Microsoft Teams consulting – 8 services we could help you with

The impact of Microsoft Teams on the world of work has been profound; it now forms a major part of many enterprises digital workplaces, and a collaboration hub for countless individuals. In fact, it is not unusual for some employees to be spending most of their working day in and out of Teams. Anybody with a digital workplace based on Microsoft 365 needs to be thinking about Teams, and even those who arent may find employees are using it when communicating with third parties.

What next for Microsoft Teams?

The growth of remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated Teams usage, and by October 2020, the platform had reached 115 million daily active users. This growth has been so rapid that many digital workplace teams and IT functions may have found themselves with a well-adopted Teams platform that was not initially installed with the planning and guardrails which would normally be in place for such a launch, leaving some necessary governance and formalisation yet to take place. They may also be wondering how they can best utilise Teams going forward now that attention has shifted away from driving adoption.

Some organisations who arent quite at this level of maturity, or are still undergoing their Microsoft 365 digital workplace journey, may also be thinking about the best way forward. A Microsoft 365 implementation will likely involve a Teams roll-out in some way.

Its also worth remembering that Teams is still undergoing investment from Microsoft, with new  capabilities emerging regularly. With an aggressive roadmap and many other third-party applications working to integrate with Microsoft Teams, the tool will continue to evolve.

Talking about Teams

We are increasingly finding that existing customers and other professionals from across the digital workplace community are talking to us about what the next steps for Microsoft Teams are, the role it plays in various digital workplace related strategies, and ways they can improve governance.

As part of our Microsoft 365 and SharePoint consulting service, we provide comprehensive advice on different aspects of Microsoft Teams. Here are some of the main themes that customers are talking about, all of which are areas that anyone using Microsoft Teams should be considering.

1 Digital workplace strategy and roadmap

If you have a Microsoft 365 digital workplace, then Teams needs to be part of your digital workplace strategy and roadmap. The continuing investment from Microsoft, ability to integrate applications, high levels of adoption and potential for value, means that Teams is difficult to ignore. Questions to consider include the possible use cases for Teams, its role in key organisational processes, how it is supported and other themes listed below.

2 App delivery framework

For many organisations, Teams is now where work happens. This means it is emerging as a key platform for delivering both third-party tools and custom apps created using the Microsoft 365 Power Platform. An app delivery framework involving Microsoft Teams takes a structured approach to defining Teams apps and integrations, ultimately helping employees to work better and smarter.  As part of the app delivery framework, the value delivery of bots and automation should also be considered.

3 Microsoft Teams governance

During 2020, many digital workplace teams and IT functions were forced to roll out Microsoft Teams in a hurry to support business continuity. For the sake of expediency, this means that they may not have employed the usual governance measures which might be put in place on a major launch of a tool like Teams.

Some organisations might now need to be playing catch-up with Teams governance, ensuring that the platform meets any security, compliance and regulatory commitments, but is also optimised for use and findability.

The settings in Teams, both at the platform level and across each Team, allows for considerable levels of governance, while site provisioning processes are critical in order to reduce site sprawl and duplicated spaces. Organisations may also have specific requirements around auditing, for example. Governance is one of the key areas in which  we are regularly advising clients on their options.

4 Digital communications and channel strategy

Teams is primarily a team communication and collaboration tool; it is not necessarily an internal communications tool. However, it is a channel that is hard for internal communications teams to ignore for several reasons, including its high adoption and length of time employees are using it, as well as its ability to consume content and information from other tools. Additionally, new functionality, such as the ability to run large events on Teams, offers new options for internal communicators.

Here, key questions include the role of Microsoft Teams in your digital communication and channel strategy, and, more specifically, the relationship Teams has with your intranet, Yammer and even your broadcast channels.

5 Meeting rooms and hardware

With Microsoft Teams still continuing to grow, there is an emerging ecosystem that offers hardware that is designed to enhance the Teams experience, as well as help to equip meeting rooms that may involve connecting users via Teams. This includes everything from headsets and webcams, to desk phones and more complex meeting room equipment.

With the new reality of hybrid working likely to be a permanent feature of the way we work, and Teams being a primary collaboration platform in this prospect, hardware can be an important area to consider. A key question is how to optimise the Teams experience both in the office and outside of it; for example, many organisations are now offering hardware such as optimised headsets to assist employees working from home.

6 Unified communications and telephony

When Skype for Business was incorporated into it, Microsoft Teams effectively became a unified communications platform. This means there are multiple options to consider when using the system (including the hardware you use), including a number of specifics regarding telephony; Teams can have an impact on your in-bound dialling, so how to deal with call-routing, call-waiting and  conducting calls when working from home are all themes that need to be explored.

7 Digital literacy, support, adoption and launch

While the huge scaling up of Teams during lockdown  may have moved the focus away from driving adoption, there is still considerable thought that needs to be put into how to best support employees with optimal use of Teams, and how wider digital literacy programmes can train employees to get the best out of the platform. There may also be further launches that are required to facilitate this. Support and training programmes are important in helping get maximum value from Teams.

8 Migration strategies

Many organisations are migrating data, content and collaboration spaces over to Microsoft 365, such as from Jive. This migration may involve Microsoft Teams; here, the details of the migration need to considered to ensure the migration process is smooth and the new environment delivers a good employee experience.

Need advice on Microsoft Teams? Get in touch!

