Management Challenges with Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise Collaboration

We discuss overcoming the challenges with AudioCodes

Have you been thinking of moving your communication and collaboration strategy over to Microsoft Office 365, whether Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams or a mix of both? Perhaps you’ve already made the migration, or you’re in the process of planning your transformation. Either way, you’re in great company, as Microsoft reports that approximately half of their business office users are already embracing the Office 365 experience. What’s more, they believe that the number of Office users in their network will grow significantly in the next year.

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It’s easy to see why Office 365 is so popular for most companies. First of all, Office 365 offers a rich suite of great features, including improved uptime, higher user productivity and easy scalability. Unfortunately, the move to Microsoft isn’t as simple as it might seem. For one thing, the accelerated growth of the Microsoft Unified Communications suite (or Intelligent Communications as they now like to call it) has led to a lot of enterprises struggling to make the most out of a disparate network of complex devices, gateways, SBCs and conference room solutions, all issued by multiple vendors.

With so much confusion, it’s hard to achieve a truly “unified” experience. Today, many companies are beginning to consider a new approach to their Microsoft UC solutions, with vendors like AudioCodes offering holistic tools for network management, device management, user management and routing. By providing a management solution that’s available through a single pane of glass, AudioCodes and vendors like them are reducing operational expenses and enhancing simplicity for the enterprise.

Taking a Holistic Approach to Communication Management

AudioCodes is one vendor offering a range of simple management solutions to today’s enterprises. For instance, one of their services, the “One Voice Operations Centre” or “OVOC” is a network management service that helps to combine the admin features associated with experience monitoring and network device provisioning into a single, simple application. The OVOC solution allows administrators to take a more holistic approach to the network lifecycle management experience by simplifying day-to-day tasks and helping with troubleshooting solutions – from detection to correction in a single application.

In a world where experience is often the key to success, companies like AudioCodes are beginning to remove some of the complexity from the unified communications environment. The result should be quicker and easier adoption across the entire enterprise, with  a greater chance of success for modern companies who want to embrace the ever-evolving Microsoft Office 365 portfolio, especially the rapidly improving Microsoft Teams solution.

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The OVOC doesn’t just come with plenty of useful features. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of this system is its easy-to-use UI. With the simple admin interface, administrators can once again enjoy complete control over their VoIP devices and management solutions. This means that otherwise complicated and time-consuming tasks can be carried out with exceptional speed. The OVOC solution streamlines management needs into a single application, improves system availability and increases efficiency with centralised provisioning and configuration features.

Optimising Microsoft Skype for Business

Skype for Business logoFor those who want specific support for Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business, there are also focused solutions available in the form of the AudioCodes User Management Pack 365 (UMP365). This is a powerful form of software designed to streamline management of the Microsoft user lifecycle. The User Management system fits perfectly on top of hosted cloud and on-premise systems, connecting the enterprise environment with Microsoft online services.  Microsoft Teams can also empower IT by facilitating a more gradual migration  cloud communications.

The easy-to-use web portal included with the User Management Pack 365 allows today’s companies to enjoy an intuitive self-service portal, perfect for providing enterprise administrators with control over user lifecycles. The User Management Pack 365 simple web portal makes Skype for Business operation more cost-effective, by replacing multiple management tools with one single solution. With the User Management Pack, you can:

  • Simplify moves, adds and changes
  • Enjoy single pane of glass management across all types of Microsoft deployments
  • Import or create users easily
  • Provision on-premises or cloud attributes

Andy Elliot, VP Marketing at AudioCodes:

“The real beauty of UMP365 is its ease of use, which plays a vital role in reducing operational expense. Simplicity is built in, allowing enterprises to self-manage their Microsoft environment without the need to employ expensive Powershell Ninjas or pay to outsource these skills”.

The User Management Pack 365 experience provides end-to-end control of all the systems in the Skype for Business modalities and enhances user management by consolidating various tools into a simple self-service portal. The result is a service that allows administrators to spend more time growing their business, and less time trying to handle multiple environments at once.

Case Study: How Vodafone Simplified their User Management

vodafone logoVodafone Netherlands is a great example of a company driving enterprise adoption of the Microsoft Skype for Business hybrid cloud service. A growing demand for UC solutions among their business customers led the company to introduce their Skype for Business offering. While this hosted service was a powerful proposition for enterprises, it also meant that the service provider had a host of new management issues to worry about.

In their search to reduce operational expense while providing a greater user experience, Vodafone Netherlands also sought to  provide their business customers with both the highest level of UC support and enhanced control over end-user lifecycles. The solution they turned to was the AudioCodes User Management Pack 365 application. AudioCodes gave Vodafone a white labelled version of their management tool so that they could maintain the Vodafone branding across their UC solution. The service now acts as a self-service portal for enterprise customers, giving IT managers the control and support they need for day-to-day user management.

The AudioCodes User Management pack has allowed Vodafone Netherlands  to tap into a host of benefits for its customers. Vodafone revealed in an AudioCodes case study that their customers now benefit from complete control over their communication configuration, and an easy integration with their on-premises strategies.

Improving your Microsoft 365 Experience

In an era where communications and collaboration are becoming more complex, today’s companies must look for ways to simplify the experience for agents, users, IT administrators and management experts alike. With vendors like AudioCodes, today’s companies can simplify and reduce the cost to manage devices, users and network infrastructure across the entire Microsoft 365 deployment. Management simply has to be a key consideration for all enterprises embarking on a Microsoft 365 communications & collaboration journey.

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Rob Scott

Written by Rob Scott

Hi, I'm Rob Scott - Publisher. Fanatical about Unified Communications & Collaboration & Contact Centre Tech :)