Pragmatic Governance from Microsoft Teams: A Guest Post from Orchestry

We’re excited to host a special guest post by Michal Pisarek, CEO of Orchestry, a valued partner of Cambay Solutions. In his insightful article, Pisarek delves into the critical yet often neglected realm of governance in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365. Leveraging Orchestry’s AI and machine learning-powered SaaS platform to enhance M365 diagnostics and management, this post offers essential guidance for effective team environment management, resonating with anyone navigating the intricacies of modern workplace technology and policy.

Navigating Microsoft Teams governance and Microsoft 365 policies can feel like a complex maze. Amid the rapid deployment of Teams to support remote and hybrid work, governance is often an overlooked challenge.

This blog aims to offer guidance to effectively manage Microsoft Teams right from the start!

Understanding Pragmatic Microsoft Teams Governance

Governance involves shaping the people, processes, rules, structure, and Microsoft 365 policies within MS Teams. Traditionally, it has been an IT-centric process, sometimes perceived as overly restrictive. Striking a balance between IT control and user collaboration freedom is crucial in today’s work environment.

User-focused governance can drive lasting adoption. It helps users navigate Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Sites, and Microsoft 365 effectively with the appropriate permissions.

Components of a Typical Microsoft 365 Governance Plan

While there’s no one-size-fits-all governance approach, a typical plan includes:

  • Roles: Defining roles for the various use cases and responsibilities. Examples include IT Admin, End User, Azure AD Admin, or Team Member.
  • Responsibilities: Determining each role’s duties and permissions; for instance, Team Owners are responsible for managing Teams and assigning owners.
  • Processes: Defining procedures for creating, archiving, deleting, and managing workspaces within Microsoft Teams.
  • Access and Ownership: Determining who can access teams and channels and who owns collaboration assets, including files.
  • Microsoft 365 Policies: Establishing governance policies for content management, taxonomy, labeling, and expiration dates.

Benefits of Governance in Microsoft Teams

Effective governance in Microsoft Teams offers numerous advantages:

  • Compliance: Ensures legal, social, and cultural compliance, regardless of industry regulations.
  • User Experience: Provides users with appropriate controls, improving their experience and driving adoption.
  • Preventing Sprawl: Manages Workspaces to prevent unwanted and abandoned ones, reducing sprawl.
  • Data Security: Prevents unauthorized data sharing through data loss prevention policies.
  • Streamlined Environment: Enhances user experience by removing rarely used or unnecessary features.
  • Performance Optimization: Improves Microsoft Teams’ performance by reducing unnecessary workspaces.

Balancing Control in Microsoft 365 Governance

Organizations take different approaches to MS Teams governance, spanning from tight control to minimal intervention. Striking a balance is often the goal:

  • Tight Control: Locks down most features through policies, granting access based on training and controlled feature requests.
  • Limited Control: Offers agile collaboration with minimal governance, but may pose risks.


Why Governance Matters

Consider for a moment, that your new phone had every app from the App Store pre-installed—it’d be overwhelming.

The same applies to Microsoft 365.

Most features are enabled out of the box, but you must tailor the setup to your organization’s needs to set end users up for success.

Governance simplifies this process, ensuring that users access only what’s necessary. These configurations are flexible and adaptable to future requirements.


Governance in Microsoft 365 & Microsoft Teams

Creating a new Microsoft Teams Workspace also creates a Microsoft 365 Group. Governing Microsoft Teams essentially means governing these groups. Within the Microsoft Teams Admin Center, you can apply various settings and policies, including:

  • Team-Based Settings: Configure settings for Teams at the global, per-user, or per-Team level.
  • Group Settings: Define naming conventions and expiration policies within Microsoft 365 Groups.
  • Security and Compliance: Protect data and ensure compliance.

Microsoft Teams Governance Options

Governance options include managing who can create SharePoint Sites, Microsoft Teams, Shared Libraries, or Microsoft 365 Groups. You can establish naming conventions, control guest access, set expiration policies, apply policies for retention, sensitivity labels, and more. Monitoring usage through admin centers and reports is crucial.


Real-Life Applications of Microsoft Teams Governance

Different organizations have unique governance needs, as illustrated in various scenarios. Governance aligns with the level of control required:

  • Lockdown Corp: Controls Teams creation through tools, prioritizing strict governance.
  • Balanced Industries: Allows specific trained users to create Teams, combining governance with flexibility.
  • Start Up Inc: Maintains default settings, offering maximum flexibility and minimal governance.

Default & Available Applications in Microsoft Teams Governance

Deciding which apps should be readily available to users is a crucial aspect of governance. You must manage default apps and control which third-party apps users can install. Explore settings in the Teams Admin Center to configure organization-wide and app permission policies.

