Let’s just preface this with the fact that Microsoft is exceptional.
Whether you’re a Microsoft house, a competitor, or an onlooker who hates the UI compared to other apps, the job Microsoft has done bringing virtual meetings, asynchronous collaboration, control rooms, broadcast setup, etc. (and the list really does go on) is remarkable.
Since its inception as a Skype for Business replacement and the Microsoft alternative to Slack, the numbers coming out of Microsoft (for Teams) are ridiculous.
Boosted, somewhat, thanks to the rapid digital transformation (or you might say digital reaction) during the coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft Teams has over 280 million monthly users and we even see Microsoft Teams Rooms inside 70% of the Fortune 500.
Yes, you read that right. That’s just room systems. It’s not reported how many of the Fortune 500 are using Teams but we do know that 91 of the Fortune 100 use Teams in some capacity.
So, what’s the worst thing about Microsoft Teams?
Yes, enough of the niceties. What’s really up with Teams?
Well, it’s actually not even a Teams feature. It’s more of a process.
And if you’re a Teams admin, you’re going to roll your eyes and wince in pain.
Let me ask you a question…
How much time and energy do you spend on constant provisioning changes?
You know. The new user requests that don’t have all the information. The simple task that should be a quick set and forget.
Only, it’s never like that, is it?
- HR sends a request for a new user. They need a laptop, email, Teams, the works.
- You get them up to speed inside your SLA for a new user request and close the ticket.
What happens the next day?
Turns out that new user needs special policies. After all, they’ve joined the sales team and need their calls recorded. Oh, and they’re in the New York office so all their calls should be recorded.
But nobody told you that.
At this stage, you’re getting the ball rolling on a tick box exercise (literally) that should have been done in the original ticket.
Sure, this might only take a moment. But the admin surrounding the physical task is an unnecessary waste of time.
And, by the way, when this happens for the third time in a week, you’re not alone in tearing your hair out.
The worst thing here is that this is a very mild synopsis of what happens inside the life of a Teams admin.
Sometimes, you’re doing this at scale.
And that’s where it gets interesting. Okay, interesting is a mediocre word to use here. That’s where it gets horrible.
But before we document that, did you forget about all the moves, adds, and changes you get asked to action?
Of course, that new user has changed departments after only a few weeks. They now need different policies to facilitate their move.
Look. This is a good thing. They’ve done a good job and probably got promoted. But it’s just so manual and time-consuming.
And you know that, when you do these all day every day, you leave yourself open to making a small error.
We are not perfect.
When you combine the countless new user requests and moves, adds, and changes, they add up.
If you make one small error in every 100 changes, it doesn’t seem like a big thing. In fact, that’s probably a great strike rate. You should give yourself a pat on the back.
When I was a provisioner, let’s just say I may have made 1.5 mistakes in every 100.
This is where it gets muddy.
For every manual mistake, there’s a user or team of users suffering on the other end.
Instead of spending a few minutes per change, it adds up to a few hours of remedial work and lost time.
The most complicated errors come in at nearly four hours.
We did the math for you…
|Cost of error (IT Cost – with escalation)|
|Service desk ticket logged||Office Worker||1.00||0.10||$1.53|
|Ticket triaged & assigned||1st Line Engineer||1.00||0.20||$2.97|
|Ticket actioned by engineer||2nd Line Engineer||1.00||1.50||$40.10|
|Escalation engineer||Specialist Engineer||1.00||1.00||$19.35|
|Ticket management||1st Line Engineer||1.00||1.00||$14.88|
And let’s not talk about that time I knocked a whole business offline for three days at the click of a button.
Although, I did write my provisioning confessions if you’re nosey like that.
The cost of manual provisioning errors
The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted the cost column in the table above.
We’ve worked out that it costs around $78.83 per provisioning ticket when things go wrong.
That’s not budgeted for in any report, meeting, or mind. So, you can bet the CFOs and FDs gritted their teeth when they saw that.
This is a light-hearted view of one of the worst things about Microsoft Teams. But we should get serious for a moment.
In large enterprises, there’s a lot of change.
Those changes, albeit with the help of scripts, are manual. The very script you’re using was made with manual input and is exposed to manual error.
Let’s look at the figures.
|Number of Monthly Changes||Cost of Change Per Month||Cost of Change Per Year (ongoing)|
These are the average costs, factoring in some things going wrong but the majority going right.
It’s a lot.
And this table didn’t appear in the procurement summary when you bought your Microsoft licenses.
But that’s enough throwing shade on fellow provisioners and enough scaring the living daylights out of all the finance folks.
We fixed the worst thing about Microsoft Teams
We (Callroute) have created an auto-provisioning solution that minimizes the risk of manual error when adding new users and making changes further down the line.
Instead of relying on memory and maybe a documented process, you create user personas with everything that type of user will need.
Then, the next time you have a user who falls into that category, they get automatically provisioned with all their Teams policies and access, based on the user you assign.
All you need to do is configure an AzureAD attribute and Callroute does the rest for you.
See it for yourself:
That means every time you have a new starter, or need to make a move, add, or change, you assign them a persona and we assign all the relevant policies.
Say, for example, marketing hires 10 interns on the same day as you have a new sales academy of 40 starters. And it just so happens that your operations team has doubled from 25 to 50 to meet the new demand of all your marketing and sales staff.
That’s 100 new users to provision.
It’s one thing coping with the tedium of doing the same task over and over again. But think about the time you could be spending on tasks where you add real value. Think of the time you get back in your day.
And what happens if you make a mistake (we are all human, after all)?
One small mistake, caused by manual data entry, could lead to marketing having access to private documents your accounts team wouldn’t dream of sharing with anyone.
Let’s make a conscious decision to not do that.
Callroute’s automated provisioning does all the heavy lifting, so you can get on with your job.
Ready to start automating your provisioning?