Webinar: 3 classic mistakes to avoid when deploying MS Teams

Webinar details

Date: 20th November 2019
Time: 2:00pm to 2:30pm UK time
Presented by: Nico de Jong, Innovation and Experience Lead, Wizdom & LiveTiles

With more than 19 million weekly users just two years after launch, MS Teams has taken the world by storm. As an intuitive tool for teamwork and collaboration its not hard to understand that the application is adored by users.

Deploying MS Teams in your organisation, however, requires careful planning and consideration. As teams in MS Teams per default can be created by any user, policies must be in place to avoid:

  • An enormous number of MS Teams and Office 365 workloads created.
  • Lack of control in what is being shared externally from MS Teams.
  • Clutter of inactive teams resulting in low findability and discoverability.
  • More teams created for same purposes.
  • Users working in silos in different teams.

Have you already deployed MS Teams and are experiencing some of the issues above? Dont despair! We will also cover how you can gain control over your Office 365 self-service environment even long after a MS Teams rollout.

In this webinar we will cover how to establish automated processes for governance to ensure MS Teams is rolled out to make the workday better for each employee in your organisation.

Learn how:

  • to define fixed standards for teams creation and provisioning,
  • to maintain and keep your Office 365 self-service environment tidy,
  • to establish a healthy teams lifecycle.


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How a new SharePoint intranet can help unite classic and modern SharePoint

Moving over from classic SharePoint to modern SharePoint is not always straightforward. Not only can it feel like a new platform and interface to get used to, but then you have the issue of managing your legacy classic environment with your modern sites too.

Managing two systems is complicated in itself but additional questions arise. How do you move forward with a consistent user experience across your SharePoint landscape? What do you do when you want people to adopt modern sites, but a team wants to introduce a classic site, because thats what they’re used to?  You may also have an older intranet that can only cope with classic SharePoint.

These issues can sometimes even cause teams to postpone moving over to modern. In this article were going to see how a new SharePoint intranet can act as a bridge between classic and modern SharePoint and help teams with an over-reliance on classic SharePoint move forward with modern sites.

We still love modern

One of the best things about the recent evolution of SharePoint is the development of the modern experience and all the benefits it has brought to intranets and digital workplaces. Modern has delivered better interfaces, better performance, better support for publishers, better self-sufficiency, better site templates, better web parts and more. In 2018 we wrote about eight things we love about SharePoint modern pages.

As Microsoft continues to invest in modern and roll out additional features, we continue to enjoy working with it, both in our role as geeky developers and as intranet and SharePoint consultants, helping our customers launch fantastic intranets and digital workplaces.

Starting with SharePoint from scratch? Use modern!

Naturally anybody starting out on building a new intranet that is based on SharePoint Online and starting from scratch will be utilising the modern experience.  The same now goes for on-premises customers where SharePoint 2019 (which has been playing catch-up to a certain extent) can now also fully utilise the modern experience.

Weve launched both custom and Wizdom intranets that are mainly powered by modern SharePoint. Wizdoms in-a-box intranet was originally designed to work with classic SharePoint and has also now been extended to work along with modern SharePoint. Wizdoms developers have been working away since 2018 to make sure that each part of Wizdoms intranet and digital workplace offering plays nicely with all of modern SharePoint.

Recently we have been working on a brand new global intranet for TTEC, a global provider of customer experience solutions. Because the client wasnt working with existing classic SharePoint sites, we were able to only utilise modern web parts on a Wizdom intranet to deliver the very best experience possible for TTECs mobile and remote workforce.

Mixing classic and modern SharePoint

However, many organisations who are looking to design a new intranet or digital workplace environment may already have classic SharePoint in place or even a mixture of classic and modern SharePoint in place. This is particularly the case with organisations that have:

  • a custom-designed intranet that is based on classic SharePoint, so lists and sites and pages need to stay classic
  • worked with a previous SharePoint intranet based on classic and are looking to upgrade, but have already started to experiment with modern too. For example, perhaps a particular function has used a communication site and this has now spread to other parts of the business.
  • where a company has been brought together by acquisition and there are different versions of SharePoint being used
  • where there has been little to no governance and the SharePoint landscape is a digital wild west.

A SharePoint intranet as the unifying experience layer

In these types of situation, a new SharePoint intranet can actually act as an excellent unifying experience layer that can bridge the gap between classic and modern SharePoint, incorporating both within one common experience for users.  Depending on the situation, this new intranet could be a Wizdom intranet or a custom-build.

