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Customer Snapshots, Business Leader, Tech Expert | Jun 25, 2019, 12:08:42 PM

Governance, compliance, and lifecycle clarity issues. How Insync helped Sheldon College take control of Teams management.

Sheldon College is very much a modern school, making use of technology to provide richer education experiences for students and staff.  

However, the college recently faced an IT challenge. While there was widespread use of Microsoft Teams among teachers, students and corporate staff, managing the lifecycle of the Teams construct was becoming impossible.  

The problem 

With Teams set up for so many different school projects, it was difficult for administrators to work out exactly where in its lifecycle each team was. For compliance purposes, archiving of projects is a requirement, but it wasn’t always easy to see when a ‘team’ project had reached end-of-life. The subject being discussed might be dormant now, but could crop up again later. Also, the users assigned to a project might change over time. 

Sheldon College wanted help with governance issues (including naming policies, integrations and adding new Office 365 features) as well as automated provisioning and approval mechanisms for creation and management of teams. 

In short, the college wanted a fully managed Teams experience and an integrated Office 365 Governance and Compliance framework in order to assess services against school policy and legal obligations.  

Insync’s solution 

Insync Technology suggested a solution using Sheldon College’s existing identity management and user lifecycle solution to improve the orchestration and management of Teams through the entire Teams construct lifecycle.  

Insync also built an Office 365 Governance framework to manage any changes within Office 365 and provide a structure in which any future changes or new features can be assessed against school policy and introduced or restricted accordingly.  

While implementing the solution, Insync successfully negotiated the challenges of: 

  • harmonising Sheldon College’s existing user lifestyle management system with the new team management system. 
  • dealing with the changing state of Microsoft Graph API and showing how this function can be orchestrated to deliver end-user benefits. 

Deriving the benefits 

The benefits to Sheldon College of the fully managed Microsoft Teams lifecycle experience and integrated Office 365 Governance and Compliance framework include: 

  • Reduced administrative load. Admins no longer have to create ad hoc and programmatic groups. 
  • Compliance confidence. The built-in increased compliance checks result in assurance that Groups and Teams meet school policy and criteria.  
  • Reduced data loss and risk. The smaller Teams surface means there are proper controls around collaboration and integrations.  

What’s next? 

Sheldon College’s partnership with Insync is set to continue, with plans that include: 

  • Increased automation using the Microsoft Graph API and other Microsoft applications like Planner and Shifts, managed in Microsoft Teams 
  • More seamless integration between Microsoft Teams and other third-party applications in a programmatic way for teaching & learning benefits 

Words of advice from Insync  

Understand that the Microsoft Graph API requires a constant learning approach. It requires a DevOps/Agile mindset to make iterative changes based on how the API matures. The Graph API is a very powerful tool to orchestrate and report on the Office 365/Microsoft 365 platform to tailor your end-user experience for maximum productivity! 

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