2020 was the year of unpredictability, work from home, remote support, and change for the foreseeable future.  Looking back on this past year’s support tickets we have seen the rise of one of Microsoft’s latest technologies, Microsoft Teams.  Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a mass move to the work from home model which, has spiked Microsoft Teams to over 1000% usage since the beginning of the year.  As Organizations have needed to make large scale changes to most of their workflow and security models to support the mass move to work from home,  the MessageOps Service Desk has been kept quite busy helping with support and managing the new landscape.

Over the past year, Microsoft has rolled out a vast number of new ways to help meet the needs of today’s users and organizations but, what is required to support, assist, or remediate issues that come with the latest and greatest technologies Microsoft rolls out?  -This is where the MessageOps Service Desk shines, as we have tested, troubleshot, and resolved thousands of issues over the past year.

Below are the top 10 ticket categories that the MessageOps Service Desk have performed troubleshooting and resolved throughout 2020:

  1. Microsoft Teams

The number one requested support item should come as no surprise, Microsoft Teams.  Like many organizations, MessageOps has also adopted the work from home model.  And while it is nice to not have a daily commute to/from the office, working from home presents its own form of challenges when it comes to communication.

Microsoft Teams is designed to bridge this gap by incorporating Teams Channels, Microsoft 365 Groups, Instant messaging, imbedded applications, and voice capabilities all in a single pane of glass.  -But, as a wise man once said, “with great power, comes great responsibility,” this is the reason why we believe the Service Desk received so many inquiries about how to make the most out of Teams.  -And, since the technology is still fairly new, and always either changing or having new features added, the documentation behind many of these features seems to be somewhat lackluster. This leaves many system administrators asking the question of what if, Or can Teams do this?

As a result, MessageOps rolled out its Team Captain product to help alleviate some of the headaches that come with learning the new Teams product. Team Captain presents a clean interface, which allows users to do much of the administration that would come with managing all Teams’ features.  Additionally, it makes running many of the PowerShell commands needed to properly govern as simple as clicking a button.

Below are some of the frequent requests the MessageOps Service Desk has received for Microsoft Teams:

  • Teams coexistence
  • Teams calling plan
  • Teams phone number acquisition
  • Teams meeting dial in number (audio conferencing)
  • Teams sprawl control
  • Teams legal hold
  • Guest / External Teams user
  • Skype for Business to Teams migration
  1. Microsoft Office 365 Administration

Although, Microsoft Office 365 Administration may not have been the most requested ticket subject again in 2020, it remains as important as ever.  And, as one would imagine, with all the improvements and changes Microsoft is always making, there will never be a shortage of inquiries into administration.  Similar, to  Team Captain, Inscape Manage has been created by MessageOps to assist our clients’ system administrators with the management of their Office 365 environment. Inscape Manage brings native Office 365 Admin Centers settings to the forefront to cut down on repetitive PowerShell commands, and important (but difficult to navigate) settings. Inscape Manage makes all these tasks and commands easy to find, simple one-click buttons right on the Inscape Manage front page.

Below are some of the frequent requests we received for Office 365 Administration:

  • Password reset
  • PowerShell scripting
  • Office 365 group and distribution lists administration
  • Deleted users
  • Shared and Resource mailboxes
  1. Microsoft Office 365 Security

Microsoft Office 365 Security has also taken a slight step backwards in terms of how many requests the MessageOps Service Desk received during 2020. But, as we all know, these requests should be considered as important as any others we receive. Working from home has become the norm for so many of us, and this poses a serious concern for the data many organizations have been able to keep contained solely at their facility. How does an organization ensure these users have not been compromised? What tools can be put in place to ensure logging, data retention, and mail will all be properly saved and never lost? These are some of the questions that keep many security professionals up at night, but luckily, Microsoft has many great offerings like Advanced Threat Protection, Windows Defender, Multi-Factor authentication, and Conditional Access policies to ensure data and user accounts are always safe and secure.

Below are some of the frequent requests we receive related to Office 365 Security:

  • Quarantine
  • MFA problems
  • Audit Log
  • Advanced Threat Protection
  • Conditional Access Policies
  • Windows Defender
  1. Microsoft Licensing

One of the longest running inside jokes amongst many of the system administrators we support, is that you need a PhD in order to understand Microsoft licensing. Questions like does Exchange Online Plan 1 have this; or do I need to purchase Audio Conferencing if I already have this? The list goes on and on. Microsoft has made a major push for users to consider adopting the Microsoft 365 Enterprise licensing SKUs as it compiles many of its services and sublicenses all under one license. This licensure allows end-users to take advantage of many—if not all—of the Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security features that truly unlocks the power to obtain insight into all possible caveats of the service.

Below are some of the frequent requests we receive for Microsoft Licensing support:

  • Add and Remove licensure
  • Audio conferencing
  • Teams calling plan
  • Inscape Manage
  • Azure subscription
  • Azure reserved instances
  1. Microsoft Azure


Microsoft Azure support inquiries have also been cited as one of our top ticket generators during 2020. The MessageOps team believes this is due to so many organizations’ on-premise systems being required to extened into the cloud to support remote workers. With the forecast of more time in the work from home model in our immediate future, we anticipate a continued growth and an influx in support tickets revolving around the vast array of Azure services.

