The MessageOps Help Desk for Microsoft 365 has seen an increase in support in these areas

MessageOps Help Desk

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new issues on every front for business.  The virus has caused much concern for many companies worldwide as they attempt to scheme for the effects on their business operations.  While industries across the board are being affected by this virus differently, the impact on IT is changing the landscape in significant ways.  There has been an enormous push for the work from home model during these times, and that has come with its own set of unique issues.  Luckily, Microsoft has included some fantastic tools to support this new shift.

Here at MessageOps, we have found an approach to resolve the problems sent to us in a quick and efficient way through the support and service we provide through our Microsoft CSP Program.

Below are the top 5 ticket categories that our Microsoft 365 service desk have performed troubleshooting and resolved throughout the COVID-19 pandemic:

1.  Microsoft Teams Provisioning Time

Microsoft Teams is the new hub for teamwork when using the Office 365 platform.  You can chat with users internally and externally, create a Team with external users, and even call a client in China, all from one client.  This exciting application has been exploding with use during this Covid-19 period, which has been creating its own problems for many administrators.

The main issue we see regarding this on the service desk is the provisioning times.  In case you did not know, when a Team is created, there are actually five other resources that are also created simultaneously.  They are a Microsoft 365 Group, SharePoint Online site, an Exchange Online shared mailbox, calendar, and a OneNote notebook.  With all that is being created at once, plus the addition of adding members and guests, adding files and folders, or connecting other apps like Forms or Power BI, there was bound to be some repercussions.  What is the consequence?  It is extended provisioning and replication times.  When creating a Team, adding a member, changing a member’s role, changing a member’s permission, adding a phone number, adding an audio conferencing license, when making any change in the Microsoft Teams client or Admin center, expect up to 24 hours for any change to take effect.

“Due to a recent increase in Teams usage when you assign a Teams license to a user it may take around 24 hours before they’ll be fully setup. Until then, you won’t be able to assign Teams policies to them, and they might not have access to some Teams features like calling and audio conferencing”

View our Teams Tech Tips

2.   Office 365 Administration

Office 365 Administration, which in the past has been the most requested support item, has dropped, but is still a very request support item for our service desk.  Microsoft is continuously updating, moving, and changing where you assign licenses, check mailbox delegation, create transport rules, which always tends to confuse administrators that are managing multiple different platforms.  For those reasons alone, this topic, we believe, will always be at the top of our most inquired areas at the service desk.

Below are some of the frequent requests we receive:

•          User mailbox administration

•          Transport rules

•          PowerShell scripting

•          Shared mailboxes

•          Retention tags and policies

•          Mailbox delegation

•          Mailbox auditing

View our PowerShell and Mailbox Management Tech Tips

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3.   Microsoft Teams Administration

During this pandemic, we cannot talk enough about Microsoft Teams.  This application has been able to bridge the communication gap between coworkers by sharing files, chat messages, and calling features from outside or inside the office.  This, of course, comes with its own set of challenges that will always need updating and auditing.  Adds and removals needs of new team members, owners, and guests will always be some of the first questions many new Teams admins may inquire about.  Another common question we get regarding Teams Administration would be surrounding the adding of Guest access in Teams.  Guest access permits a user outside of your organization to access existing Teams and channels within your organization’s Team environment.

Below are some of the frequent requests we receive:

•          What does a Guest user in teams not have access to?

•          What license is needed for a dial-in phone number for a Teams meeting?

•          How do I set up my dialing plan?

•          How can I control who creates a Team?

•          Why can User A not join Team A

View our Teams Tech Tips

4. Office 365 Security

In the new landscape of the work from home model, many cyber-attackers have approached targeting new users through many different methods.  Fortunately, Microsoft has included many security advancements and tools to reduce vulnerability and protect against many of these attacks.  The Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 licenses provide top of the line protection with device and app management, identity and access management, threat protection, and advanced compliance.  These features reduce security threats by up to 75%, saving an average of $1.95 million per incident.

Below are some of the frequent requests we receive:

•          Azure sign-ins

•          Spoofed email

•          Phishing email

•          SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records

•          Conditional Access

•          Advanced Threat Protection (P1 & P2)

•          Multi-Factor Authentication

•          NDR or bounce back

•          Audit logs

5. Microsoft Azure

In recent years we have seen a powerful movement to different cloud platforms.  Why are so many companies moving to the cloud?  It is because of how many benefits there are to making the shift.  Organizations no longer must wait for new gear, memory, or computer power; they scale up their cloud capacity, or subscribe to a new service, and keep on moving.  Also, what happens when these organizations no longer need all that power or storage, they can spin it down with a  click of a mouse.  The agility and flexibility are what I believe draws so many clients to Microsoft Azure.  Still, with the sheer size and capability of Azure, it tends to convolute administration and cause administrators to require assistance.

Below are some of the frequent requests we receive:

•          Subscription creation and owner assignment (IAM)

•          Virtual machine creation and troubleshooting

•          Virtual network creation and troubleshooting

•          Azure Backup creation and troubleshooting

•          Region capacity issues

•          vCPU quota increases

Need help with Azure? Learn more about our Azure GlidePath services ranging from migrations to governance and cost optimization.

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