December 14th, 2018 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
We are on a mission to simplify and accelerate the adoption of Microsoft Teams and other productivity services because we know the value this can provide to your business. Telling this story in a way that is easy to understand and utilizes all our resources is an important step forward to empower all decision makers, IT Pro's and Champions around the world.
Today we are happy to announce the launch of our Teams Toolkit. This online, mobile friendly, visual asset pulls together many of the resources you will find in depth at our Teams Adoption Hub on SuccessWithTeams.com and around the Microsoft ecosystem. Use this guide to understand business outcomes, best practices and real world use cases for Microsoft Teams and teamwork scenarios. You will also find downloadable assets to onboard your Helpdesk, understand the core scenarios for teams like meetings and collaboration and our Day in the Life training one-sheets.
Access our Teams Toolkit at https://aka.ms/TeamsToolkit and give us feedback in our UserVoice forum for all our adoption tools at https://aka.ms/AdoptionFeedback. We always want to hear from you here in our forum so we can continue to produce useful tools so that you can improve your productivity experience.
As organizations move to the cloud from their on-prem solutions, there are questions around the differences in their governance strategies. In SharePoint, governance was more straightforward since organizations only had to focus on their on-prem environments. However, governance challenges change dramatically once you move to Office 365.
When it comes to SharePoint governance, organizations focus on permissions, infrastructure, and whether the proper people have the ability to provision and administer sites. In the traditional sense, it was focused on the organization enforcing policies to make sure that admins were in control of what users did. This includes closely monitoring the Active Directory, groups, admin controls, sprawl in SharePoint, and controlling the data lifecycle with records management.
Office 365 Governance
As great as Office 365 is for organizations, there are certain challenges with governance in the cloud that an on-prem platform like SharePoint doesn’t present. With streamlined updates and apps constantly being added, there is a multitude of scenarios that organizations must be prepared for.
Prepping for New Feature Rollouts
There are new features coming all the time to Office 365, as well as applications like Groups and Teams. This makes it even more important to have a governance strategy that can continuously adapt to new applications that are released.
Want to learn the differences between governance in SharePoint and Office 365? Check out this article: Click To Tweet
Maximizing All of The Features in Office 365
As you continue to build out your governance plan, making sure users are getting access to the apps and features they need is of the utmost importance. Although organizations must ensure that all the applications in Office 365 are being used in a secure way to avoid sprawl, users must still be empowered to perform their tasks as needed. This is critical to getting the maximum ROI on Office 365.
Scalability of Office 365
As more tools have rolled out in Office 365 they have required more time to properly manage, which can affect scalability. There are a multitude of Admin Centers for the various apps that can make balancing permissions while staying secure a potential issue. This can create a burden on IT and security teams as they are responsible for making sure everything is being governed properly.
Many organizations take the approach of severely restricting end-user functionality in Office 365. While this might seem like a viable quick fix, it can actually become a burden for the IT department as they then become responsible for the vast number of tasks and functions in the environment. This ultimately only ends in a headache for corporation heads because they aren’t achieving the full ROI potential of Office 365.
Native Office 365 Governance Capabilities
Native governance capabilities in Office 365 are comprised of Admin Centers in Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Office 365 Groups, and Exchange that help IT admins control user permissions. Microsoft also has a Security & Compliance center that helps with data governance.
Essentially, these allow you to control permissions, administrative options for Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, custom roles for internal users, and Admin Centers. However, it’s important to note that many of the native capabilities in Office 365 require a manual setup, and each new Team, Group, or SharePoint site has to be provisioned properly in order to match the requirements of policies in Office 365 (which can add another task to the IT department’s workload).
This is where a third-party vendor like AvePoint comes in. We can put tools in place to help you define how things are created and control who creates them. We also empower you to choose where content and/or workspaces are hosted and how they’re accessed (including recertification criteria). And when you’re done with a collaboration space and it’s just cluttering your environment? AvePoint can help you get rid of it (or securely store it for compliance requirements). If you want to learn more about AvePoint’s SharePoint and Office 365 operational governance solutions, click here.
