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We need to talk about Microsoft Teams performance

  • Posted on November 12, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes

2020 has created significant changes to the work environment: social distancing, office or physical workplace closures and hybrid remote working by default.

Corporations had to act quickly and decisively to protect business continuity and productivity. Many rushed into the deployment of communications and collaboration platforms way ahead of their planned schedule to help users remain productive while working from home.

Companies may have already been looking at increasing their work from home or telecommuting stance. But the pandemic forced them to accelerate that process from a period of years to months (if not weeks).

More haste, less speed
The trouble is rapid deployments often result in shortcuts or core elements being overlooked. And – sooner or later – that affects the overall performance of the platform in question. When it comes to Microsoft Teams, we’ve heard about governance and security being sidestepped during recent rapid deployments.

Microsoft Teams– like any workplace platform – depends on effective networking, security and governance models. Real-time communications require proper planning, scaling and network bandwidth.

It’s understandable that some of these essential areas were overlooked – businesses had to continue to function in uncertain times – but now most companies have adjusted to a work from home environment. So, it’s time to ensure your Teams tenant is performing at optimum levels.

Small frustrations create big problems
You might be unaware that your Teams tenant isn’t performing as well as expected. And you might not know what specific aspects are creating problems.

VPNs, home and corporate Wi-Fi bands/channels, devices and drivers, bandwidth, quality of service and firewall configurations can negatively impact Teams interactions. This is even true of deployments that have been in place for years.

Specifically, that results in:

  • Poor quality – echoes, robotic voice, choppy or stalled video and frozen screen shares all create a poor user experience
  • Dropped calls – nothing is more annoying than losing your connection during a meeting, or dropping video or screen share
  • Setup failures – frustration when users try to start a call, initiate video or share their screen

The impact of these seemingly isolated instances can be profound. While a poor experience can be frustrating for the end user, repeated failures can lead to a lack of adoption and confidence in the solution. And that might eventually lead to users embracing alternative non-sanctioned applications and ultimately reduced business value.

Unlocking Teams’ true potential
We’ve conducted research to understand current average Teams performance compared to Microsoft’s own Key Health Indicator (KHI) benchmarks. We reviewed 2.5 million seats across 75 companies globally and found that:

  • The average percentage of affected streams is 5.72%. That could be brought down to just 3%
  • The average percentage of affected calls is 5.5%. That could be brought down to just 3%
  • The average percentage of affected setups is 1.22%. That could be brought down to just 1%

To reach that gold standard, you first need to know where you are and how your tenant is currently performing. Our Teams Tenant Health Assessment can help you achieve that – providing a firm evaluation of your deployment.

With that transparent view of current performance, you can then begin your journey towards creating an optimized Teams environment and a superior experience for end users. Here are three phases to focus on as you seek to achieve that:

  1. Rapid results
    • Identify the quick wins to prove the value of remediation work early on
    • Focus on areas within your control
    • Identify the stakeholders required to make quick and decisive changes
  2. Ongoing improvements
    • Address any remaining low-hanging fruit
    • Focus on your internal network and optimization to prepare for workers returning to the office
  3. Management and maintenance
    • Seek to continually drive improvements to the overall performance of your environment
    • Be proactive in your platform management with regular periodic tracking of KHIs
    • Configure an alert monitoring system and implement an automated ticketing system for maintenance

As employees start to return to the office, it’s imperative that you act now to assess and address any trouble spots across your Teams deployment.

Employees expectations around Teams will have risen while they’ve engaged with the platform more readily. They’ll now have confidence that the toolset can enable rich collaboration and communication experiences. You need to ensure your Teams tenant can live up to those expectations.

Find out how you can take the first step in the journey towards a more effective and evergreen experience with our Teams Tenant Health Assessment.

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