Microsoft 365 has many components, all ranging in value and potential to best fit a company’s needs including SharePoint, Teams, One Drive, Viva, AI, Power Automate, Power Apps, Azure, Power BI, Compliance and Security. Not to mention the continuously growing array of varying offerings. Knowing when and how to use each tool within your enterprise can be a lot to grasp right away. This blog will go through the value of each of those different components and how we, at Gig Werks, can help.
SharePoint is probably a name you’ve heard before, it’s probably a platform you’ve used before to manage document and content or as your companies intranet. With SharePoint, you have full autonomy to interact with the contextualized data. It binds metadata that always remains consistent. This does two things, helps you search, and feeds compliance (See below). SharePoint allows for a controlled form of document sharing, it assists in reducing infrastructure, it is flexible, the costs are predictable, and you can access it anywhere. Additionally, in SharePoint you can now easily transform your intranet or sites to match your brand and look modern with the new user experience.
Where can an expert like Gig Werks help? The challenges that many face with SharePoint usually comes down to “How do you setup and manage secure sharing” and “Is the metadata consistent”. Working with an expert with deep experience in the solution will help solve those challenges through; modern provisioning, automation of sites and application of security, using Azure AD for external users (see below), proper taxonomy, and wiring external data from the beginning to provide consistent metadata and workflow.
The necessity and value of teams has increased tenfold since early 2020 with the rise of a more remote workforce and the need for collaboration from anywhere. Teams drives an overarching increase of employee productivity, it helps to improve collaboration across the organization, and it enables much needed innovation from company to company. When speaking Teams, the top four tangible benefits as described by Microsoft are as follows
- Teams reduces the total number of meetings and their duration. Online meetings conducted over Teams are reliable and of very high audio-video quality. As a result, employees spend less time addressing setup and call quality issues, and more time interacting. The total time savings equal $6.9 million.
- Information workers save four hours per week from improved collaboration and information sharing. With Teams features like coauthoring, integrated file storage, and internal directory, information workers can effectively and efficiently collaborate in real-time. The potential savings equal more than $14.3 million.
- Information workers save more than one hour per week by not having to switch between applications. Access to third-party and line-of-business apps inside Teams from any device benefits all workers, especially remote workers. This creates better employee cohesion and a common corporate culture across locations. The total savings are nearly $4.8 million.
- Having resources available online in Teams reduces downtime by 14.6 percent. When resources are available in one cloud-based location, downtime is reduced and complexity is lowered, making security and compliance easier. Compared to on-premises solutions, the time savings are worth $258,000 across information and Firstline Workers.
The challenges one might face when using Teams is pinpointing when to use it, what content to save their, how to secure & govern it and how to structurally store the needed information. The only way to go about calming these challenges is by using proper governance policies which is where an expert like Gig Werks can help. In terms of storage, just make sure your documents in teams are short term, otherwise they may be better used in SharePoint.
Active Directory and External Sharing
Sharing data and communicating securely in general outside of your own organization, sometimes even within, can often be a challenge. With active directory you can securely authenticate your external vendors. Members outside your immediate company can also collaborate for free using SharePoint and Teams (seen above) and you have better security then ever. Secure authentication, conditional access by enabling a zero-trust approach as well as smart protection policies and identity protection with a multi factor authentication.
The value of Power Platform can be broken down into three main elements. 1. You can easily analyze data, build solutions, automate processes, and create virtual agents. 2. You have the ability for digital information to be accessible to the typical non-technical end-user. 3. Common Data Service (CDS). The entire Power Platform is possible thanks to CDS. CDS is essentially the underlying data platform that provides a simplistic data scheme in order for applications and services to inter-operate smoothly. What’s great about Power Platform is that it only requires a small amount of coding skills to be able to get a handle on it. With proper planning and use case documentation with end users, Power Platform is a breeze to use and makes life easier for everyone involved.
Power BI is incredibly simple to use to deliver powerful dashboards and reporting. It provides an impressive set of over 70 connectors, and it has very strong data governance. Power BI is also easy to deploy, use, and administer, it consistently improves enterprises features in relation to IT (For example, multi-factor authentication and conditional access via Azure AD), and it has a variety of export abilities, a vital tool today. Power BI can be seamlessly imbedded in SharePoint and Teams while integrating to Microsoft’s Chatbot and AI feature, providing a fluid, easy to use, and intuitive user experience. As well as all of those great features, Gartner Peer reviewers placed Power BI in the bottom third for price. It is far less expensive than other reporting tools and offers a greater number of features and easier integration to the overall M365 product stack. What an expert like Gig Werks can help deliver is the understanding of what data is vital for you to report on, how to source that data in your organization, and how to make your dashboards and reports look great!
Compliance and Search
Intelligent compliance and risk management solutions from Microsoft 365 help your organization or company assess compliance risks, govern, and protect sensitive data, and respond to regulatory requirements. You can protect and govern any sensitive data wherever it is found, even across different apps, endpoints, and clouds. You can identify and act on insider risks, quickly investigate and respond to legal requirements with correct data, and even address regulations and assess compliance with a risk-based score. What is the value of search? Having a good search function is vital for any business, website, or individual. With this one, Content can display from many sources such as columns, libraries, and pages. A site owner can decide whether or not to include content in search results. Permissions on content also affects whether it appears in search results. This setting is useful when you want to prevent sensitive data from appearing in search results. The only challenge with both compliance and search is that without consistent meta data, your compliance wouldn’t be as intuitive as it could be. But to assess that, you just need correct taxonomy and the ability to wire up external data from the very beginning in order to provide consistent metadata which is where working with an expert like Gig Werks is essential.
Brining it All Together
Ultimately, the real value you get out of your investment is the how the expansive Microsoft 365 platform can be brought together into a single solution and user experience for your company and that value comes with working with an M365 expert who knows all these systems and how they interact.
The main challenge you face is having the breadth and depth of knowledge to utilize every aspect and the full potential that M365 offers. It is complicated to understand the “full power” of the platform. With IT departments busier than ever, innovation is often set aside or constrained because of a lack of time and resources. And with that lack of time and resources comes the Inability to envision how to transform their processes into automated solutions in M365.
That’s why there’s Gig Werks, a company complied of award-winning experts, rich with Microsoft 365 experience that can make all the difference in maximizing the benefits of your investment. Know when and how to use which product for whatever challenge your company faces and understand how to source and bring data together so you can rest assured that your data will be meticulously governed and secure. Allowing you to do what you do best, from anywhere.
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