December 12th, 2018 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
The workplace is experiencing a major shift: In our increasingly complex world, the value of an employee is largely found in his or her ability to understand and share the ideas, information, and processes that help a company innovate.
To solve complex problems, think more critically, and convey information quickly, today’s workforce needs software that will help them communicate in the way that comes most naturally.
The new Lucidchart integration with Teams can help you convey complex ideas and break down communication barriers, visually. Lucidchart is a cloud-based platform that allows users to easily create and collaborate on flowcharts, ERDs, BMPN diagrams, wireframes, mockups, network diagrams, org charts, etc. in real time. It has helped teams innovate 38% faster and eliminate 2.5 meetings per week.
With the integration, you can now add or create a new Lucidchart document as a tab in your Team channel so anyone in the channel can edit or comment on the visual without leaving Microsoft Teams. You can also access your Lucidchart documents from a personal tab.
Here are some common scenarios we see Lucidchart customers using every day to maximize their productivity:
Clearly convey complex ideas
Because people can more easily interpret information from visuals, you can give your team members the information they need to move on your ideas or follow optimized processes.
When you use Lucidchart in Microsoft Teams, you can create the visuals, from simple flowcharts to complex technical diagrams, that simplify the complex and help your company innovate faster.
You can even use the Lucidchart app to place your data in context. From Teams, link data to your diagrams and add conditional formatting to show others how your processes and systems are performing. Import database schemas, AWS infrastructure, and CSVs to lay out your systems visually for greater understanding.
The Lucidchart and Microsoft Teams integration can help bring together your dispersed workforce, allowing teams to collaborate in real time without having to meet or pass diagrams back and forth. Once you add a Lucidchart document to your Team channel, anyone in the channel can view or start working on the diagram.
Collaborators can also use in-editor commenting, notes, and @mention notifications in Teams to leave their feedback on specific parts on the diagram so you can make necessary changes, get approval faster, and start moving on your ideas quickly.
Example use cases
Additionally, here are some department-specific use cases that the Lucidchart and Microsoft Teams integration will solve for customers:
Product development: Create user flow diagrams, mockups, and product roadmaps to ensure that everyone is on the same page as far as what they are building and how they should build it.
Software engineering: Document code, communicate your vision to non-technical audiences, and determine the best way to build powerful applications.
IT: Map out your physical network and IT process to troubleshoot issues faster, simplify onboarding, and keep track of inventory.
DevOps: Build development and deployment processes, visualize the current state of your infrastructure, and plan out your future state to optimize performance.
Project management: Define your project process, delineate roles and responsibilities, and track your progress with data linking and conditional formatting.
Marketing: Use visuals to outline campaigns, email flows, website structure, etc. and see how all of your marketing efforts fit together.
HR: Share recruiting processes, onboarding processes, and org charts to help you bring on the best people as your company scales.
How to get started
Install Lucidchart from the Microsoft App Store. After you connect to your Lucidchart account, you can start adding Lucidchart to your apps.
And remember that Lucidchart doesn’t just integrate with Microsoft Teams. Once you have created visuals directly in Lucidchart or in Microsoft Teams, you can share them within other popular applications, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Make your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations more clear and engaging with visuals.
Are you looking for ways to advance digital transformation at your organization? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Greetings everyone! My name is Vicky Zhang, EPG Client/Partner Manager at AvePoint Singapore. Today we’re going to recap Dux Raymond Sy’s thorough Microsoft Teams governance workshops held in Singapore and Hong Kong last month. Let’s get right into it!
In fact, more than 200,000 organizations use Microsoft Teams in 181 markets across the globe. With a free version now available Skype for Business on its way out, there’s no wonder why people are so keen to jump on Microsoft Teams train. Naturally, the APAC region is no expectation.
This is especially the case in Singapore and Hong Kong, which ranks No.1 and No.4 on Asian Digital Transformation Index, respectively. These two cities are both smaller in size, reliant on advanced technology, and share a strong necessity to make the most out of the hyperconnected workstyle a digital transformation enables.
