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Today’s Modern Workplace

Collaboration, Security & Endpoint Management during a pandemic

For decades, large segments of the working population were demanding flexibility in where and how their work could be done. Little did they know that their voices would be heard through the onset of a global pandemic. What once was an unimaginable luxury to reach a comfortable work-life balance was now, in many cases, a necessity.

While the experience of working at home during this crisis may not have been ideal as whole families sheltered in place, it certainly gave people a taste of what could be. The genie is out of the bottle and, chances are, it’s not going back anytime soon.

There’s no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic has caused a historic disruption in how work gets done. Dealing with the reality of a remote workforce, however, offered a serious gut-check to IT professionals around the globe.

As we see it, there are three (3) critical areas that should be addressed if your organization is going to continue to thrive in this new ‘Modern Workplace’.

Collaboration

Microsoft Teams allows employees to work together seamlessly. Teams is built for teamwork, and for fostering a new level of creativity and collaboration.

Security

Microsoft’s Identity and Access Management solution and technologies are designed to identify authorized users before granting access and apps to data.

Endpoint Management

With Microsoft’s Endpoint Manager, IT teams can clearly secure, deploy, and manage all users, apps, and devices without disruption to existing processes.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a hub for teamwork, a chat-based workspace that enables teams to be more productive by giving them a single and secure location that brings together everything a team needs: chats, meetings, calls, files, and tools. Microsoft Teams is the one place for all the needs your teams have.

Microsoft Teams delivers on four core promises to create a digital workspace for high performing teams.

Communicate

First, Microsoft Teams solves for the communication needs of a diverse, and often remote, workforce. Since preview, Microsoft Teams has evolved to include a complete meetings experience, as well as chat, voice and video. You can use Teams for informal 1:1 or group chats – directly on your phone if you’re on the go. Or you can have an open conversation in a channel. This enables people to share information in a transparent way to accelerate decision making. And it’s super easy to move from a chat into a face-to-face meeting, helping you to bridge geographical barriers.

Collaborate

When it comes to collaboration, the deep Office integration enables today’s multigenerational workforce to use the Office apps they are familiar with and love – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, Planner, even Power BI – right within the context of Teams. Teams is unique in how we enable collaboration.

Today, when you want somebody’s feedback, you send them the file via email, they store it locally with comments, you store it again…It’s a vicious cycle that results in v2, v3, v4 versions – and you have to jump between email and other apps to get the work done. Teams brings all the Office 365 services together – so that you can easily share and co-author files without the need for email attachments.

Customize

Many of you use other services than Office 365 as well which results in you having to jump between and spend time in disparate experiences. Microsoft built Teams to not only be the hub for Office 365 services, but for all the services and tools teams use on a day-to-day basis. So, you can customize Teams with tabs, connector and bots to include the apps and services you need.. For the developer community, Teams also has an extensible platform, to enable building apps and to integrate with business processes.

Work With Confidence

Microsoft Teams comes with the enterprise grade security, compliance and manageability that you expect from Office 365 which customers say is a huge value add for them.

“Microsoft Teams gives us the ability to mobilize people in a way we’ve never seen before.”

Jamie McLellan, Chief Technology Officer, J. Walter Thompson

Security

Microsoft Integrated Security delivers an intelligent, unified enterprise defense solution that provides comprehensive protection against attacks. This 360-degree approach reduces costs, effectively secures public/private cloud environments, and leverages the world’s largest, most trusted, and most committed security presence.

Microsoft Integrated Security takes a holistic approach to securing your organization’s IT and data environment across 4 key vectors: identity & access management, protection against threats, safeguarding of data at-rest and in-transit, and comprehensive visibility and control over your security ecosystem. This integrated approach provides several critical benefits for your organization:

Reduce costs with an integrated solution

  • Protect against every intrusion scenario by consolidating to a single provider and dashboard, eliminating extra IT security infrastructure
  • Empower coordination of protection, detection, response, and prevention across both Microsoft and 3rd party solutions on one platform
  • Securely manage ID & access across devices
  • Reduce licensing costs up to 52% with integrated cloud solutions, a significantly lower TCO than a patchwork approach 

Secure hybrid environments effectively

  • Protect against other cloud and on-premises infrastructure as organizations move to public clouds
  • Reinforce and keep pace with growth in security data
  • Accelerate security outcomes while reducing hardware and operational costs

Employ the world’s largest and most trusted security presence

  • Best in class across five security solutions categories
  • Ensure confidence with Microsoft Security’s impeccable legacy.
  • Trust resources that process a greater volume of data than anywhere else
  • Fight against threats with config monitoring, EDR, application control, network segmentation (with support extending to container and serverless workloads)

Endpoint Management

Imagine that a senior employee’s laptop is stolen. It could be industrial espionage. Are the security precautions you have in place today sufficient to stop the thief from extracting valuable information or credentials from the laptop?

Digital transformation and the changing workplace are shining a light on two intersecting trends: the variety and volume of endpoint devices, and the need to secure data and systems wherever they reside. No surprise, then, that improving security is a top driver of IT investments in the year ahead, rising steadily in importance over the last three years.

Even the most secure enterprises can be penetrated, but by the same token, even the most talented and resourceful hackers can be defeated. The way to do this is to put impediments in their way at every step.

At the endpoint, you do this by managing the device thoroughly from the beginning of the lifecycle, removing privileges not needed by the user, applying updates to all levels of software promptly, and encrypting data both in transit and at rest.

Modern endpoint systems and the software for managing them make such control practical, without the need to restrict users’ ability to get their work done.

A few quick points to reflect on…

  • Are the hard drives on your laptops encrypted at the device level using keys in the TPM?
  • Does signing in to the device require multiple factors?
  • Is the thief prevented from booting a new operating system from a USB drive?
  • Is he prevented from going into the UEFI settings and changing them?

Whether you’re just starting out or are trying to play catch-up, our 365 team of experts knows how to manage the change in both the technology and the people who will be using it. Let us help you simplify and manage your Modern Workplace by showing you the things that work and avoiding the things that don’t.

Let’s Get Started. Contact Oakwood Today!