. As such, organizations must implement an effective backup and a speedy data recovery solution to mitigate potential data losses.

Furthermore, some important limitations of Microsoft 365 backup and restore capability are as follows –

  • Microsoft 365 offers basic protection features which can easily fall through cracks.
  • Due to unreliable backup and retention policies, the process of data recovery is time consuming and complicated.
  • Microsoft’s retention policies differ for each app and keep upgrading.
  • Data may be irretrievable due to catastrophic damages.
  • On accidental data deletion, data can’t be restored after a specified time from recycle bin.
  • Data is permanently erased if a Microsoft 365 account is deleted.
  • Contrary to data backup best practices, Microsoft stores copy of data in the same cloud which makes it susceptible to hacking again.
  • eDiscovery is only helpful when data is retained for evidence in legal cases. Secondly, eDiscovery subscription, included only under Microsoft 365 E3 license and above, is costly as compared to professional services.

The lurking threats of data loss and its consequences are too severe to ignore. Hence, organizations must prioritize a value-added backup and recovery solution as a cloud migration initiative to always ensure business continuity. As recommended by Microsoft, businesses must use a third-party application to completely secure their data and be compliant.

Backup your data with TeamsHub.io and recover it in minutes

Using TeamsHub.io that provides a comprehensive backup and quick restoration option for cloud content, you can empower your business against uninvited IT crises. With this third-party app, backing up your Microsoft 365 Teams and SharePoint Online data is just a matter of few clicks. An easy to use interface eliminates many steps of complex configurations, thereby saving time and efforts.

To ensure flawless collaboration, TeamsHub.io offers more flexibility to backup and restore your critical files at a massive scale. The app enables container-level backup and granular recovery of critical items such as web pages, files, list items, sites, subsites, metadata, contacts, email accounts and attachments in seconds. It also allows you to view audit logs of backup operations performed. You can now protect your business from cloud security threats, and effectively overcome downtime, cost of ownership and costly delays that cause loss of productivity.


To know more about how to consolidate TeamsHub.io for optimum data protection and other benefits, please visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com to request a demo

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February 07, 2022

Top tips to drive adoption on Microsoft Teams

Introduction

Microsoft Teams has played a massive role in virtual collaboration world to make workforce efficient and productive. However, there are many organizations that failed to reap desired benefits from it due to poor adoption. Basically, lack of robust adoption strategy causes loss of employee engagement without which Microsoft Teams can’t gain traction as expected.

Easy steps to improve adoption

Business change and user adoption has been a single point of worry for IT leaders for ages. Yet without it, it is not possible to achieve competence and stay ahead of the curve in global market. Thereby, for successful migration of Microsoft Teams, it is necessary to have sustainable adoption process in place. Further in this blog, we will share quick adoption tips for you to ensure higher chances of deployment success. Let’s begin –

1. Change management strategy

Implement change management strategy by providing clear roadmap of technological evolution to onboard users faster without resistance. Then, plan org-wide training to familiarize each user with important features of Microsoft Teams. Also, don’t forget to share about the positives of new technology and how it’s going to personally improve their work.

2. Champions program

Champions are super users who actively and enthusiastically use new technology and encourage others to explore new solutions too. Hence, create a champions program if you are a large organization to drive awareness and adoption of Microsoft Teams.

3. Use cases

Choose a few use cases thoughtfully for your champions or early adopters to get in tune with Microsoft Teams. This helps to deliver immediate results and quantify value of collaboration for a greater impact.

4. Teams app on mobile

Teams offers plenty of neat features in mobile UI for effective collaboration and enhanced experience. Hence, promote users to experience Teams on mobile. For example, users can use quick swipe gestures to manage your activity feed, ability to turn off notifications using quiet time, etc. to make their job easy. Additionally, integrated Office Lens to capture whiteboard or document, easy call transition from laptop to mobile in real-time, etc., are some of the fantastic features users would love to use.

5. Teams customization

Customize Teams to your way of working by adding more apps and plugins. Markedly, Teams offers more than 700 apps some of which are extremely powerful to empower users to work smartly. Also, you can choose custom low-code apps, bots, automated workflows and more to create ultimate customized experience to save time and boost productivity.

6. File management

Provide better options for file management and effective collaboration with Microsoft Teams using SharePoint Document Library.

7. Governance

Don’t rush to roll out Microsoft Teams without governance controls. Subsequently, create team and channel structure, assign user roles and permissions, enforce naming convention, and manage team creation and expiration process for controlled adoption and orderliness.

8. Teams security

Enhance security to Teams to mitigate data leakage while sharing information with external collaborators. Correspondingly, if possible, use automation for strengthening control on Microsoft Teams, prevent manual errors, improve data visibility, and monitor collaboration.

