How to Organize and Securely Collaborate Within Microsoft Teams (Case Study)

By Kevin Joy, AvePoint

As company leaders promote communication and improved collaboration, Microsoft 365 has become essential at global solution provider Sycor — with Microsoft Teams playing a crucial role. Applications such as Microsoft Planner, which can be integrated into Teams, also enable highly structured teamwork.

Increased use of the platform has led to more data being created. But native Microsoft 365 capabilities — such as the recycle bin, versioning, retention policies, and litigation hold — could not meet all data protection or GDPR requirements for the organization.

In addition, the structured use of Teams plays a decisive role for Sycor in helping to visualize the smooth management of teams as well as the automation of business processes. These needs led the company to seek out comprehensive third-party solutions to protect and manage 13 TB of data in Microsoft 365.

To find the ideal backup provider, a team at Sycor created a catalogue of priorities for their ideal backup solution and compared them with a range of third-party providers.

Sycor chose AvePoint Cloud Backup due to the solution’s range of functions and its ability to back up all primary Microsoft 365 applications and data. Microsoft Planner is used as a task management tool within the company and employees must be able to access their tasks and data at any time; backing up this application was crucial.

Other features, such as AVA (AvePoint’s virtual assistant), the self-service ability to restore lost content, a user- and admin-friendly front end, and GDPR compliance also influenced the decision.

“Sycor would only consider a well-qualified and market-leading provider,” says Sebastian Meister, a systems engineer for the company. “It was important for us to look at the roadmap to see what has been developed in the past, and how quickly and how well. From that, we can conclude that the vendor is evolving, and that’s what we value.”

Sycor also needed to establish uniform and organized use of Microsoft Teams, so a governance solution was necessary. They hadn’t planned to source from the same vendor, but the positive experience with Cloud Backup moved the organization to reconsider AvePoint’s Cloud Governance solution.

“During the product presentation, we saw that AvePoint’s solution was very mature,” says Rolf Gottschalk, a project manager at Sycor. “AvePoint Cloud Governance covered all the essential requirements that were gathered in the catalog, and they were completely fulfilled.”

Now, with Cloud Governance, Sycor can enforce predefined governance rules (such as naming) — not only during Teams deployment, but also throughout the lifecycle.

The clear responsibilities defined during team creation facilitate member management. This plays a central role not only in internal cooperation, but also in guest management.

Using Cloud Governance, a guest can be added to the environment. However, after a certain period, the guest owner is prompted to verify the authorization is up to date — at which point either an extension of the guest account is requested, or the offboarding process is initiated. This automated and periodic review of Teams members gives Sycor control of its environment and ensures security gaps are closed.

Cloud Governance also facilitates workspace provisioning. Using the MyHub self-service interface, employees can create Teams on their own. A predefined questionnaire guides users through the creation process so a Team meets their needs. Manual activities, such as sending an e-mail request to the service desk and a subsequent reconciliation in case of missing information, are no longer necessary.

“The fact is that the current configuration saves us quite a bit of time; the effort is cut in half,” says Gottschalk. “This also saves the admin an immense amount of time.”

The Bottom Line

By implementing AvePoint solutions, Sycor has achieved its goal of providing a secure and organized environment. The impacts of data loss and corruption are significantly reduced, and customer confidence is increased.

Thanks to the SaaS solution and automating processes, the company minimizes infrastructural as well as administrative efforts and saves human resources that can be used elsewhere..

Read the full case study here.