Below are some of the frequent requests MessageOps receives for Azure:

  • Azure Backup
  • Azure Routing
  • Virtual firewall appliance
  • Virtual machine connection
  • Virtual machine usage monitoring
  • Access control
  1. Microsoft Exchange

While not as fast as an instant message, or as fun as including a GIF with the click of a button, email is still the most vital communication resource for organizations. Today, most organizations have fully moved their mailboxes to the cloud, making Microsoft Exchange Online the center of all administration for security and data surrounding the management of email. When a specific email cannot be found or has been moved, Microsoft Exchange Online is the first place a system administrator should look. Whether investigating an email with a message trace, inquiring about retention policies and rules, or just seeing how much mail is being stored in a user’s mailbox, Microsoft Exchange Online contains all of that important information. The Exchange Online Admin Center will be receiving a new face lift soon, and a preview is available right now. For these reasons, you can imagine why the MessageOps Service Desk is receiving so many requests regarding the Exchange environment.

Below are some of the frequent requests we receive in relation to Exchange:

  • In-Place archive
  • Mail retention tags and archive
  • Mailbox litigation hold
  • Send as, Send on-behalf, Full access mailbox permission
  • Message trace
  1. Azure AD

Identity, identity, identity. Who, what, when, and where, do an organization’s users, resources, and applications have access to data? This is where Azure AD shines. Azure AD is Microsoft’s enterprise identity service that provides single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, and gives organizations the ability to sync their on-premises local Active Directory using Azure AD Connect or Azure Cloud provisioning tools. Azure AD gives users seamless access to their applications—whether on-premise or through the cloud—while also protecting and governing access by safeguarding credentials and managing identities to ensure users have the correct and appropriate access at all times—or maybe just some of the time—with the use of “just in time” access. Integrating users into Azure AD is the easy part, but maintaining, enforcing, allowing, restricting, and auditing can become quite cumbersome. For these reasons, Azure AD support tickets are frequently received and resolved through the MessageOps Service Desk.

Below are some of the frequent requests we receive for Azure AD:

  • Azure AD Policies
  • User sync errors
  • AD-Connect
  • RBAC role assignment
  • Azure joined devices
  1. Office Desktop Suite

One common issue known to all IT service desks is supporting desktop applications. And the MessageOps Service Desk is no stranger to desktop application support inquires, which is why this category has graced our Top 10 list. Constant updates, update channels, new features, third party plugins, cache clearing, and the most sinister of applications—the Office Desktop Suite for Mac—are the culprits of many of these tickets. Additionally, new variables make these tickets even more challenging, including users that are working remotely from home, routing their traffic back through a VPN, or possibly straight through their internet connection. Typically, we tend to resolve most of these issues by ensuring these applications are running the most up-to-date versions, that no new antivirus has been installed, and confirm nothing is being reported in the Microsoft Service Health portal.

Below are some of the frequent requests we receive related to the Office Desktop Suite:

  • Account issues with desktop clients
  • Conflicting information between desktop clients and Office online
  • Package download issues
  • Office Desktop Suite for Mac
  • Replication/Sync delays
  1. SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online may be one of the most used products that few people realize is actually being used. Serving as the backbone to services like OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint document libraries, you can imagine how many ways the Service Desk may be called upon to render support. As users face permission issues, trouble accessing controls, and sync issues that sprawl across the Microsoft Teams site, all need to be addressed in the SharePoint Online Admin Center, which is why we receive so many requests for this service.

Below are some of the frequent requests we receive for SharePoint Online:

  • Outlook for Mac
  • Office suite on mobile devices
  • Outlook client disconnecting from server issues
  • Outlook profile and sync issues
  • “Something went wrong” error on desktop applications
  1. OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business is a cloud storage platform that gives users the ability to access, share and collaborate on their files from anywhere and sync to their file explorer. It gives the end-user a clickable file that points directly to the cloud. OneDrive for Business also provides users the ability to automatically back up their desktop, documents, and pictures with a one-time set up consisting of less than five clicks. The end-user license determines how much storage is included with the OneDrive for Business service, ranging from 2GB—1TB+, which makes storing and backing up critical documents and data up in the cloud a breeze. Once the data is uploaded to the cloud, policies can then be created to maintain, manage and monitor any malicious activity to help keep data safe and secure.

Below are some of the frequent requests we receive for OneDrive for Business:

  • OneDrive for Business sync setup
  • SharePoint document library sync
  • Microsoft Teams document library sync
  • Sync status in file explorer not consistent with file in OneDrive for Business on the Web
  • OneDrive for Business sync errors
  • OneDrive for Business storage space

Need a Microsoft partner? Contact MessageOps today for access to the best support, tools and services designed to help you get the most from your Microsoft cloud investment. Call 877-788-1617, email [email protected] or get started here.

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