Middlesex University

Hendon, Middlesex (Home based due to Covid-19)
Microsoft Office365 Products Specialist, July 2020 to present.

Over the past 12 months I have been supporting the Microsoft Support Team (MST) extend the implementation of Microsoft Teams to include teaching and learning, whilst continuing to support the implementation of Teams for students, professional services and faculty staff.

During 2021 I have been responsible for producing a tender document for Teams for Telephony and Microsoft Voice.

This has involved working on a number of specific themes:

Microsoft Teams for teaching and learning

Within the theme of teaching and learning I have been responsible for

  • Extending the process of requesting Microsoft Teams to include requests for teaching and learning, developing the supporting communications and working with the wider team to implement this process
  • Creating a PowerShell provisioning script to provision Microsoft Teams based on a SharePoint list, PnP PowerShell and the Teams PowerShell API
  • Working with Centre for Academic Practice Enhancement (CAPE) to establish how Microsoft Teams can be used to support teaching and learning
  • Implementing Guest Access Services to enable external user access to specific Microsoft teams. This has been widely used to support external examiners and academic partners
  • Supporting academics to use Microsoft Teams
  • Supporting the production of academic focused training material for Microsoft Teams
  • Promoting how Microsoft Teams can be used alongside existing services to create a hybrid learning environment
  • Understanding how Teams and Moodle can work together to extend our VLE. Investigating and reporting on integration approaches
  • Reviewing a provisioning process and lifecycle for Module and Programme based teams to support teaching and learning
  • Working with Microsoft to raise the focus of academic led initiatives and feature requests
  • Producing PowerBI usage reports for teaching and learning
  • Supporting CAPE to better understand the EDU teams template
  • Managing academic expectations of what Teams and Microsoft365 can deliver against what is currently supported by the organisation
  • Reviewing 3rd party integrated apps to understand the level of governance and security provided in addition to the benefits to teaching and learning
  • Running Microsoft Teams demonstrations for academics, attending regular faculty meetings to provide the latest information about Teams for teaching and learning
  • Reviewing the Microsoft Roadmap and Message Centre for changes that will improve the Teams feature set around teaching and learning

Microsoft365 service adoption

As part of the work involved in Microsoft365 service adoption I have been supporting the MST to manage the services that are available to students, faculty staff, professional services staff and partners. This has involved

  • General tenancy management
  • Producing licensing reports using PowerShell and a number of modules
  • Supporting professional services use Microsoft Teams
  • Configuring the Teams Apps Policy to control the “Whitelisted apps”
  • Supporting the implementation of Group Based Licensing for students and faculty licenses
  • Extending the provisioning scripts for Microsoft Teams
  • Managing end-user expectations around service availability
  • Building awareness of service transition and why it is important to end-users and stakeholders
  • Limiting the storage available to new teams and private channels to 2.5 per team or private channel
  • Implementing a roadmap review process for new services, new apps
  • Working with the communications team to identify and announce new features
  • Supporting the development of service transition processes
  • Delivering knowledge sharing for a wide range of teams within Information Technology
  • Implementing GitHub for storing PowerShell scripts and building a script library
  • Seeking peer approval for scripts and best practice from the MST team members and technical architect
  • Reviewing the Cloud App Security catalogue
  • Providing advice and guidance on security, governance and information protection around Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online
  • Creating communications and guidance on service transition and Teams functionality availability
  • Supporting end-users resolve issues with Microsoft Teams
  • Providing guidance and communications to support the decommissioning of DropBox for Business
  • Creating a white list of Teams integrated 3rd party apps and providing end-user communications
  • Helping users to build storage solutions using Microsoft Teams for research
  • Building a Teams based storage solution for Security Sensitive Research Material
  • Supporting and testing the implementation of Self Service Password Resets and Multi Factor authentication
  • Creating Azure Apps to support unattended scripting using certificate based authentication
  • Working with Microsoft support to deal with user and service issues
  • Supporting the production of a series of intranet pages aimed at providing the latest guidance, news and advice around using Microsoft Teams
  • Resolving service issues with Microsoft and working with the Help Desk to manage tickets

Teams for Telephony

Over the past few months I have been involved in reviewing how Microsoft Teams can be used to support telephony and voice at the university. This has involved producing a number of documents aimed at recommending an approach to implement teams for telephony.

This has involved the following work

  • Producing the Request for Tender document, Identifying requirements from a wide range of stakeholders
  • Working with the telecoms team to upskill colleagues, planning and providing training, knowledge sharing and configuration sessions
  • Working with 3rd party suppliers to understand Teams integration offers, direct routing features and calling plans
  • Gathering existing documents to understand the configuration of the current CISCO and Tiger solutions as well as understanding configurations for confirmation, clearing and switchboards
  • Identifying where the current Microsoft service offering meets and fails to meet our current requirements
  • Configuring a tenancy to support POC and demonstrations
  • Configuring a separate tenancy to support business continuity
  • Working with the procurement team to purchase the necessary licenses to test Teams for telephony
  • Working with partners to understand their offerings around Direct Routing, Operator Connect, Call Plans and add-on services
  • Assigning licenses and call plans to test users via group based licensing (including both international and domestic call plans)
  • Obtaining numbers for virtual agents, call queues and users from Microsoft directly. Assigning those numbers to testers
  • Building and configuring auto attendants and calls queues to meet the existing requirements for confirmation and clearing and the current switchboard
  • Reviewing approach for handsets, understanding compatibility and looking at SIP gateways to establish CISCO compatibility and feature availability when using existing handsets
  • Looking at Tiger Prism to understand where it extends the functionality provided by Microsoft
  • Detailing options for Direct Routing
  • Understanding how other universities have used Teams for telephony
  • Configuring policies for calling in Teams Admin
  • Producing basic OOB reports for call logging
  • Providing guidance and advice to the telecoms and security teams around the Microsoft Teams for telephony service