ShareBox: going beyond MS Teams to enhance collaboration

May 21, 2019
  • people
  • operations
  • engineering & projects
  • Microsoft

Digital collaboration is one of the keys to increasing operational excellence, attracting and keeping talent, empowering a diverse workforce and fostering employee engagement. When it comes to innovating the digital workplace, Microsoft is currently leading the way with Office 365 and Microsoft Teams. But as useful as these tools are at digitalizing collaboration, there are some key missing governance and contextual capabilities. We aim to fill those gaps with our ShareBox 3.0 tool.

For organizations of all sizes, Microsoft Teams is a robust foundation for the collaboration element of the Office 365 digital workplace. “It gathers every process and activity related to collaboration under one user experience,” explains Serge Desaranno, manager and digital workplace strategy consultant at delaware.

“Deployed in the right way,” he goes on to say, “it fosters an environment in which people can manage information and tasks. Collaborators can work together on the same information at the same time, interact with colleagues through conversations linked to the information, add tasks and monitor progress via dashboards. No more copies, no more emails flying around, no reliance on outside platforms. All of this contributes tremendously to a higher level of operational excellence.”

Addressing gaps in governance processes and collaboration context

As strong as Microsoft Teams is, it currently lacks governance structures, automation and contextual frameworks needed for an effective digital collaboration tool. “If collaborative workspaces, known as teams, aren’t available quickly, users won’t hesitate to go beyond the borders of your company’s IT ecosystem – potentially opening the door to security vulnerabilities,” continues Serge. “Even more, without a structured approach to teams, your Teams landscape can quickly spiral out of control.”

This poses problems for users, who don’t know which teams exist and what they are for, and for business and IT departments, who have to deal with exploding quantities of unused and redundant teams. “Automated governance – a way for the business to approve, create and manage the lifecycle of a team – and context – searchable information about the existence and purpose of teams – are the solution,” Serge asserts. “That’s where ShareBox comes in.”

The flow of Sharebox 3.0

Introducing control without adding restrictions

delaware’s fully configurable ShareBox solution, now in its third iteration, is aligned with what is happening in the Microsoft world.

Serge: “ShareBox offers two crucial functionalities on top of Office 365 collaboration tools. First, it offers context in a Teams environment. Teams doesn’t offer a very rich overview of teams. Are you looking for a project? A department? A community of interest? A customer? The only way to search for this information using the standard tool is if all users respect narrow naming conventions that nobody knows. These are just a few examples of contextual information you can’t add to an MS team, which makes it difficult for employees to effectively work using tool with hundreds – or thousands – of teams existing in a company.” 

The second challenge that ShareBox overcomes is the need for automated governance through employee self-service. “Employees want their collaboration space now – or even yesterday,” Serge says. “But are you going to give every employee the ability to make new teams on the fly? You could face 20,000 new teams in a month – I’ve witnessed it. Organizations need to maintain control without introducing restrictions.”

Removing the hassle of valueless IT work

ShareBox provides a self-service mechanism that allows employees to request – but not create – a team. When they make the request, employees are notified if similar teams already exist. A request can automatically lead to the creation of a team or be subject to approval based on information sensitivity, external sharing requirements, etc. “When a request is subject to approval, business is empowered to make a decision, and IT no longer needs to be involved.”

“Going through the IT team to set up a collaborative workplace means waiting – pushing a user to turn to third-party applications like DropBox or WeTransfer,” Serge explains. “The ShareBox workflows give the approval mechanism to business people, not IT people, reducing the operational costs involved.”

Even more, ShareBox manages the lifecycle of each team. When teams are inactive, the owner is automatically notified and prompted to archive it, lifting another burden from the IT department and ensuring efficient data storage practices.

More than just a technical solution

Sharebox 3.0 is more than just an IT tool. “We provide customers with an end-to-end offering that includes the solution as well as change management, training and an organizational model that supports the rollout,” Serge asserts. “In conjunction with Microsoft, our offering also comes with an online help portal and collaboration KPIs that are linked with Office 365 reporting.”

In this way, delaware’s ShareBox 3.0 solution supports the IT department, the communication department and the HR department: the three groups involved in collaboration within your business. “We help our customers ensure the most effective rollout of Microsoft Teams and ShareBox, regardless of the size, complexity or geographic spread of your company,” Serge concludes.

Eager to get the most out of Microsoft Teams and discover how ShareBox 3.0 can help? Our experienced team would love to hear from you.

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