Unlocking the full ROI potential of Microsoft Teams: 3 core challenges businesses need to overcome

It’s no secret that Microsoft Teams has emerged as a valuable resource for businesses in search of ways to improve business collaboration, productivity, and team performance. As concepts like hybrid and remote work continue to transform the business ecosystem, Teams offers a way for companies to align their staff, boost efficiency, and streamline knowledge sharing. 

In the last few years, various reports have offered insights into just how valuable the right Teams ecosystem can be. The Forrester Total Impact report for Microsoft Teams found that the platform delivers an average ROI of around 832% through a variety of benefits. 

According to the study, Teams delivers:

  • 17% cost savings by enabling more efficient working,  allowing employees to spend less time switching apps, and accomplish more of their tasks in a unified environment. 
  • 26% cost savings from improved communications, allowing for higher-quality meetings, and reduced conferencing, landline, and mobile costs. 
  • 58% cost savings through improved collaboration, ensuring teams can work cohesively on projects and tasks in a flexible cloud platform.

However, while Microsoft Teams has the potential to deliver a significant ROI in any business, companies can only unlock the benefits if they’re able to overcome the challenges with adoption, collaboration, and communication that can occur when implementing new technologies.

Resonate, a leading Microsoft Teams partner, shared their insights on the core challenges preventing companies from generating the most ROI from Teams, and the solutions to these problems in a recent webinar. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the advice and guidance of the Resonate team.

Challenge 1: Overcoming Adoption Barriers

The adoption of Microsoft Teams as a UC and collaboration platform has increased drastically since the pandemic. In the last couple of years, interest in Teams has skyrocketed, as businesses search for ways to empower and support employees in a changing business landscape. In fact, since 2020, adoption rates for Teams grew by over 90%. However, ensuring adoption is still a core challenge for many business leaders implementing their own Teams ecosystem.

The Forrester Impact report found 50% of the cost associated with delivering teams is attributed to change management and professional services. Companies are still struggling with:

  • Legacy systems: Difficulty integrating Teams with existing systems or replacing tools team members are already familiar with (such as email). 
  • Change management: Overcoming resistance to change with extensive insights into the benefits of Teams, and consistent training or support. 
  • Security and compliance: Ensuring Teams meets with the specific security and compliance standards of the organisation and its industry. 
  • Costs and licensing: Determining which employees should have access to which types of Teams license, from free services to Premium Teams subscriptions.
  • Organizational readiness: Preparing the organization for Teams adoption with clear policies and buy-in from leaders throughout the business.
  • User experience: Addressing concerns about user experience, usability, and managing the Teams environment. 
  • External parties: Ensuring seamless collaboration with external parties who may not be using Microsoft Teams for communication. 
  • Cultural considerations: Addressing the needs of different types of employees, and customizing the platform to suit different time zones, languages, and needs.

Overcoming these core challenges requires companies to implement a clear strategy for success, from the moment they decide to implement the Teams platform. The first step is finding working examples of Teams usage within the business landscape. Pinpointing employees who already leverage the Teams environment, gathering insights about their experiences, and using these use cases to educate and support other employees will be crucial to encouraging adoption.

Once companies find existing examples of people using Teams in the organization, they can use them to create learning pathways for new adopters, design effective onboarding programs, and even produce champion programs, to help accelerate adoption. 

Crucially, Resonate notes that leaders in the business also need to be willing to endorse the Teams environment, adapt to the change, and encourage others to follow in their footsteps. If leaders are unwilling to change their behaviours, employees will also be reluctant to evolve.

Challenge 2: Optimising Team Collaboration in Teams

Once companies figure out how to improve user adoption of Teams, the next step in ensuring they leverage the full ROI of the ecosystem is optimising the collaborative experience. While Microsoft’s collaboration app offers a variety of ways for employees to connect, share knowledge, and work cohesively together, the lack of a clear collaboration strategy can lead to a number of problems. 

To enhance collaboration, and take advantage of the 58% of Microsoft Teams cost savings attributed to better collaboration, companies need to:

1. Eliminate Team Sprawl

While rapid adoption of Microsoft Teams may seem like a positive thing at first, it can lead to complexity and confusion when employees don’t have clear guidelines on how to use the ecosystem. Employees can end up creating teams and channels without any strategy, leading to a more complicated communication ecosystem.