Microsoft Teams looks set to be the main pillar of many digital workplaces for years to come. It is a highly configurable tool packed with a wide variety of features that has the potential to make a real difference at an organisational, team and individual employee level. If you need support and advice on Teams and think you may want to utilise our Teams Consulting service, then get in touch!

8 must have features of a mobile intranet app

Strong mobile access for any intranet is now a given. Employees want to be able to consume information and access digital services in the way they do outside work, so an intranet app which presents a mobile-optimised user experience is important. It is especially critical in sectors such as retail, manufacturing, leisure, travel and healthcare; here a large proportion of employees are deskless and may not have digital identities. A mobile intranet app is therefore essential for firstline employees, particularly in these challenging times when all employees need access to trusted and up-to-date information.

A mobile intranet app does not always have the full functionality of a desktop intranet and may focus on the critical features and content that employees need to access on their mobile device. Choosing the right product is important for example, through our partnership with LiveTiles we help clients implement LiveTiles Reach mobile intranet app, a strong mobile intranet app which is focused on strong communication with all employees.

Lets look at eight essential ingredients of a mobile intranet app, all of which are available in LiveTiles Reach.

1 Remove barriers to access for all

A mobile intranet is an excellent way to reach all your employees, and a good intranet app removes the barriers to access that can exist in desktop intranets. Traditionally, not all the workforce has had  access to intranets because:

  • there is no easy access to a work computer during the day
  • employees do not have a corporate digital identity or email to be able to authenticate into the intranet
  • employees are not covered by Microsoft 365 or intranet software licensing
  • outsourced workers, consultants, contractors or regular freelancers need access to information but are not employees.

Here a mobile intranet app which allows potential access to employees or trusted external third parties on any device employee or corporate owned, iOS or Android, with a corporate ID or not removes all those barriers. To make this happen, strong security and onboarding features are important, ensuring that only the right people have access to the app and also install it easily.

2 Strong news delivery

A mobile intranet is a key channel in the digital communications landscape and plays an important role in delivering updates so every employee can stay up to date. This has never been more important during the COVID-19 pandemic where the situation remains fluid. A mobile intranet app should be able to deliver news and updates in an engaging and informative way, that also allows employees to comment, like and share.

While some news will be important for everybody to read, an app also needs to be able to target updates to different groups to ensure that the intrant remains relevant to each individual. Here, automatic translation capabilities (a feature on the LiveTiles Reach app) can also help overcome any language barriers for multinational workforces.


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3 Social collaboration and community

Some of the most powerful features of any mobile intranet app  are social and collaboration tools  such as the ability to comment on news, participate in discussions, post social updates, celebrate success and create community spaces. This not only allows for focused collaboration, but also give everybody a voice, supporting both engagement and efficiency.

Social and collaborative capabilities are powerful in supporting everyday work, but also in gathering feedback on initiatives, supporting professional and even non-work communities, and also nurturing and amplifying a more positive organisational culture. When we are all working remotely, collaboration and culture can be impacted; a strong mobile intranet app makes a tangible difference.

4 Content and reference pages

At the core of any successful intranet is useful content that helps employees get things done and stay informed. While some of this will be news and updates, there are also likely to be many static or evergreen pages that contain essential reference information on different topics such as how to complete tasks, details of products and services, organisational strategy, operational information and key company policies. For customer-facing staff, access to this kind of content can be very important for supporting customer service.

Many employee communication or social collaboration apps are quite weak on this aspect, relying on PDFs to present structured information. A true mobile intranet app provides robust access to content pages as well as documents, allowing employees to access structured content and organisational knowledge, including policies and forms.

5 Employee directory

A must-have feature of any intranet, both desktop or mobile, is the employee directory, ensuring employees can find information about their colleagues, contact them, search for experts and more. Arguably, the humble employee directory does more than any other one feature on an intranet to break down siloes and barriers across an organisation.

A strong mobile intranet app should have a comprehensive employee directory, allowing employees to find contact information, view profiles of their peers with salient information, and search using a variety of different criteria, such as job role and expertise area.

6 Event calendar and registration

Events such as town halls, webinars, conferences, training and celebrations are an important part of organisational life. In the past, many firstline employees have not participated in events because they simply couldnt access information about them. A good mobile intranet app will include an event calendar with relevant information and even the ability to register, giving the opportunity for all employees to take part in events such as town halls, perhaps for the first time.

7 Integrations

Most intranet apps are focused on employee communication, but the ability to carry out integrations with other systems and applications can be important. Integrations help with two different capabilities:

  • allowing employees to view other essential information and content such as Microsoft 365 documents)
  • allowing employees to carry out simple transactions such as booking leave or viewing roster information, for example.

A good mobile intranet app should allow for the possibility of integrations, either through connectors out of the box, or through customisation options.

8 Easy administration and robust analytics

On a mobile intranet app, its not only the user experience which is critical. The administrator experience must also be intuitive so that the app and its content can be easily managed on a day-to-day basis, and that the initial roll-out is also simple and straightforward; ideally a Comms or intranet team should not have to involve their IT function.

A good intranet app should also provide access to strong analytics that help you to track success, make improvements and drive insights about engagement with content.


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Any questions? Then get in touch!

Its essential to have a mobile intranet app, but it needs to have the right capabilities. If youd like to discuss setting up a mobile intranet app or want information about LiveTiles Reach, then why not get in touch or even organise a free demo?

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