Services for Microsoft Teams Rooms from integration to managed services. Make the most of your Microsoft Teams Rooms.

Choosing a Service Provider for Microsoft Teams Rooms

Article 10/2022, 5 min read

Microsoft Teams Rooms integration requires experience in handling the ongoing shortage of conference room equipment and ensuring undisturbed workflow in the setup. However, that is just the start. A good service provider can help improve user adoption and increase reliability and IT efficiency to make the most of Microsoft Teams Rooms. 

The development of devices and solutions that aim to connect people across the hybrid workplace is accelerating in the modern business environment. Microsoft Teams Rooms (MTR) is an example of a solution that, technically speaking, bridges the gap between people working remotely and those in the office by allowing everyone to be seen, heard and fully participate, from any location.  
 
While it is expected that such solutions will be easy to buy, install, deploy and operate, the road to smoother virtual collaboration is, at the moment, not without a few bumps that may turn out to be quite challenging, and overcoming them will require adequate support from a service provider that is an expert in both the Teams environment and related devices. 
 
This need may arise sooner than most organisations anticipate. 
 
"The pandemic created a shortage of equipment that is still very much ongoing," explains Owe Ekman, Vice President, Services at Elisa Videra. "Especially when it comes to large purchases, standardised global delivery is extremely difficult to arrange without proper abilities to manage the entire supply chain." 
 
The next surprise is waiting just around the corner: delivering and installing the equipment on schedule often turns out to be more demanding than expected. With hundreds of devices and dozens of locations, keeping the big picture clear is both difficult and critical.

Integrating Microsoft Teams Rooms into the current Teams environment  

At the onboarding stage, integrating MTR into the current Teams environment must take place promptly and smoothly. The user experience has to remain undisturbed, and the specific needs of every organisation in the hybrid world must be considered. Everything must be standardised, immediately available and easy to use. Interoperability with other collaboration platforms must be ensured. 

"It goes without saying that the role of project management is absolutely fundamental in ensuring that infrastructure setup goes in a way that brings out the potential of Microsoft Teams Rooms," Owe Ekman points out. "These pain points speak for themselves when it comes to the need for a capable service provider to ensure everything works the way it is expected to." 

According to Ekman, choosing Microsoft Teams as the platform for virtual collaboration should be a strategic decision within the organisation. In addition, it should be understood that the switch from other systems and technologies does not take place overnight. Transition is a continuous process that requires continuous management in order to be successful.  

Avoid the pitfalls when moving from legacy video conferencing to MTRs

The journey with Microsoft Teams Rooms (MTR) has been quite eventful and fast paced with many teething issues during the past two years leading companies to face challenges in the transition from legacy video conferencing devices to MTRs. The development is still ongoing, and companies have only started to realise that they need support with the transition to ensure that the MTR rollout is successful. 

Selecting a Managed Service Provider for Microsoft Teams Rooms 

The need for a capable managed service provider (MSP) is paramount. But how do you make it work in the best way possible? Owe Ekman sheds light on four essential areas that mean small differences in capabilities can lead to significant differences in value. 

1. Availability, fast service and response time 

When the equipment has been installed, the daily work begins. Keeping everything up and running continuously requires a sophisticated MSP with specific capabilities. 
 
"We have all experienced way too many incidents when devices refuse to work, touchscreens remain dark and connections collapse. It takes an experienced managed service provider to create configurations that smoothly integrate MTR into the Teams environment in a user-friendly and systematic manner – and ensure a prompt response to any challenge, at all times. Your business depends on it." 
 
When choosing Managed Services, make sure the provider is available 24/7/365. Ask for a Service Desk that provides a real-time meeting management service for the full life cycle of video conference management and access to AV and conferencing experts and professional customer support staff around the clock.
 
“Not only does your provider need to be available all the time, but they also need to respond quickly to your needs and problems. Make sure your IT provider doesn’t forward calls to a call centre but responds in a timely manner – look for a guaranteed response time,” Ekman emphasises. 

2. Local on-site maintenance and people support

In order to be the most efficient and able to provide excellent customer experience, the chosen Managed Service solution must include both centralised and local elements. While a centralised service desk ensures 24/7/365 availability, local on-site maintenance and people support are necessary to make the service as comprehensive as possible. 
 
“Using a provider that is both global and local is a huge benefit when ensuring you have the best service, so choose a vendor that is available for onsite support. If your employees are fighting with technology, they can’t get their jobs done. There are situations where the chosen service provider must be available to provide fast answers to technology questions and use remote access to resolve issues quickly." 

3. Monitoring and proactive maintenance

While quick reactions to unexpected incidents and troubleshooting with sophisticated remote access tools are crucial, the real added value lies in the managed service provider's ability to operate in a proactive manner, that is, to repair and maintain MTR in a way that the customer hardly recognises. 
 
"The key to successful proactive maintenance lies in the ability to monitor the entire room and its setup. This makes it possible to recognise individual devices that have gone down, and to get those devices up and running overnight without the customer even noticing. Gathering and analysing data from the room also makes it possible to see when devices are nearing the end of their life cycles and replacing them before they break down." 

4. Third-party technology vendor partnerships

While many consider this area self-evident, it takes plenty of in-depth technology expertise to control and understand the wide and diverse fleet of devices and platforms in a modern virtual collaboration environment. A key advantage of using a MSP is that they can handle technology vendors for you, saving you time in tracking down multiple vendors for service and support.  
 
When evaluating a provider, look at who they partner with and make sure they have expertise in the tools you actually use. Information security is also an integral part of network management and the MSP must also consider security issues when it comes to outsourced solutions.  
 
Especially when it comes to specific lines of business, such as public service, banking and utilities, organisations have other service platforms in addition to Teams at their disposal. These platforms are often designed to ensure business continuity and security also in critical situations and typically run on cloud-based private networks. The MSP must understand the services and technologies these networks require and have the capabilities required to find the best virtual collaboration tools and standardised solutions in this regard.  
 
"A well-functioning managed service provider understands not only the entire virtual collaboration platform but also the requirements of both the Teams environment and any old technology that is being used in the background. Seasoned MSP’s often have certificates to prove their expertise. At Elisa Videra, our business operations are built using an ISO9001 model with global certification across all of our countries. We also hold the ISO27001 standard for security." 

 

Helping IT departments make the most of Microsoft Teams Rooms 

A trustworthy MSP helps the organisation achieve an increased ROI on the investment and makes it a priority to stay at the forefront of development.  
 
"At Elisa Videra, we want to ensure maximum usability and efficient use of capabilities for our customers," Owe Ekman says. He concludes: "This means raising the bar continuously for ourselves as well. Being able to continuously improve our performance for the benefit of our customers is the best way to ensure the best possible outcome for them in the long run." 

A managed service solution can add value to the organisation's IT department in many ways. Expert technicians are always available to help, efficiency improves as the burden on the internal team lightens and user experience gets better thanks to an easy-to-use platform. Reliability increases as everything is monitored in a proactive manner to identify and remedy issues before they become critical. This helps reduce uncertainty regarding unfamiliar platforms, hardware faults and connectivity issues.  

Make the most of your Microsoft Teams Rooms.

Owe Ekman

Vice President, Services, Elisa Videra

Owe Ekman is currently leading the Services unit and has over the past seven years been part of the leadership team at Elisa Videra. During the past 18 years he has been working at companies like TeliaSonera, Cisco Finland and Tandberg, which provides him with a strong expertise in the branch of visual communication. His vast experience in sales, marketing and product development, makes him a true veteran in the field. On top of this, he has a wide view on possibilities to build sustainable development for enterprises and communities through visual communication. 

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