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One of the advantages of managing a tech blog has been the opportunity to work directly with leaders in the space. Some of the best blog content we’ve had has come about through collaborations with one such partner: Microsoft.

Not only was AvePoint one of the very first Microsoft SharePoint Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), but we’re also a four-time Partner of the Year recipient. We employ two Microsoft Regional Directors, five MVPs, and sit on four Microsoft Product Advisory Councils. Needless to say, we’ve developed some great relationships with Microsoft employees over the years.

Below you’ll find some of our most recent posts featuring key figures from Microsoft. Each is packed with insights and tips on Office 365 that you can start employing ASAP. Enjoy!

1. Inside Tips for Boosting Your Organization’s Microsoft Teams Adoption

By Rima Reyes, Senior Program Director, Microsoft Teams Engineering Product Group

Excerpt: 

How do you recommend getting started with Microsoft Teams?

Pilots are a great way to start using Microsoft Teams. Most people start pilots with the folks in IT, and then move to include various users from all over the world to test connectivity and such. I’m not necessarily saying that’s wrong, but the best way to start a pilot is with a trusted group of individuals who actually work together to achieve a common goal. If you include “randoms” from the organization they’ll have little reason to leverage Microsoft Teams…

Check out the full interview here!


2. FED UP: How to Ensure Operational Governance for Microsoft Teams

By Roxy Ndebumadu, Customer Success Manager, Microsoft

Excerpt: 

Dux: I’m sure you talk to a lot of customers because they’re excited about Teams. They want to deploy it, especially now that it’s available in the government community cloud. So, what are some of the initial steps you’re seeing your customers are doing to roll out Teams and make sure they get good adoption and usage?

Roxy: I think where we start in the public sector is on the evaluation. A lot of my customers–and a lot of my colleagues’ customers–are really evaluating the use cases for Teams and how they’re going to use it in HR, finance, and marketing groups, and that’s really where we start.

We’re starting to help them define what those use cases are in terms of how they’re going to collaborate, transform their work environment, and then bring in the governance piece. They’re trying to understand, “Okay, once I get my use case and I set up this template for each different division that is going use it, how are we going to govern it? What are our naming conventions going to be?”

Read the full article here!


3. How to Create Bots and Optimize Your Microsoft Teams Environment

By Jace Moreno, Microsoft Teams Platform Lead

Excerpt: 

With the power of Microsoft Teams, is there still a case for staying with Skype for Business?

It’s a good question, though a challenging one because it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. We are extremely proud of Skype for Business; however, we’re always listening to our customers and working relentlessly to help them achieve more. With Microsoft Teams, we have evolved the very idea of what communication tools can look like and transcended the traditional ways organizations use them…

Check out the full interview here!


4. Make the Move: How to Efficiently Transition Users from Skype to Microsoft Teams

By Pouneh Kaufman, Director, Principal PM, End User Services Engineering

Excerpt: 

Technical Readiness 

When we first began the process of transitioning users to Microsoft Teams, we had to make sure we built trust with everyone. We did so by making sure that we were technically ready and had all the features that everyone needed on a day-to-day basis. The product needed to meet the needs of our users or else adoption would have been even more difficult.  

To ensure a smooth transition, we used Microsoft Teams in a side-by-side mode with Skype for Business for a long time to get users used to the Teams platform. We used both for collaboration for a long period of time…

Read the full article here!


5. Vital Microsoft Teams Adoption Questions Answered In-Depth

By John Moh, Principal Consultant, Business Productivity Domain

Excerpt: 

What are the top two challenges to successful Microsoft Teams deployments large federal agencies are facing?

Teamwork culture. We typically use email for everything In large federal organizations, and Outlook has been the hub for teamwork till Microsoft Teams came around recently. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love email (and have spent a good portion of my career focused on it), but with Teams, email becomes MORE valuable, not less. Teams is not a replacement for email; it’s not an or, but an and.

Microsoft Teams can improve teamwork and mission effectiveness with conversations rather than emails and channels rather than file folders, but we need to hinge its release with service adoption. Otherwise, you’ll see users “fighting with the tool” rather than seeing it as a useful tool…

Check out the full interview here!


6. Expert Tips Organizations NEED to Boost Microsoft Teams Adoption

By Karuana Gatimu, Principal PM Manager, Customer Advocacy Group

Excerpt: 

Strategy 1: Establish an adoption framework

Having an adoption framework gives you a foundation for an agile service management approach. It also enables an ongoing iteration of adoption throughout your journey with Microsoft Teams and Office 365.

There are three main phases to the adoption framework: Start, Experiment, and Scale. This framework helps improve the core collaboration that teams can get from utilizing Microsoft Teams. It also allows you to onboard early adopters and people who may become champions later on…

Read the full article here!

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