Since March 2020, like millions of others around the world, the majority of OpenText™ employees have been working from home as lockdowns, quarantines and shelter-at-home orders have taken hold. As organizations worked to ensure employee productivity remained high, the use of collaboration technology has exploded. Usage of Microsoft® Teams users more than doubled, Zoom meeting participant numbers grew more than 3000%, and Google Meet hosted 3 billion minutes of meetings a day!
At OpenText, we have standardized on Microsoft Teams as our collaboration platform, using it to communicate and collaborate, and maintain team morale during the COVID lockdowns. But like most large companies we have several other collaboration and information management tools at our disposal, including OpenText™ Core Share, OpenText™ Content Suite, OpenText™ Hightail™ and OpenText™ Documentum™. And of course, everyone has their laptop at home. All these solutions provide different benefits to users – some based on personal preference, others on company policy.
But one thing is certain, using multiple tools can result in information being saved in many different locations, not properly integrated with related business processes, or not complying with corporate governance policies.
No employee is deliberately mis-filing content but doing so can limit the future value of that information, and potentially lead to serious discovery issues in the future.
Let’s look at Microsoft Teams as an example.
Collaboration and productivity challenges
Most projects in large organizations will require involvement from different stakeholders and contributors from all over the world. Not only does this present significant scheduling challenges, but it also exposes a business to complex and unique compliance regulations based on employee location.
Project teams will likely also include different functions – marketing, legal, HR, procurement – and it’s important to remember that not all information is appropriate to share with everyone. This could be due to compliance or insider regulations, or just to prevent people from becoming overwhelmed with TMI (too much information) as each participant only needs to see what is needed to do their role.
Often, critical budget, market or customer information resides in business applications like SAP or Salesforce. Providing team members with direct access to those systems of record might not be practical or desirable, but the ability to surface that information when required – while leaving the information housed in the original application – is important to project success.
And finally, when the project is completed, someone needs to figure out whether, when and how all associated content is archived or deleted.
If an organization isn’t careful, the vast pools of valuable information being created, shared and collaborated on within Microsoft Teams (and the associated Microsoft SharePoint repositories) will become out of reach to both the business processes that can use it and organizational governance oversight.
The new reality
The popularity of Microsoft Teams is set to continue to grow as a significant percentage of workers remain “remote” and cross-functional or international teams grow in importance. It is imperative that organizations adapt to this new model and ensure lifecycle management and governance best practices are still applied.
“During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Bank continues to fulfill its mission without interruption to daily business activity, while at the same time protecting our workforce. Many of our employees are working remotely from home, using their virtual desktops to securely access IT resources. To reinforce internal and external collaboration, we escalated our plans to integrate Microsoft Teams with OpenText Content Suite using OpenText Extended ECM for Microsoft Office 365.”
Markos Dolopikos, Principal Officer, Information Technologies, Black Sea Trade and Development Bank
OpenText™ Extended ECM for Microsoft® Office 365™ reduces the complexity of creating and managing teams by automating the creation, management and lifecycle of teams; connecting content and processes; and automatically adding the right classification, metadata and security.
Creation and management of teams
OpenText Extended ECM for Microsoft Office 365 assists with the lifecycle of teams – from creation to dissolution. Automating the process of inviting the right team members to a project and applying the appropriate security permissions and creating the right tabs ensures only those really needed are included. At the end of the project, it also manages the lifecycle of Teams by retiring the content, including chats, wiki content and notes.
Right information at the right time
OpenText Extended ECM for Office 365 can surface relevant information from leading business applications like SAP and Salesforce directly into an Office 365 interface. Users see relevant information alongside pertinent content in Office 365. This deep integration can streamline teamwork by having the right information in one familiar interface, no matter where that information resides.
Compliant content management
Important across all projects and teams is the provision to ensure all content is properly classified, tagged and secure. OpenText Extended ECM for Office 365 automatically ensures content inherits the right classification, metadata, security, retention and disposal rules.
The benefits of properly integrating Microsoft Teams content with your content management framework leads to increased productivity and reduced risk. To navigate these (and other) issues, organizations need to provide employees with a way to seamlessly integrate the document and information needs associated with collaboration, and the benefits derived from using tools like Microsoft Teams.
Read more about OpenText Content Services technology for Microsoft Teams.