9. Third-party tool

Incorporate third-party apps to let users work effectively and productively. For example, a centralized admin console would streamline Teams management without having a prior coding experience via automation. Likewise, a smart dashboard would reduce time to insights by delivering actionable reports in real-time. This helps in anomaly detection ahead of time, prevent failures and measure adoption success.

In summary

Adoption is key to digital transformation success. However, we understand that migrating to cloud or even switching to Microsoft Teams may bring new set of challenges to IT leaders. We, at Cyclotron, know how to best align cloud services with your business goals so that you get most out of it. If you have already planned to migrate to Microsoft Teams, we can help you move past those challenges. So, allow us take care of your Microsoft cloud environment right from inception to launch with least amount of risk.

To find out how we can help you, drop us an email at sales@cyclotrongroup.com 

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February 07, 2022

How to increase Microsoft 365 user adoption

Introduction

Many businesses are investing in Microsoft 365 to facilitate modern collaboration for improved productivity. Microsoft 365 brings rich set of tools for IT experts and end users to make their lives easier. However, no matter how useful the new technology is, users are not always comfortable with changes introduced in their workplace. Correspondingly, to witness Microsoft 365 benefits in an organization, it’s imperative for users to actively engage in the platform.

In this blog, we will learn about effective strategies to increase end-user adoption for successful deployment of Microsoft 365. Let’s begin –

1. Train end-users

Training is critical to ensure that end users have necessary knowledge and information about Microsoft 365 value and effectiveness. First of all, users must know why the change is happening at workplace followed by the productive use of tools. Additionally, you must convey how new technology is going to influence each individual as well as team as a whole. It is best to provide use cases that identify common business challenges with possible solutions. Remember, Microsoft 365 offers plenty of apps and ways to perform the same tasks. Depending on your organizational purpose, you must educate users about which tools to use when to avoid confusions and chaos.

2. Activate self-service

Some organizations believe that giving too much freedom to end users results in unnecessary proliferation of groups in M365 ecosystem. While they choose to turn off self-service features, we don’t recommend user restriction to bring platform under control. Thereby, disabling users to explore the tool takes away a lot of value Microsoft 365 provides and deters adoption eventually. To get intended outcomes from M365, it is important to allow flexibility to users to utilize services to the fullest. Indeed, you can also trade-off between M365 management and user empowerment by doubling down on governance.

3. Implement governance

Microsoft 365 applications such as Teams may generate a great upheaval due to uncontrolled adoption. If self-service is enabled, users may end up creating many teams with duplicate names, or without a purpose. An overgrowth of teams intertwines associated workspaces that leads to poor search experience, user frustration and administration challenges. Nevertheless, by enforcing governance policies, you can eliminate potential security risks related to data loss that arise shortly after deployment.

Governance keeps Teams ecosystem in order and ensures a consistent structure to Teams by managing lifecycle of teams. However, governance is a ton of work for admins. Managing each team individually and manually in a large-sized organization is always tedious and time consuming. To overcome this, you can use our product TeamsHub.io to automate Microsoft 365 governance and simplify administration. To learn more about governance using TeamsHub.io, please click here.

4. Enhance employee engagement

High employee engagement is key to driving and maximizing adoption. As engagement and adoption are symbiotic activities, it is wise to elevate team experience using various engagement features. Microsoft 365 powers employee engagement using Microsoft Teams, Yammer, SharePoint, and other tools. Advanced engagement features incorporated in these tools empower users to connect with their organizations and align them to common goals.

You can rely on Microsoft Teams to hold engagement events and activities for remote employees. Additionally, you can incorporate powerful apps to unify their experience in an environment where they can naturally grow and thrive. We recommend our intranet portal on Teams combined with Microsoft Viva to help you elevate employee engagement. It is a great tool to drive innovation and productivity while bringing employees closer to your business systems and workflows. To learn more about our engagement platform, please click here.

5. Monitor and course correct

Adoption monitoring is important to evaluate deployment success of Microsoft 365 in your organization. It gives you insights into product usability and overall productivity to quantify your results. This information is crucial to understand what your users liked and disliked about the platform. Given that, you can build measurable success factors to increase ROI. This also enables you to revise implementation in tractable stages to achieve higher adoption levels.

Before we wrap up, we encourage you to not limit yourself to quantitative data to check adoption progress. In general, it’s possible to overlook the struggles that end users face behind the scenes. With this in mind, approaching users to learn about their experiences personally gives you the low-down on their pain points. On the other hand, it shows that you are considerate of their challenges too. On the positive side, you can make meaningful improvements by cultivating a close partnership and positive excitement for change.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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