At the same time, however, this new era of collaborative technology and tools brings new challenges as well. One of the most prominent is the effective governance of cloud-based collaboration tools.
Thus, I was thrilled to accompany Microsoft RD+MVP and AvePoint CMO Dux Raymond Sy as he gave in-depth workshops on Microsoft Teams governance across Asia. He’s known for his energetic presentation style, so I had a wonderful time introducing him to our audiences and seeing how much they enjoyed the presentation!
We were also very lucky to have Dan Stevenson, Microsoft Senior Director of Microsoft Teams, co-hosting the session in Hong Kong. It was such a great experience to hear about Microsoft Teams from the very person who contributed to the birth of Teams!
Interactivity is the Name of the Game
The session started with Dux asking participants to “Identify which Microsoft Teams adoption or governance issuesend users are faced with.” Dux gave this instruction to participants at the beginning of the session. They were then to have a discussion among the small group, narrow the issues down to 3, and then draw these three issues in a single panel!
Because the workshop started with this interactive activity (and collaborative picture drawing was involved), participants in my group opened up to each other easily, exchanging their stories and having enthusiastic and cheerful discussion.
The warm, easygoing atmosphere was helped by Dux himself who, in the meantime, went around the room listening in on the discussion and making suggestions. He continually interacted with the audience to make sure they were taking everything in. Participants took full advantage of this by enthusiastically asking questions and seeking feedback.
After the “picture drawing challenge,” Dux took the stage to speak about the more technical side of Teams/Microsoft 365. Amazingly, the interactive atmosphere of the earlier session never went away.
One of the reasons why participants enjoyed the workshop is that many topics are based on real-life scenarios, use cases, and stories.
When should I use Yammer and not Teams?
Should we encourage users to start using Teams chat instead of Skype for Business?
How should I make sure information on Microsoft Teams is stored securely? And what about external sharing?
How do SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams work together?
Dux addressed those issues using real-life examples, including some from his very own Teams experiences. Lessons and explanations straight out of actual living, breathing collaboration felt very “real” and the audience remained captivated, taking notes and listening intensely.
How to fight chaos with proper tools
Dux covered many important topics on Microsoft Teams, but the audience especially seemed to enjoy the topic on “proper governance methodology for Microsoft Teams.” This covered the point of creation (provisioning), continuous management on the cause of usage (management) and how to retire an obsolete platform (lifecycle).
Since Microsoft Teams is meant for making collaboration intuitive and simple, sprawl is a constant (and unfortunate) side effect. Simply turning everything off, however, would harm agility and might lead to “shadow IT” from frustrated end users. How can end users manage Office 365 Groups at scale and prevent chaos?
Dux approached this topic from various angles: utilizing an Azure AD Premium license, restriction by group creation permissions (PowerShell cmdlets included), creating a group naming policy (using suffixes and/or configuring certain words, though the total prefix and suffix string length should be restricted to 53 characters), and incorporating a group expiration policy.
By implementing those policies properly, end users are free to collaborate within their permissions, and IT departments are no longer in constant worry of endless sprawl. Everybody wins!
That said, Dux reminded the audience of the importance of self-service for a platform like Microsoft Teams. It is crucial to empower end users to live in, take full advantage of, and get the most out of their modern collaboration experience.
As a client/partner manager, it was both refreshing and eye-opening for me to see IT professionals freely discuss the challenges they face every day. It was also heartening to see them learning from each other’s perspectives and the real-life scenarios Dux introduced, and visibly gaining confidence in their own Microsoft Teams roadmap. I hope what Dux talked about helped them to envision their organization’s very own digital transformation with Microsoft 365 tools.
December 11th, 2018 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
This is one that has become pretty common to many of the Teams that I am a part of and I have seen it documented by a few others but felt like it needs more publicizing.