Archiving in Microsoft Teams

Archiving unused Microsoft Teams keeps the environment organized. While there’s no automatic archival feature, manual archiving is possible. Archiving preserves teams data and activity, including private channel conversations.

Orchestry provides tools to tidy your Microsoft 365 account using their automated archiving feature. You can learn more about their archiving and lifecycle management here.


Microsoft Teams Naming Convention

Inconsistent naming can lead to confusion. Implementing standard naming conventions for Microsoft Teams can improve usability by ensuring naming consistency. You can use naming conventions, prefixes, suffixes, or blocked words to enhance team names’ consistency.

About Microsoft Teams Governance

While we’ve covered essential elements, your organization may have unique governance requirements. Contact Us to learn more about how Cambay Solutions and Orchestry empower organizations with better governance practices.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM vs. Business Central: Is Business Central a Viable CRM Solution?

Choosing between Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and Dynamics 365 Business Central often raises a crucial question: Can Dynamics 365 Business Central serve effectively as a CRM solution? While both platforms are developed under the Microsoft Dynamics 365 umbrella, they are traditionally seen as serving distinct business needs. Dynamics 365 CRM, with its extensive suite encompassing a range of modules for sales, customer service, field service, and marketing, is explicitly tailored for comprehensive customer relationship management. In contrast, Dynamics 365 Business Central, renowned for its robust ERP capabilities, also embeds certain CRM functionalities. Understanding the CRM functionalities within Business Central is key to determining whether it can meet your CRM needs alongside its robust ERP offerings.

Overview of Dynamics 365 CRM and Dynamics 365 Business Central

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM: A premier solution for managing customer relationships, Dynamics 365 CRM excels in automating sales, customer service, and marketing processes. It’s tailored to enhance customer engagement, streamline sales cycles, and provide deep insights into customer behaviors and preferences.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Serving as an all-in-one business management solution, Dynamics 365 Business Central is an evolved ERP system for small to mid-sized businesses. It encompasses capabilities for managing finances, operations, supply chain, and even touches on customer relationship elements, though not as extensively as Dynamics 365 CRM.

Feature Comparison

1. Core Functionality:

  • Dynamics 365 CRM: Primarily excels in managing and enhancing customer interactions, enabling businesses to optimize their sales strategies and automate marketing activities. Its capability to track customer journeys from initial engagement to long-term retention is particularly valuable. The recent addition of Microsoft Copilot for Dynamics 365 Sales brings AI-driven capabilities, further augmenting the efficiency of sales activities and customer communications. This AI tool assists in automating data entry, generating sales insights, and managing customer interactions, making the platform even more robust for managing sophisticated sales strategies.
  • Dynamics 365 Business Central: Predominantly an ERP solution, this platform streamlines a wide range of business processes. Its strengths include not only financial management, supply chain optimization, inventory control, and comprehensive project management, but also an intuitive user interface and seamless integration with other Microsoft products. This integration facilitates smoother workflow transitions, data sharing, and reporting across systems. The platform’s customization and extension capabilities, supported by a strong ecosystem of apps through Microsoft AppSource, enable it to adapt to diverse business needs, including those that feature basic CRM functionalities.

2. CRM Capabilities:

  • Dynamics 365 CRM: Offers an extensive range of CRM-focused features such as multi-channel relationship management, detailed lead and opportunity tracking, and personalized marketing campaign tools. Customer insights are powered by advanced analytics, significantly enhanced by the integration with Microsoft Office applications. This integration enables more efficient data synchronization and access, leveraging familiar tools like Outlook, Excel, and Teams to manage and analyze CRM data directly, thereby enriching user experience and productivity.
  • Dynamics 365 Business Central: Although its CRM features are more foundational and basic when compared to the extensive CRM suite of Dynamics 365 CRM, Business Central efficiently supports essential customer management tasks. Its capabilities include managing contacts, tracking sales interactions, processing orders, and providing basic customer insights within the broader ERP framework. The integration with Microsoft’s productivity tools like Outlook allows users to manage financials, orders, and customer data seamlessly, making it a suitable solution for businesses that need an integrated ERP system with fundamental CRM functionalities.

Analyzing Overlapping Areas

Dynamics 365 CRM and Business Central, while both housing CRM features, serve distinct primary purposes. Dynamics 365 CRM delves deeper into customer interactions, providing a granular view of customer data and complex sales processes. It’s tailored for businesses prioritizing customer-centric strategies requiring intricate data analysis and targeted marketing efforts. In contrast, Dynamics 365 Business Central, with its integral yet basic CRM functionalities, aligns better with organizations whose central focus is on streamlining business operations but still value the convenience of integrated customer management tools.

