In previous posts, I talked about the some of the easily overlooked external factors that should definitely be considered before migrating to an intelligent communications solution like Microsoft Teams, as well as the all-important human element. Today, I’d like to take a look at the best ways to effectively manage a Microsoft Teams solution.
Let’s assume that you did your homework properly and enjoyed a smooth and trouble-free Microsoft Teams deployment. Your organization is now the proud owner of a top-of-the-range unified communications solution, and the responsibility for its day-to-day management has been passed to your IT department.
However, although the numerous business benefits that Microsoft Teams can bring to today’s organizations are obvious, a deployment encompassing hundreds or even thousands of users across multiple sites will present a whole raft of management challenges. Unfortunately, these issues can result in a crippling workload for IT departments.
These challenges fall into three main categories:
User Lifecycle Management
New employees need to be granted access to Microsoft Teams. Although organizations can create groups and policies for user personas, specific permissions for each new employee will need to be added manually. The story is the same if a user moves into another department or leaves the organization, with such tasks commonly referred to as Moves, Adds, Changes and Deletes (MACD). To manage these crucial tasks yourself, you’ll need to put PowerShell experts on the payroll, which won’t be cheap, or splurge on external contractors.
But by far the best option for these complex and repetitive tasks is to use an application with a simple management interface that even your most junior system administrator can master quickly. AudioCodes’ User Management Pack™ 365, a single, powerful web portal that completely automates user lifecycle management, fits the bill perfectly – letting you say goodbye to the PowerShell blues for good.
A Microsoft Teams deployment will likely require a whole array of devices, including IP phones and analog convertors for legacy equipment such as fax machines. Since this adds up to a lot of devices, the thought of individual management is overwhelming, not to mention impractical.
The best solution is to use a device management application, such as the AudioCodes Device Manager, that can automate most of your routine device management tasks quickly and easily.
In addition, you’ll need to deploy session border controllers (SBCs) if you want to keep using your existing PSTN/SIP trunks, especially if you have cost-effective network connectivity via Teams Direct Routing in mind.
To manage these SBCs, you would be best advised to choose an application that streamlines network management and quality monitoring into a single pane of glass, like the AudioCodes One Voice Operations Center (OVOC). Such an application increases efficiency, especially with provisioning and configuration, and provides automated device backup and fault reporting.
MANAGING A MICROSOFT INTELLIGENT COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTION
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Quality Monitoring and Reporting
Although Microsoft Teams provides monitoring capability through Call Analytics (CA) and the Call Quality Dashboard (CQD), many organizations require more detailed information. However, the majority of applications that are able to deliver more detailed monitoring are based on quality of service (QoS), which doesn’t really go deep enough for Microsoft Teams.
A far better yardstick is quality of experience (QoE), a more holistic approach that provides real-time information on the overall user experience from start to finish. This is far more important given the increasing requirements for business agility such as the flexibility to work from different locations. AudioCodes’ One Voice Operations Center (OVOC) works on exactly this principle, providing accurate troubleshooting and root cause analysis.
At AudioCodes, we know very well the incredible value that Microsoft Teams can bring to your business. Our range of field-tested management applications make managing your deployment a breeze. And should you want to make life even easier, you can opt for Teams as a fully managed service instead.