Business leaders need to communicate with their employees about how teams should be created, and consider restricting the number of employees who can actively create new channels or teams, to minimise overwhelm. 

2. Simplify File Management

Teams provides a useful environment where employees can share files, documents, and crucial resources in the cloud. However, managing these documents, and making sure they’re accessible to the people who need them can be complex without the right strategy. 

Creating standard operating procedures for file creation and storage can help to keep crucial resources organized in the digital environment. Resonate recommends using meta data, keywords for file management, and tags to make resources easier to find.

3. Preserve User Acceptance

Even if companies are clear about the benefits of Teams when introducing the platform to their employees, user acceptance can begin to suffer when new features and solutions emerge in the platform. The more people adopt Teams, the more expansive the platform can become, with various tools, apps, add-ons, and channels to navigate.

Providing continuous training on how to utilise Teams correctly is crucial to overcoming this problem. End-to-end guidance on every new feature, and how the Teams platform should be used can help to prevent employees from falling back into old collaboration habits, like using email. 

4. Control Guest Access 

Microsoft Teams isn’t just an excellent tool for internal collaboration, it also helps businesses to align with external stakeholders and contractors easily too. But with crucial compliance and data management policies to adhere to, businesses need to ensure they’re controlling how much access external users have to channels, resources, and documents.

Managing guest access manually can be complex, but Microsoft partners like Resonate can help companies to develop automated policies for access control, ensuring permissions are delivered and removed according to internal security standards. 

5. Protect Essential Data

Teams need to be able to access shared documents, files, and resources within Teams to collaborate effectively, but not every employee will need access to the same data. Taking a careful approach to data protection, with clear policies for how information should be shared and stored is crucial.

Businesses should consider providing team members with instructions on how to share data and protect information with sensitivity labels, and access controls. 

6. Automate Administration

The right administration strategy influences how user-friendly and intuitive the Teams experience can be for each user. Unfortunately, limited resources and skill shortages in the modern business world can make it difficult to manage administration manually.

The easiest way to onboard employees, preserve user experience, and boost productivity in Teams, is to take advantage of automation. Automated workflows built into the Microsoft Teams environment can help companies to automate crucial tasks with self-service solutions, templates, and pre-established workflows. 

Challenge 3: Enhancing Communication in Teams

Finally, as mentioned above, 26% of the cost savings companies can access by implementing Microsoft Teams are attributed to improved communication strategies. However, many businesses are still struggling to leverage Teams as a comprehensive solution for unified communications.

According to Resonate, two of the biggest challenges businesses face when unlocking the benefits of Teams for communication are:

1. Configuring and managing Teams Voice Solutions

Accessing business phone functionality and voice services within Teams is crucial in turning the ecosystem into a full UCaaS solution. However, companies frequently struggle with user and number management, monitoring licence consumption, and implementing PowerShell solutions. 

Resonate assists companies with eliminating the complexity of manually managing Teams Voice solutions, with off-the-shelf innovative technology, automation tools, and custom workflows, created within the Microsoft platform. The right automation solutions can help businesses to quickly and effectively provision numbers, track resource usage, and save money on licenses

2. Collecting insights for business decisions

Finally, to truly optimise the ROI of Microsoft Teams from a communication perspective, businesses need to be able to take advantage of in-depth insights and reports. Lack of visibility into usage strategies, the root cause of call quality problems, and more can make it difficult for brands to take full advantage of their UC ecosystem.

Using simple but intuitive tools, Resonate provides enterprises with visibility into how their voice services are used, where issues might be emerging with voice quality, and where opportunities for growth might lie. With voice quality insights, tools for collecting customer feedback, and extensive reports, businesses can make better decisions about how to optimise their Teams ecosystem.

Unlocking the Full ROI of Microsoft Teams

Forrester’s report shows that Microsoft Teams has the power to deliver a significant ROI to digitally transforming businesses around the world. However, to access this return on investment, companies need to learn how to overcome adoption barriers, enhance collaboration strategies, and make the most of their communication tools.

Contact Resonate today to learn more about how our adoption programmes, innovative off-the-shelf solutions and automation resources can help you unlock the full ROI of Microsoft Teams. 

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