Making the Decision: Dynamics 365 CRM vs. Business Central

Choose Dynamics 365 CRM when:

  • Advanced customer relationship management is the core of your business model. The platform’s extensive suite, now augmented by AI capabilities through Microsoft Copilot for Dynamics 365 Sales, elevates customer interaction management, automating and personalizing customer communications and sales processes.
  • Features like sophisticated lead management, predictive analytics, personalized marketing strategies, and AI-driven insights are fundamental to your business. With its enhanced analytics, automated data entry, and insight generation, Dynamics 365 CRM not only delivers on these fronts but also adapts to evolving market trends and customer behaviors, using AI to offer actionable insights and recommendations.
  • You aim to leverage intricate customer data to drive sales and marketing efforts, enriched by seamless integration with Microsoft Office. This integration enhances productivity and ensures a more connected user experience, allowing for efficient management of CRM tasks directly within familiar Office applications.

Opt for Dynamics 365 Business Central if:

  • Your business seeks a comprehensive ERP solution that conveniently includes CRM functionalities. Dynamics 365 Business Central offers a holistic business management suite, focusing on automating and streamlining key business processes including financials, supply chain, project management, and operations, while also providing essential CRM tools. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses looking for an all-in-one solution.
  • Primary focus areas include managing financials, optimizing supply chains, and overseeing operations, with CRM as a complementary function. Business Central excels in these areas with robust functionality and real-time data insights. It seamlessly integrates with various Microsoft services and applications, enhancing efficiency and connectivity across your business ecosystem.
  • The necessity for CRM is present but does not require the advanced, detailed capabilities offered by a dedicated CRM system. If your CRM needs are fundamental—such as managing contacts, sales tracking, and basic customer interactions within a unified system—Business Central’s CRM features are more than adequate without the complexity or depth of a standalone CRM system. Additionally, its user-friendly interface and the ability to customize and extend functionalities through apps and add-ons make it adaptable to growing and changing business needs.

Merging the Best of Both Worlds

For businesses seeking comprehensive coverage, combining Dynamics 365 CRM and Dynamics 365 Business Central can be a strategic choice. Utilizing Dynamics 365 CRM for intricate customer relationship management, sales, and marketing, alongside Dynamics 365 Business Central for robust ERP functionalities, can provide a full spectrum solution that caters to both front-end and back-end business operations.

The inherent integration capabilities of these Microsoft products significantly enhance their utility. With Dynamics 365 Business Central, organizations can harness powerful ERP tools, vital for managing financials, supply chain, inventory, and operations. Simultaneously, by integrating Dynamics 365 CRM, businesses gain comprehensive control over sales processes, customer management, and marketing endeavors. This synergy enables a seamless quote-to-cash process, a critical aspect for maintaining business efficiency and elevating customer satisfaction:

  1. Quote Management: Generate quotes in Dynamics 365 CRM using pricing data from Business Central, ensuring consistency and accuracy in customer offerings.
  2. Order Processing: Transition quotes into confirmed orders within Dynamics 365 CRM while checking real-time inventory data from Business Central, enhancing order fulfillment accuracy.
  3. Shipping and Invoicing: Coordinate the complete shipping and invoicing cycle through Business Central, bolstering operational efficiency.
  4. Payment and Cash Management: Facilitate the reception of payments and posting invoices in Business Central, keeping financials up to date.
  5. Invoice Status and Insights: Keep sales and customer service teams informed by tracking invoice payments through Dynamics 365 CRM, enabling proactive customer engagement and follow-up.

By integrating Dynamics 365 CRM with Business Central, businesses not only unify and streamline key operational and sales processes but also ensure a continuous flow of up-to-date information across departments. This integration bridges the traditional gap between ERP and CRM systems, offering a synchronized view of customer engagement and business operations, and enabling companies to function more cohesively and responsively in today’s dynamic market environment.

Next Steps with Cambay Solutions

Selecting between Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and Dynamics 365 Business Central can be challenging, especially when there are overlapping capabilities. The decision ultimately rests on what aspects of your business you wish to prioritize, and the level of depth required in specific functions.

At Cambay Solutions, we specialize in understanding these intricate details and guiding you towards the solution that best fits your unique business needs. Whether you aim to deepen customer relationships with Dynamics 365 CRM or seek a comprehensive business management solution with Business Central, we’re here to ensure your business harnesses the full potential of Microsoft Dynamics solutions.

Contact Cambay Solutions today to explore which Dynamics 365 solution aligns best with your business objectives.