For example, Content Formula worked on improving the intranet for Petrofac, a global provider of oilfield services to the oil and gas industry with nearly 11,500 employees worldwide. Our work focused on building a new homepage experience. Despite the old intranet, Petronet, being based on classic SharePoint, our custom template for the homepage incorporated modern web parts. We also delivered other templates that led to a far more engaging, visually appealing and ultimately vibrant intranet.

When organisations do have a SharePoint environment where there is a mixture of classic and modern, the intranet helps your users:

  • deliver a great user experience for content, protecting users from the more dated and less friendly classic experience that tends to be the driver of negative opinion about SharePoint
  • bring the worlds of classic and modern SharePoint together so there is a more consistent and less confusing experience for all.

It also helps digital workplace teams too by:

  • allowing hesitant teams to finally get started with modern, because they previously wanted to avoid a mixture of classic and modern
  • aligning your SharePoint intranet with the Office 365 or SharePoint roadmap by starting to use modern sites and web parts, allowing for a more sustainable intranet with less retro moves of introducing more classic SharePoint
  • allowing teams to move forward with modern in a more achievable and gradual way, without having to migrate or upgrade everything over to modern all at once.

Moving forward with modern!

If youre stuck with a legacy intranet based on classic SharePoint, have a sprawling mixed landscape of modern and classic or are holding back on kick-starting modern SharePoint, then a new intranet can really help. Weve delivered both custom intranet with Sharepoint and Wizdom by LiveTiles intranets that unite modern and classic and end up being loved by the users and the teams that run the intranet! If youd like to discuss any aspect of modern SharePoint and moving on from classic, then get in touch.

Microsoft Teams intranet by Wizdom

Help users work efficiently in Office 365 groups and teams. Wizdom prevents Office 365 sprawl, keeps your self-service environment tidy, and offers users a one-stop digital workplace in Microsoft Teams.

Contain and create MS Teams your way

Catch sprawl in its making. Wizdom allows you to control the Microsoft Teams creation process through approval flows and templates with fixed standards for privacy level, roles, theme and logo.

A built-in governance flow will clear away inactive MS Teams and create a clutter free environment for your business to collaborate in.

All the time you will stay in control of flows. Restore archived MS Teams and change processes if you like, but feel free to let go of tiresome manual tasks like creating a new Team every time its requested by a user.

A one-stop digital workplace in MS Teams

By bringing in a personalized and intelligent overview of content and tools across all systems, Wizdom breaks the silos between applications and delivers the ONE corporate dashboard in MS Teams you need to visit to keep up and get work done.

No more searching in silos and relying on memory to find the presentation you are looking for. No more checking and registering data in a multitude of applications to be on top of things.

When youve logged on to MS Teams, you have access to everything. Simply, everything you need to get work done.

As a Wizdom customer you will automatically receive Wizdom for MS Teams. If you are a new customer, you have the opportunity to upgrade to the full Wizdom intranet solution, after purchasing Wizdom for MS teams. Please reach out if you have any questions.


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Digital transformation through governance and simplicity

#1All Office 365 groups and teams automatically live up to company defined standards

By creating new teams based on fixed templates, users intuitively establish groups and teams with a suitable level of security and governance for the business purpose.

Data is systematically collected for each team created, ensuring all teams are optimized for findability and governance.

#2Approval flow controls teams creation

By adding a layer of either manual or automatic approval, Wizdom ensures there is a legitimate reason behind the creation of every new team.

#3Lifecycle management of all teams

A built-in governance flow requires team owners to regularly confirm relevancy of their teams in MS Teams. Ultimately, auto archiving will clear away inactive teams. No sweat though, a team can always be recovered if it becomes missed.

#4Your entire digital workplace delivered in MS Teams

Through system integrations and flows, Wizdom collects information and tools from all applications and services used by the business, and delivers these in MS Teams.

Each user gets a personalized and organized dashboard with all the tools, and information needed to get work done.

Eliminating frustration wasted on application silos and a complex landscape of collaboration tools, this makes MS Teams the perfect environment for employees to simply go and get work done.


Download the ‘Alleviate application chaos with Wizdom for MS Teams‘ brochure in PDF


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The original article was published here

MS Teams and the digital workplace infographic

What can you do with MS teams in the context of the digital workplace and to help with increasing employee engagement?

At Wizdom, we want you to get the best out of the latest Microsoft technology. But first, it’s important to know a bit about what that technology does.

