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Taming the feral Teams: the secret to digital enablement

Recent events have brought organisations from every industry into the digital age at rapid pace. We’ve seen businesses of every sector and size adopting technology tools and systems to enable remote working across disparate locations and endpoint devices.

Taming the feral Teams: the secret to digital enablement

This shift begs the question: How do we continue to work well with our teams remotely, and how do we encourage productivity without compromising on process, structure and security?

At Empired and Intergen, we’ve been working with businesses across the board to help them on this journey, including flybuys Australia, which we’ve helped to implement Microsoft Teams external collaboration processes and other Microsoft solutions.

While each business case is different, one thing is abundantly clear: in order to achieve success in today’s world we need to embrace change and learn how to adapt without compromising on security.

Getting started: diving in without compromise

Nationwide lockdowns have resulted in businesses shifting operations online with very short notice. Working across a range of verticals, with customers that have varying needs and pain points, one theme remains consistent. Digital change and enablement can be more accessible than you may realise, and to start simple and continuously evolve can be a smart and powerful approach.

It’s a myth that you must have everything perfectly ready in order to capitalise on digital tools. Many businesses we work with initially thought they didn’t have the budget, time or focus. However, these were only perceived barriers to entry and once solutions were implemented, not only were benefits quickly apparent but it was clear to the decision makers what the development roadmap should look like.

If we only see the obstacles, we can miss the opportunities available to connect your teams and reach your customers better than before.

In order to get started strong, there are some areas of digital enablement that require attention and investment from the get-go, as well as methods and approaches that are tried and tested. In the case of Microsoft Teams, one of the ways in which Empired achieves this is through governance and management, particularly looking at the following building blocks:

  • Policies
  • Ownership
  • Lifecycle
  • Security (including external sharing)
  • Monitoring
  • Compliance 

In this use case, governance is a crucial piece that facilitates staff productivity, access, external collaboration and document sharing. Having a governance hub that explains how you govern certain systems, roles and responsibilities, guiding principles and outcomes of decisions ensures that there is a central point of reference for how you use Teams and Microsoft 365 in your organisation. With this example, you can start small by putting the roles and responsibilities piece in place, and over time tackle bigger aspects of governance.

Another foundational element of effective governance is Lifecycle Management. This secures the entirety of an employee’s access rights, the lifecycle of a document, or in the example of Teams, a conversation thread. Lifecycle Management includes everything from the provisioning process, to active monitoring, to the sunset process where information is archived and deleted.

Our key point here is that making sure your remote working setups are secure, streamlined and controlled doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It can simply be a case of defining and establishing the most crucial elements and then engaging in a process of continual evolution.

From theory to practice: the story of flybuys

We’ve worked with flybuys on several Microsoft 365 digital enablement projects as part of our Continuous Service Evolution offering. These projects included Windows Virtual Desktop enablement to support remote working, Power BI configuration for reporting, and finally, their external collaboration project which has the company using Microsoft Teams to collaborate with employees and external partners.

Let’s look specifically at the Microsoft Teams rollout. When the Australian Government advised citizens work from home, by the next day everyone at flybuys was working remotely. Now, 10 weeks later, flybuys is actively using Teams every day, while continuing to work with Empired to consolidate their position and improve management, controls and use of features.

Right from the start, Anthony Martino, IT Operations Manager at flybuys, says:

“It just worked. From our end, it was important to successfully help this prominent national brand to balance user empowerment with effective governance and management, in order to minimise risk.

Prior to using Teams, flybuys employees were working in person and using their mobile phones to make calls. Now, the entire company is using video calling and other features within Teams to stay connected internally and with external partners or stakeholders.”

Anthony says that they are still adapting to the features that have become available in the past 10 weeks and how best to utilise them, as well as finalising Lifecycle Management and governance plans. However, as they continue to refine and adopt best practices, they are empowering employees to adapt to this new way of working.

To Microsoft’s credit, he says, this solution has been stress-tested in an incredibly unprecedented way and even rolled out key feature updates over this time.

According to Anthony, going forward, businesses will likely continue to accommodate flexible working and adopt tools that support efficient, streamlined and secure operations, such as Cloud services, virtual data centres, and the Microsoft suite.

Empowering your business

The mass move to remote working doesn’t have to be seen as a problem to fix but an opportunity to improve. While it may seem like you’re being called on to tame or govern teams, in reality it’s more about gaining an understanding of what’s available to you, in terms of both the solutions as well as grounding structures and systems, so you can confidently embark on digital enablement and transformation projects and continuously evolve.


This blog is part of the #ReimagineWork series. For more experts' insights, clients' experiences and to download our datasheets, click the banner.

For more experts' insights, clients' experience and to download our datasheets, click the banner #datareimagine

Posted by: Vanessa Larsen, Senior Modern Workplace Consultant | 04 June 2020

Tags: communication, Digital Transformation, Collaboration, COVID-19, #ReimagineWork

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