If you are starting a new conversation, add a subject to make it more engaging. This really helps if you have multiple conversations going on in a Channel. This is super easy to do. Right below the “Start a new converstation” where you would type, there is an icon that has an “A” with a pencil on it:
Now you will be presented with the ability to edit the subject field:
Bonus tip: Another thing about this mode, you can free form enter text and even craft paragraphs. When you hit the “Enter” key, you will get a new paragraph versus posting the text to the Channel.
Hoping to bring more of these types of tips in the coming weeks!
Microsoft quietly released the new organisation-wide teams update in Microsoft Teams towards the end of this year, adding the new functionality with considerably less fanfare than expected. In fact… almost no fanfare. The feature simply appeared along with a supporting technical support page—that was it.
Before we go into why it was such a non-event, what are organisation-wide teams? Well, they are as the name implies: teams in Microsoft Teams that span the entire organisation. Effectively, all licensed users inside an organisation are automatically made members of an organisation-wide team.
What About Yammer?
In a nutshell, this is quite similar to Yammer in how it allows people from across the organisation to find each other, get tagged by others, and have conversations between departments.
Where this new Microsoft Teams update deviates, however, is most notably due to the current limitation of only allowing 1,000 members of an org-wide team. Any organisation that wants a community with over 1,000 members across the organisation will need to stick with Yammer for now. This is also most likely why the functionality was released without much fanfare – because Microsoft didn’t want to create more “what to use when” or “Teams vs. Yammer” conversations.
Looking for more information on Microsoft Teams' new organization-wide teams feature? Check out this article: Click To Tweet
What does an organisation-wide team offer over a normal team? There’s only clear-cut benefit, though it’s a major one: the automatic membership for every current and future user in the organisation.
Because of this powerful feature, only administrators are allowed access (though anyone can be an owner). This means that IT can create the team itself before handing over control to a community manager or similar role that would traditionally “own” the management of Yammer.
Beyond the organisation-wide (ie. automatic user-enrolment) aspect of the team, it offers no difference to the standard feature set. This means that the team still sits on top of an Office 365 Group, has access to a SharePoint team site, document library, OneNote, Planner, and other resources.
Since the organisation-wide team is accessible by every person in the organisation, governance needs to be at a higher level than normal. Seeing as Microsoft Teams supports more granular controls than Yammer, a good place to start with the organisation-wide team configuration would be the following:
By effectively locking down the team, users can allow a community manager to manage its structure (e.g. different channels and tabs). Managers can potentially be granted Owner-level access so they can post messages and create channels as needed (i.e. location-based channels, specific work, and non-work-related topics, etc.).
These controls will stop staff from creating plans in Planner, changing the tab layouts (as each person has their own preference, and constant change might frustrate some), adding connectors that automatically feed in information, and so on.
It would be in an organisation’s best interest to prevent the ability of team members to be able to @mention the entire team, as this is effectively the entire organisation. In the case of emergencies or time-sensitive notifications, owners could still perform this function. However, removing the ability effectively prevents any staff member from being able to call attention to their post for every single person in the company.
Think of it as preventing the ability for staff to send a message to the entire company and have it flash up in their inbox at the same time.
Upgrading Existing Teams
Some organisations may have already set up a pseudo-organisation-wide team that pre-dates the new functionality. In those cases, there is no need to start fresh as existing teams can be “upgraded” by changing the privacy setting by going into Edit Settings and switching it to organisation-wide.
The ability to switch a team around from private/public to organisation-wide allows organisations to create and customize their team before launching it for the entire organisation to use.
What to Actually Use When
Like in all cases, what to use when is quite subjective. For organisations with over 1,000 users, the organisation-wide feature obviously isn’t practical since it can’t reach above the user limit. Organisations that have under 1,000 users but manage an active network don’t need to drop everything and change course straight away.
There is no right or wrong, and “best practice” is more subjective these days than actually prescriptive.
There’s nothing to say that organisations can’t or shouldn’t have multiple organisation-wide teams, and there’s nothing to say they can’t use Yammer in conjunction with an organisation-wide team. Consideration must be given to communication noise levels, application interfaces, governance, use cases, and end-user experience. All of these must be thought through before organisations start utilizing this new and incredibly powerful functionality.