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4 considerations before implementing Microsoft Teams within Office 365

In recent Office 365 updates, Microsoft appear more determined than ever to help IT teams tackle the Shadow IT problem. With new applications, capabilities and better integration, organisations (and individuals) no longer have to look outside Office 365 to get the tools they need. Microsoft Teams is a perfect example.

As a born in the cloud collaboration platform, it brings together people, data and tools for better communication and teamwork. It’s tightly integrated within Office 365 (so no additional logins to remember) but still provides an open and extensible platform that can be integrated with other systems and services if needed.

Since it’s included in Office 365 Business Essentials, Business Premium and Enterprise E1, E3 and E5 plans, virtually every Office 365 customer has access to it.

For organisations already invested in Office 365, teams arguably has better functionality, and better user experience than Slack and at no additional cost. Also, if your organisation is already using Skype for Business, then you’re probably aware that Microsoft Teams will eventually replace Skype for Business – that is proof alone that Microsoft are serious about their ambitious “Intelligent Communications” vision.

View a demo of Microsoft Teams


Where do you start?

This all sounds great, but before you go and enable Microsoft Teams for all your users, there are a few things you must consider first.

1. Proof of Concept

Why should you consider a proof of concept for a product that is a part of the Office 365 suite? The answer lies in Microsoft Teams’ versatility. Running a proof of concept allows you to explore those capabilities before you try and incorporate Microsoft Teams into your organisations broader business workflows.

We’ve seen this idea used to great effect within a large enterprise who ran a proof of concept with their Enterprise Agreements (EA) throughout the organisation. This allowed testing to be done with influential users across the organisation, rather than in a specific department and also provides visibility to the executive team on its effectiveness prior to being rolled out on a larger basis.

2. With great power comes great responsibility

Microsoft Teams is designed for quick, but persistent collaboration that puts the power in the hands of your users to create teams, invite others (even those outside your organisation), add channels, apps, data sources etc. The ease of use is one of its strengths, but it also means IT teams must walk a fine line between leveraging the full capabilities of the platform and having the necessary governance and controls in place.

Some of the questions that IT teams need to think about include:

  • Should anyone be able to create a team, or should it be controlled?
  • What mechanisms will we use to avoid duplication of information?
  • Will there be a naming standard for Microsoft Teams and how will this be enforced?
  • How do we enforce compliance for Microsoft Teams that meets the business requirements?
  • Do I have the required licensing?
  • As an Admin how do I discover content in Teams for investigative purposes?
  • Will we allow automatic provisioning of new teams?
  • Will Guest access be enabled and how will we manage access, security and lifecycle of Guest accounts?

3. Data Sovereignty

Each Team is created with a corresponding Group which includes a SharePoint Team Site, group mailbox, Office 365 Planner and OneNote. When you upload a file to a Team, that file will reside in Microsoft’s Australian data centre, however Team chats and channel conversations are currently stored overseas.

This is on the roadmap to be changed, so if your organisation has a requirement for data to be stored within Australia, you will need to wait until the 2nd quarter of 2018 when this data will also be stored within Australia.

4. User Training

Skype for Business is centred around making contact with a specific person (or group of people) at any time on any device and people intuitively understand how to use it. With Microsoft Teams, the focus has shifted from connecting with individuals to context aware collaboration with a group – from a single pane of glass.

This shift of focus means it can be challenging for new users who just want to call someone. Without a plan for training (under an appropriate governance umbrella), you could end up with poor user adoption rates which defeats the purpose of a collaboration app.


Office 365 Adoption Workshop

With the continual development of Office 365, it can be difficult to ensure your organisation is getting the most value from your Office 365 subscription. In particular, the extensibility capabilities of Microsoft Teams via the developer platform will enable you to build custom integrations to your existing business processes or help you develop new ones. The options are almost limitless.

At Data#3, we can help you unlock the full potential of Teams as well as the broader capabilities within Office 365 with our tailored Adoption Plan.

For example, when we recently explored one of our customer’s business processes as part of a project, we unlocked a treasure trove of benefits using Teams. From field worker data entry using PowerApps into SharePoint, to using rain gauges and sensors to keep 3rd parties honest when they say they were unable to make progress on a project because of the weather.
With Office 365 at the heart, 3rd party integrations and Microsoft Teams to tie it all together, this customer ensures that information is captured and presented to the relevant people at the right time.

For more information visit www.data3.com/office-365-adoption-workshop/ or contact us today.

Tags: Business Productivity, Cloud, Collaboration, Microsoft, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Training & Adoption

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