We created this infographic to bring awareness about MS teams in the context of the digital workplace. Employee engagement and solving business needs with technology, figuring out the why what and how of MS teams in relation to your business, is on the top of our minds.

MS Teams infographic

We have included a text version of the infographic below

Microsoft Teams

What can you do with MS teams in the context of the digital workplace and to help with increasing employee engagement?

MS Teams governance

What to think about when working with MS Teams

When you have a house, you make sure all the foundations are stable and the materials are high quality. With a digital workplace, the same, valuable infrastructure needs to be thought about, along with the possibilities of extensions.

MS Teams affords you the strong infrastructure needed with a range of options to extend and build on top of a sound structure.

MS Teams & communication

Meetings, project management, file management, notifications

  • Integrate Planner software to manage timelines
  • Keep track of internal communications
  • Get a hold of rogue data within MS Teams
  • Be social with your distributed workforce

Personalize your dashboard with the tools you need

MS Teams and data

Analyze what is working within MS teams and keep track of MS Team creation

Employee usage of MS Teams

By tracking the usage of MS teams, you can make sure it is used in the right way and cut down on governance sprawl.

MS Teams and security

Data loss prevention, security compliance, and policies & procedures.

By including a powerful provisioning engine, MS Teams has become more readily available for projects requiring organizational collaboration, external project management where sensitive information needs to be secured, and on a community level, where sharing information quickly and in a well governed way is of the utmost importance.

Have questions about MS Teams? Get in touch with us.


The original article was published here

Microsoft Teams Governance

Dont let Microsoft Teams run out of control

It feels like nothing can stop the march of Microsoft Teams. Microsoft has declared it their fastest growing enterprise application with around half a million organisations using it. A figure that is set to rise. Microsoft also continue to invest in Teams, adding new features, folding in other capabilities like Skype for Business, and evolving ways to integrate with the rest of Office 365 and even third-party applications.

Individually within separate organisations, Teams adoption is also going well, helping to drive communication, collaboration and workflow. In some organisations Teams usage is positively exploding with people keen to try out the tool; many are finding it fills an essential gap for team communication and coordination, an area where other online tools have been less successful in the past.

Can Teams really run out of control?

This is great news for digital workplace teams and IT functions that have been tasked with promoting Teams. But Teams can also prove to be too successful. When Teams does go truly viral and where use is not being co-ordinated or managed in any way, it can lead to issues that ultimately may damage the overall success of the platform and the business value it delivers. These issues include:

  • Teams being used for purposes that its not best suited for, when a Yammer community or other collaboration tool would be better suited for a particular use case
  • Spaces that get set up initially, often to see what the fuss is all about, but then never end up getting used
  • A duplication of Teams spaces that are used for the same purpose, causing confusion for users and limiting collaboration
  • A proliferation of so many sites that individual users find it very difficult to keep on top of all their site updates and increasingly difficult to find what they need
  • A lack of clarity and confusion at the individual site level about what a Teams space has been set up for
  • Problems with who should be responsible for managing an individual Teams space if somebody leaves the organisation
  • People getting invited to Teams spaces that shouldnt be, resulting in individuals seeing sensitive content or being onboarded early onto Teams while it is still being rolled out

Does this really matter?

As any advanced enterprise technology gets rolled out there are inevitably going to be a few issues encountered, and a few bumps in the road can be expected. At first, as digital workplace professionals focus on adoption, they may care less about issues such as site proliferation; these issues are not necessarily serious. However, in the medium to long term, all the above issues highlighted can become real problems.

Individual users will find it hard to find individual Teams sites, but also the discussion threads and files within them. They will also find the overall ease of use of Teams starts to depreciate, with extra time and effort spent keeping up with too many sites.  The overall management of the platform will also become much harder. For example running any compliance processes across so many sites. Adoption of other collaboration and digital workplace tools may also suffer as Teams is perceived as the only tool in town.

Introducing appropriate governance

In the same way that email inboxes have become unwieldy, network file shares have become dumping grounds and SharePoint sites feel like a digital wild west, its all too easy to let Teams run out of control. The answer is to introduce some light governance that can help to prevent Teams running out of control, but without the governance becoming a barrier to usage or painful to manage.

By governance we mean some of the polices, processes and rules that need to be put in place to make Teams work in the best way for users, team and the whole organisation.

