Maximize the value of Microsoft Teams after a rapid deployment

  • Posted on August 18, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Maximize the value of Microsoft Teams after a rapid deployment

This article was originally written by Avanade alum Scott Waymack.

2020 is the crescendo of a global home working revolution that has been building for a number of years now.

Many firms have moved to remote working by default and are using video calls to replace frequent in-person meetings. As organizations look to reset and emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, remote working represents an opportunity to solidify new ways of working, which they may have only experimented with previously.

During this time, Microsoft Teams usage has exploded. It’s now the enterprise collaboration tool of choice for many organizations, and a report by Microsoft revealed that 2.7 billion meeting minutes were recorded in one day recently, a 200% increase from 900 million minutes in March.

With that said, many organizations have had to rapidly deploy Teams (and other technologies) at an extraordinary pace to ensure business continuity. We’ve been helping our clients to do just that - including the deployment of Teams to 1.2 million NHS employees in just seven days.

But, in our experience, deployment isn’t the hardest part. Many organizations struggle with “what comes next.” To really get the best out of Teams, there are several things you need to do in the short term so you can thrive over the long term.

What to do in the short term - reconciliation activities
If you’ve rapidly deployed remote technologies like Teams, there are a range of immediate activities that can help you plan for the next stage of your remote working journey.

First, it’s important to have a plan to transition your organization back to your physical business locations, which will probably be limited or at least with significant restrictions on capacity. This process is likely be progressive and transitory, so you will need to evolve as your situation demands. With a plan for transitioning back to work, you can better understand the impact on how’ll use Teams going forward.

Then, if you’ve leveraged a temporary or ad hoc tenant, you’ll need to decide which production tenant you’re going to stay with. A tenant boundary forms the foundation to a user’s identity ecosystem. Simplicity is advisable for security.

After that, there are a number of additional steps you’ll need to think about:

Consumption: Get an accurate overview of your usage patterns. Both the call quality dashboard and the Teams admin center can provide usage reports, which will give you an accurate picture of your usage patterns.

User requirements: Map out your new working community and employee footprint. This may be in a dispersed state right now, but as you plan your return to work locations, it’s important to think about how key features and functions as well as use cases can be supported both on corporate environments and remote working scenarios. Here, you’ll want to consider:

  • Who are your users and where will they be (for example, in the office, at plants, on campus, using mobile devices or in remote locations)?
  • How many users are there?
  • What features will they use and where?
  • What devices will they use in each location?

Cost control: Consider the cost and productivity impact. How can you optimize your costs and what are your priorities? What are the implications over the short and long term for your business case when it comes to things like license optimization, funding projects, cost takeout and productivity gains?

Existing environments: Are there legacy PBX or on-prem solutions that should be retired quickly or integrated? If you’ve been running legacy environments that weren’t actively used, this may be a good opportunity to decommission them. If users have been migrated to a more modern comms tool, this is a good chance to make that transition quickly. When you eventually get back to the office, evaluate which devices, phones and meeting room solutions are compatible with your new platform.

Thriving in the long term
Many of our clients are telling us that they won’t go back to how things were before – and that they have realized they can still be productive with a hybrid remote workforce. So, now is the ideal time to look at long-term planning for the Teams platform.

Our new Teams infographic uncovers the six key areas that our clients are focusing on – download it today and explore them in more detail.

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