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The Nuts and Bolts of Teams, Groups and Conversation as-a-Service


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Within Office 365, we have multiple methods for social collaboration. Organizations around the world are struggling to understand which tool to use when -- but this is the wrong premise. In this session, we'll discuss the broader concept of 'conversation as a service' and how Microsoft Teams, Outlook Groups, Yammer, and SharePoint all fit together -- and show you how to get the most out of all of them.

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The Nuts and Bolts of Teams, Groups and Conversation as-a-Service

  1. 1. The Nuts and Bolts of Teams, Groups and Conversation-as-a-Service Christian Buckley Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC Office Servers & Services MVP
  2. 2. Christian Buckley Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC Office Servers & Services MVP @buckleyplanet
  3. 3. CollabTalk provides research and technical marketing services, focusing primarily on tools and trends in the enterprise collaboration, social, and business intelligence ecosystem, allowing you to stay on top of these changes -- and ahead of the game. Our latest research project: The State of Hybrid SharePoint
  4. 4. What is your strategy?
  5. 5. Turn the Promises of the Digital Workplace to Reality by David Roe “In a recent CMSWire series of interviews with digital workplace specialists, some common elements and themes emerged. One of the most consistent is the belief that the best digital workplaces take a synergistic approach to fulfilling the wants and needs of people through processes and technologies.”
  6. 6. Sharon O'Dea, an independent digital strategy consultant, specializes in intranets, social media and digital engagement. She defines the digital workplace as the place where work gets done, connecting people through an ecosystem of tools so they can be productive, informed and engaged, wherever they are. “First, it’s a means of communication top-down, bottom-up and, increasingly, peer-to- peer. Content in its myriad forms, from published pages to snippets of conversation, is the lifeblood of the digital workplace and the digital workplace is what makes that content accessible, findable and usable,” she told CMSWire. The digital workplace should also provide a gate to an organization’s knowledge while at the same time enabling organizations so that intellectual capital to be effectively captured and shared with others as more of it is produced. Thankfully, he continues:
  7. 7. In The Social Organization by Bradley and McDonald (Gartner), the authors talk about the components of successful collaboration:  Community  Social  Purpose
  8. 8. But where do we begin?
  9. 9. What is your collaboration culture?
  10. 10. Scenario 1  Meet Stephanie  Web developer, millennial  Personalization is important  Lives on her mobile device  Very collaborative, in constant contact with her team, sharing ideas and discussing the state of customer projects  Values real-time interactions, having fun while working, and is very passionate about her work
  11. 11. Scenario 2  Meet Tasha  Program Manager  Responsible for several key business processes  Has worked to develop several form and workflow-based sites to help automate and ensure that her team is compliant  Her team includes a number of attorneys and financial analysts, who prefer in-person meetings  She spends a lot of time working in email, and manages a number of vendors and parallel projects
  12. 12. Scenario 3  Meet Hugo  Customer Success Manager, business development  Manages a number of projects and events with large teams of external vendors and partners  Very involved in the customer community  Helps drive their partner and customer portals, provides online and in-person product training  Also manages his company’s social profiles, interacts with customers and partners wherever they congregate
  13. 13.  Real-time  Team-based  Persistent chat  In-person  Process-based  Email  Mix  Community-based  Social
  14. 14. The reality is that most organizations have all three With differences across your business – or even within a single team or business unit
  15. 15. Which tool to use when?
  16. 16. So many options…
  17. 17. Outlook Groups Skype for Business Yammer Microsoft Teams SharePoint Social ISV solutions Image courtesy of
  19. 19. Office 365 Groups ↓ Microsoft Teams ↓ Bots, Connectors, and Tabs
  20. 20. WHAT IS THE RIGHT USER EXPERIENCE? Wants real-time communication Wants process and structure Wants community and transparency
  21. 21. It Depends. What is the right solution for your org?
  22. 22. What is Conversation-as-a-Service?  Bots  Connectors  Tabs  The “Intelligent Enterprise”
  23. 23. Leveraging Bots
  24. 24. What Bots Can Do  Automate manual tasks  Enhance a conversation thread  Act as a personal assistant to find information and content  Ability to answer natural language questions  Run surveys  Provide quick status updates on open projects and tasks, kick off workflows, etc  Improve the user experience
  25. 25. Microsoft Teams includes two primary bots:  Who-Bot is a quick reference tool for engaging with your team members.  Users can enter real-language requests, such as “Who on my team has experience with manufacturing technology” and the Who-Bot will reply with team member names and contact details, based on profile data, content ownership, and use of keywords within conversations.  Leverages the Microsoft Graph to learn from your collaboration and communication patterns, acting as the ultimate personal networker for your company.  T-Bot is an assistant to help you get the most out of Microsoft Teams.  Provides guidance on the growing set of features in Teams.  Ask the T-Bot “How do I add a connector?” and it will provide the answer through the relevant Help topic.
  26. 26. Security Concerns  The current slate of bots act as “passive” controls within the system, which means they are not actively “listening” to your content and conversations, and must be activated or “invoked” to take action.  Most users will not take the time to understand the security impacts of using a selected bot. If a bot *can* be added, most corporate employees assume it has been “vetted” by IT, and is safe for use.  Security for bots is at the end user-level.  Understanding what each bot does, and whether or not they send data outside of the organization, should be part of your security planning.  Enabling bots is currently an all-or-nothing decision – you can either allow users to add bots, or turn off access to all bots for your organization.
  27. 27. Bot Discovery
  28. 28. Adding Connectors
  29. 29. Adding Connectors
  30. 30. What Connectors Can Do  Push rich content to Microsoft Teams  Connect to services like Trello, GitHub, Bing News, Twitter, etc.  Receive notifications of team activities for each service / stay in sync  Complete tasks within a channel
  31. 31. Adding Tabs
  32. 32. Teams are scrambling to find the right tools and technologies to fit their cultural needs What we know is that the traditional intranet approach has failed to deliver what we need
  33. 33. CULTURE IS KEY
  36. 36.  Enterprise collaboration requirements can be complex  Your ultimate goal is to support the entire company  However, different teams and business units often have competing priorities  In an attempt to satisfy everyone, the reality is that most planning efforts fail to satisfy anyone
  37. 37. Where is your focus?
  38. 38. Focus on Key Business Problems  Many transformative efforts fail because key users decide to “play with the tools” rather than take the planning process seriously.  The lack of goals and purpose quickly leads to low levels of engagement and superficial usage. Without clear goals and engaged users, you’ll never gain a clear assessment of the end results.  Take it seriously. You will be using other people’s time to make your decisions on how to move forward. Make good use of their time – and yours.
  39. 39. Wrap-Up
  40. 40. In my personal experience, what works is:  Focus on specific business problems – and clear outcomes.  Make governance and change management the priority.  Test the various solutions – and understand how they will help or hinder your collaboration culture.  Look at your systems holistically, understanding both company-wide and line of business needs – and the gaps between them.  Be prepared to regularly iterate on your strategy.  Organic growth through pilots is the most sustainable model for successful enterprise collaboration.
  41. 41. Download the Whitepaper The Nuts and Bolts of Groups, Teams, and Conversation-as-a-Service By John White, UnlimitedViz and tyGraph
  42. 42. Christian Buckley @buckleyplanet Thank you very much!