Craig McQueen, vice-president of innovation at solution provider Softchoice, says this year’s Microsoft Teams updates are impressive, but also serve as a fresh reminder of the many existing features that go unused.
“We’ve seen an incredible development of features to make remote collaboration a better experience. All the way up to the super flashy announcements like Mesh all the way down to Teams,” he told Channel Daily News during the virtual Ignite conference this week. “But a lot of it isn’t being used, and users are often left to their own devices.”
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McQueen says for years there’s been a slow shift from technical services to adoption services within Softchoice. That’s been kicked into high gear since March 2020.
“That’s a bit of an industry shift we’ve seen from service providers,” he indicated. “It’s about helping people use the tech that’s provided to them and not just using a small portion of it.”
Softchoice has a firm grip on Microsoft business across Canada, and that includes everything from SaaS products to cloud infrastructure. McQueen says the biggest opportunities around Azure today are, interestingly enough, found in retail and travel sectors.
Microsoft Teams’ growth alone has been stunning. There were an estimated 115 million daily users in October, a significant increase from the 32 million recorded in early March 2020. That’s why solution providers like Softchoice have been in high demand. Not only are they creating clarity out of the sea of features in software products like Teams, but they’re also shining a light on the default features that leave organizations virtually unprotected.
A recent report from Avanan* reported that as of December 2020, only one in four users within an organization that has Microsoft 365 actually use Teams on a daily basis. It means there’s plenty of adoption in Teams’ future, and existing users are likely setting up an account forgetting about it until their next meeting on Teams.
The report also included a laundry list of risks posed by Teams’ default settings, including how with a single click, sensitive information can be forwarded outside the organization, either by user error, insider threat or hackers that compromised an account.
“Users are happy to figure out how to get onto a Teams meeting and remember how to mute and unmute themselves,” McQueen said.