Some digital workplace and collaboration professional feel uneasy about putting governance in place because they worry it will stifle innovation and collaboration. It may also create an administrative overhead that they simply cannot manage.

It is true that too much governance can lead to issues. For example, if you are over-prescriptive about the use of Teams (and actively police it to check people are using it properly), need three levels of approval to actually create a Teams space and then have a policy to delete any Teams space that hasnt had anything added for two months, you will very quickly run into problems. Teams will become unusable and people will inevitably turn to other solutions.

But putting in an appropriate level of governance will lead to a better-managed platform and a better user experience of Teams.

What sort of governance does Teams need?

What governance measures are needed for each organisation varies, but we have observed the following as what works well:

  • On an organizational level, every Teams space has an owner who understands what their responsibilities are, with clarity over who is responsible for inviting individuals to a Teams space
  • A clear handover process is in place whenever a Teams owner leaves your organisation.
  • A search facility or process so individuals can search for other Teams before they create a new space, ensuring there is no duplication of sites
  • The ability to drive a consistent naming convention for Teams, supported on an organizational level.
  • Standard templates with meta data, with an overview of all existing Teams and Workspaces
  • A site provisioning process that may also take in other examples of collaboration sites (e.g. a community site) depending on the use case, so that the best type of space is created for different needs
  • A clear policy and process to make sure that Teams get decommissioned at the right time.

The net impact of all these governance measures will be:

  • A reduction in the creation of duplicate and unnecessary sites
  • The use of better tools for different use cases e.g. Yammer for wider community sites
  • Better findability and easier overall management of Teams.

How we baked governance into Wizdom

Knowing the importance of governance of Microsoft Teams and governance in general weve sought to hard bake governance features into the Wizdom product. Several of these are perfect for controlling Teams, including:

  • A provisioning machine that enables users to easily create teams that live up to standards for roles/permissions and metadata.
  • The ability to create a template for Teams that includes the right default features based on use case, in a custom-made solution e.g. including Planner if Teams is being used for a project.
  • A form that ensures the right information including site purpose and nominated owners and roles are captured and are also available centrally to review by the digital workplace team
  • A central register of sites for digital workplace teams, making it easier to enable processes relating to the archiving of sites or handing a site over to a new owner
  • The ability for viewers to link to the Teams spaces they are members of within the Wizdom intranet (there are different ways to achieve this)
  • And, of course, a Wizdom intranet can be used to distribute resources on the best way to use Teams or as a channel to ask questions to experts.

Dont ignore Teams governance

If Teams feels like its starting to get out of control, then do something about it. Its never too late to introduce some governance, perform a clean-up operation and make life easier for everybody and avoid bigger problems further down the line. You can use many of the features of Wizdom to help you, particularly with our powerful provisioning engine. If youd like to discuss Teams governance and how Wizdom can help, then get in touch!


The original article was published here

Webinar video: Modernise your intranet with an intelligent people directory

Profile information is critical to the success of your intelligent workplace and vital to team collaboration. Through our recent partnership with LiveTiles, we now offer a next generation AI-powered staff directory and dynamic org charts that are always up to date.

The employee directory solution understands what is missing or incorrect from your directory and profiles, and automatically starts a conversation with your employees (wherever they may be) to collect and validate their information.

LiveTiles Bots integration with MS Flow and MS Teams

We are proud to announce an update to the LiveTiles Bots product that will make it even easier to deploy bots into your organisation or team.

Flow Connectors

LiveTiles Bots allows integration with Microsoft Flow to expand the functionality of what a bot can do, and the systems it can integrate with. This process, of connecting a bot with a flow, is now significantly simpler than before by providing LiveTiles Bots Connectors within Microsoft Flow, which will take care of all of the heavy lifting for you. This allows you to really focus on the workflow or the business outcome that you are trying to achieve, rather than getting the bot and flow connected. For more information on how to use this, see our Knowledge Base article. These connectors are going through the final stages of approval from Microsoft, and well push out the release as soon as we have confirmation.

Microsoft Teams Channel

In case you missed it, LiveTiles Bots can be deployed to Microsoft Teams so that your users can leverage it where they already are. See how it works here.

Extended Channel Data

To expand the power of what can be done with LiveTiles Bots, weve had requests to allow for extended channel data information to be passed through. We have now enabled this functionality and you will have access to whatever data the applicable channel has available.

If you are interested in leveraging the productivity gains that the LiveTiles Bot Assistants can deliver in your Digital Workplace, get in touch with us.


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