No matter the type of industry or size of your organization, it’s almost certain that you’re doing things differently today than you were just a short year ago. This past year has led IT professionals into a world of rapid digital transformation. Many were presented at a moment’s notice with the responsibility of rapidly finding ways to allow employees to work differently than they had ever done before. Not only did remote work become an immediate focus for many, the potentially overwhelming challenge of maintaining security and confidentiality of the organization’s resources while doing so was imminent.
For many organizations, a quick transition to cloud solutions became their saving grace to meet these new demands. Microsoft has certainly played a major role in most of these digital transformations, providing the infrastructure and backend services that so many companies rely on so heavily today for their day-to-day operations. Offering the largest cloud commercial business in the world today, with 160+ datacenters distributed throughout 60+ regions across 140 countries, Microsoft’s mission to “empower everyone to achieve more” remains constant and obvious. We have seen the infusion of artificial intelligence (AI) across Microsoft 365, enabling new automation, prediction, translation, and insights capabilities. Meetings are now more inclusive in Microsoft Teams, presentations more accessible in PowerPoint, videos more searchable in Stream, and emails more relevant in Outlook. And with tools like Workplace Analytics and Microsoft Search, we can utilize knowledge and insights from data to help people work smarter, not longer.
While Microsoft’s commitment to customers’ success is resulting in rapidly increasing usage across every layer of their technology stack—from application infrastructure, to data and AI, to business process, to productivity and collaboration—the move to enable remote work is not the end of our journeys, but just the beginning.
There is a new set of challenges coming as many are now moving into a fluid, hybrid work environment where some people are getting back to working on-site, and others will remain remote. Flexibility and adaptability will be key to success. More than ever, it needs to be easier for you to understand how your organization is working and how your transformation is progressing, how technology enables your users, and how you can get more from your Microsoft 365 services and tools.
In a recent blog, I briefly touched on a tool Microsoft had planned to release in an upcoming update and here, I’d like to give you a bit more information as I believe this tool is now one you should certainly add to your administrative collection. The tool I’m referring to is Microsoft’s Productivity Score.
Productivity Score provides visibility into how your organization works. It will give you insights which help you not only understand how you are using your endpoints, network connectivity and Microsoft 365 applications and services, but also help you transform how work gets done. This tool will also assist you in enabling everyone to do their best work by taking action, like optimizing your client configurations and implementing end-user training to help people understand the benefit of a specific feature, or documentation that enables you to optimize Microsoft 365 services' configuration.
Included in the provided metrics is data from Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Yammer, and Skype. Your organization's score is updated daily and reflects user actions completed in the last 28 days (including the current day). Microsoft also provides 28-day and 180-day views of the key activities.
Metrics, insights, and recommendations are provided in two areas:
- Technology Experiences:Your organization depends on reliable and well performing technology as well as the efficient use of Microsoft 365. The technology experiences are scored in three primary categories (a fourth, App Reliability, will be coming in the near future!).
- The Network Connectivity category will help you understand and improve your connectivity to SharePoint, Exchange and Teams and compare this against a benchmark of similar organizations. You will be able to see a map of network locations for your organization with details on door-to-door service connectivity, as well as use LAN subnet information, and manually submitted test reports along with Windows Location Services to define your locations.
- You can have outstanding networking and an amazing employee experience, but if it takes too long for your end users’ PCs to boot up, or a problematic service continually disrupts your users’ workflow, people will not be able to do their best work. The Endpoint Analyticscategory helps you understand how your organization can be impacted by performance and health issues with your hardware and software.
- The Microsoft 365 Apps Health category helps you understand how many devices in your organization are running Microsoft 365 apps on recommended channels (Current or Monthly Enterprise), and how this has progressed/changed over the past 180 days. You also can see how many devices are running supported releases and latest releases in each channel. In addition, you can see how many total devices are on supported and current release regardless of channel, and how this has trended over time.
- People (Employee) Experiences:helps you further understand the employee experience and how the organization works using metrics provided in multiple categories, such as:
- Content Collaboration– learn how the organization creates, reads, and collaborates on content in the cloud and how people can save time every week. You will see information such as, the number of people saving files online (OneDrive or SharePoint), use of attachments in email, sharing of online files (internal only or external), and number of files collaborated on). These additional metrics don't directly contribute to your score, but can help you create an action plan to help optimize the way people work.
- Meetings– learn how much time people spend in meetings each week, whether they are using industry best practices, such as using video and screen sharing, what percentage of the meetings are scheduled ahead of time or on an ad-hoc basis and the typical length of these meetings. You’ll also learn what percentage of people engage different types of meetings like the use of Meet Now in Microsoft Teams channels versus scheduled or recurring meetings.
- Communication– understand how the organization finds and shares information through the use of email, chat, and community posts. You will also see information pertaining to the number of people working remotely and onsite.
- Teamwork– provides a score based on the percentage of people who engage in teamwork within shared workspaces like SharePoint team sites, group mailboxes and Microsoft Teams. You will also see how this has changed over the past six months and how this compares with the number of people who are engaging in similar activities but not within the context of a shared workspace. You will also be provided a breakdown of the number of people engaged in each type of workspace and the number of days in a week that people are engaged in them.
- Mobility– provides insights into how the organization can access files and use Outlook, Yammer and Teams across all platforms so that regardless of where people are, they can be productive and reach their business goals. Here you will discover which products are enabled for people in your organization – and on which platforms these people are active (desktop only, web only, mobile only, multiple platforms).
Your final Productivity Score is based on the combined scores of your people and technology experiences categories. Each category is weighted equally, with a total of 100 points. The highest possible Productivity Score is 800. You score is shown as a percent value and in points. Peer benchmarks also allow you to compare your organization's score with organizations like yours.
In a nutshell, Productivity Score was built to help you understand how people are using productivity tools and how well the underlying technology supports them in this. This tool should prove itself to be an invaluable resource to assist organizations in using their technology as an enabler for productivity.
Few among us could have anticipated just how much would change in our workplaces and our lives over the course of the last year. We have definitely moved into a new way of working, thinking, planning, and managing our environments. It’s an exciting journey that I’ve had the pleasure of helping many organizations understand and learn more about through our many training offerings which cover a variety of cloud services.
If you’d like to learn more about cloud technologies or get some hands-on instructor-led training on Microsoft 365, consider attending one or more of our Microsoft courses. We’d love to have you attend from your home or office using our Virtual Training platform. And in case you didn’t know, however you choose to attend these courses, you may also receive a FREE Pearson Vue Certification exam voucher to get you moving down the road to certification (some restrictions apply)!
For more information on Microsoft 365 courses, check out our upcoming schedule at www.LrsEducationServices.com.
Here are some particular courses that may be of interest to you:
MS--900T01 - Microsoft 365 Fundamentals
MS--030T00 - Office 365 Administrator
MS-500T00 – Microsoft 365 Security Administration
If you have any questions or would like more information regarding courses scheduled at LRS Education Services, please call 877 832.0688 ext. 1493 or email us at getsmart@LRS.com.
Penny Morgan, LRS Education Services
MCT, MCSA, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCP
Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals
Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert
Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate
Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate
Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate
Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate