Posted by Chad Atchley on Nov 19, 2020 10:00:00 AM
It goes without saying that 2020 has been the most chaotic year of our lifetime, and changes we have experienced this year are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future—if not indefinitely. The way that we collaborate with each other at work, the way our children are educated at school, and even how we spend our personal time with clubs, family, and church have changed.
For many of these, the only way “things got done” were to meet in-person, or maybe host conference calls and share documents via email for remote users. However, with many businesses implementing remote/work-from-home protocols to help contain the spread of COVID-19, more efficient collaboration and productivity solutions were needed. This is why the global use of platforms like Microsoft Teams has grown exponentially this year, but this blog isn’t about how to best use Microsoft Teams in your organization, social club, or even in your personal life. This blog is about what we do to help ensure Microsoft Teams users have the experience that they want and 24x7 service that they expect.
This blog is about how Managed Services for Microsoft Teams can be a game changer for your organization or group.
I know, I know, “managed services” can sometimes be about as exciting as doing your taxes while getting a root canal—but if overlooked, it could mean the difference between your teams’ ability to be productive and your teams being completely down, or at least not being as efficient and effective at their jobs as they could be. Microsoft Teams is a chat, meetings, and collaboration platform hosted by Microsoft in Microsoft’s cloud. To many, this creates a false sense of security that Microsoft Teams will always be available.
While Microsoft’s uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA) for Microsoft Teams is 99.9%, this only applies to the infrastructure and services that they host, not every part of the solution that is required for your users to actually connect to and consume the service. The local networks your users connect to, the direct routing and/or PSTN carriers used to provide inbound and outbound dialing through Microsoft Teams, and the phones or other devices used to connect with Microsoft Teams to use the platform all fall outside of the Microsoft SLA and support agreement and are the responsibility of the Microsoft Teams customer to provide. However, partnering with a service provider that offers Managed Services for Microsoft Teams can help you mitigate these risks and minimize (if not eliminate) end-user downtime and poor user experience.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the areas outside of the hosted Microsoft Teams cloud that a Managed Services partner can help you maintain.
Data Security and Availability
As with any system in the modern workplace, data security and integrity should be one of the top considerations when designing and implementing a Microsoft Teams solution. A Managed Services provider can help your team ensure access controls and governance processes are put in place and maintained, data is secured and encrypted, and services are available at all times.
We have all streamed a program and experienced poor-quality video or complete pauses during playback. As frustrating as that is while binge-watching the latest series, imagine that happening with your phone and collaboration system across your organization during peak business hours. Having a robust, reliable, and well-maintained Local Area Network, Wide Area Network, and Internet connection are essential for consistent performance and happy Microsoft Teams end users. A Managed Services partner can monitor these systems for you, help maintain optimized performance, and be there to help resolve issues when they happen.
Many Microsoft Teams customers will use Teams as a platform to collaborate using chat, video, and editing files real-time over their internal networks. However, Microsoft Teams is a powerful integrated voice platform that can be used to enhance or even replace corporate phone systems. To do this, you have to connect to PSTN carriers through Microsoft Calling Plans or Direct Routing partners. These services require their own monitoring and management to ensure services are maintained, call quality meets expectations and requirements, and you aren’t over- or under-paying for your consumption. A Managed Services provider can be your advocate with these carriers and help ensure end-to-end service of your Microsoft Teams platform.
ConvergeOne’s Managed Services team provides a robust catalog of monitoring, management, support, and optimization services across the entire Microsoft Teams infrastructure. For more information, please access our resources below.