Webinar Series Highlights – Advancing Modern Work Through Microsoft Teams Part 1


Webinar Series Highlights – Advancing Modern Work Through Microsoft Teams Part 1

The way we work has changed forever. To adapt our old ways of working to the modern workplace, Microsoft Teams has become an integral tool to create seamless collaboration and communication experiences across locations and devices.

In our latest webinar series, Advancing Modern Work Through Microsoft Teams , Microsoft MVPs and Kollective experts explain how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams to increase communication, collaboration, and productivity. Hosted by Alistair Pugin , Microsoft Azure and M365 Apps & Services MVP, the four-episode series covers a range of topics:

Episode 1: Optimizing Your Network for Microsoft Teams
Episode 2: Empowering Collaboration with Microsoft Teams Devices
Episode 3: Developing Inclusive Communications Through Microsoft Teams
Episode 4: Supporting Neurodiversity with Microsoft Teams

In this article, we will briefly recap episodes one and two and highlight invaluable tips shared by the experts on how to optimize your workflow and efficiency within Microsoft Teams.

Episode 1: Optimizing Your Network for Microsoft Teams

Video communications are key to enabling modern work. Unprepared networks struggle to deliver high quality Microsoft Teams meetings, live events, and webinars.
In this episode, Alistair is joined by Nicolas Blank , Microsoft Azure and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and Kollective’s VP of Product, Garrett Gladden to discuss:

  • Preparing your connectivity options
  • How Teams handles audio and video calls
  • Where bottlenecks occur
  • How to analyze what your network looks like

Tips for Flawless Teams Video Communications

  1. Understand your network – Whether you are about to roll out Teams or your current user experience is not up to par, it is crucial to understand your network’s capabilities and if it is set up to deliver a quality experience through Teams.
  2. Understand what you need from Teams – Not all devices are created equal, and endpoint performance issues may cause poor user experiences. Examine the devices that are consuming Teams video on your network and understand the platform’s impact on the hardware.
  3. Utilize the tools from Microsoft – Microsoft’s Call Quality Dashboard shows you organization-wide call and meeting quality, and you can leverage Power BI to analyze that data.
  4. Know your options – Understand your access points and trace what PoP (point of presence) you are connecting through.
  5. Measure, change, then measure again – Analyze network performance, make changes, and measure again to see if there has been an improvement. Microsoft 365’s network connectivity test is an easy way to measure your network’s performance repeatedly. Be sure to compare the performance on home networks versus corporate networks versus a branch site to gain a complete picture.

Episode 2: Empowering Collaboration with Microsoft Teams Devices

Creating inclusive Teams meeting experiences when only some are physically present is a challenge for businesses offering hybrid or remote work options. Episode two focuses on the latest capabilities and features of Microsoft Teams-enabled devices to bridge the gap between the office and home.

Tom Arbuthnot , M365 Apps & Services MVP and Microsoft Communications Certified Master, takes you through:

  • Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro
  • IntelliFrame
  • Hotdesking
  • And more device ecosystem updates

In the clip below, Tom emphasizes the need for businesses to budget for reasonable devices for those working from home.

“Don’t scrimp on home devices. People are spending so long at home that if you’re impacting the meeting experience, you’re impacting everybody’s productivity.” – Tom Arbuthnot

Tips to Improve Work-from-Home Teams Meeting Experiences

  1. If you are on a tight budget, invest in audio over video.
  2. Logitech 930e webcam and a decent headset (wired or Bluetooth) is a great place to start. If you are looking to upgrade, consider Logitech’s Brio 4K webcam.
  3. Pay attention to your lighting set up. If you have poor lighting, consider a ring light to improve visibility.

Microsoft Teams has unlocked many doors for the modern workplace and allowed us to quickly adapt to changes in where, how, and even why we work. Navigating the Teams ecosystem and the options available can be daunting. The Microsoft MVPs who joined us for this series are a font of knowledge in all things Team related.

Stay tuned for part 2 where we recap episodes three and four or take a deep dive into each topic by watching the episodes on-demand.

The post Webinar Series Highlights – Advancing Modern Work Through Microsoft Teams Part 1 appeared first on Kollective Technology .

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Network Volatility in the Modern Workplace


Network Volatility in the Modern Workplace

Enterprise communications and IT teams that previously had success delivering events to fully remote audiences during the pandemic are facing challenges as employees return to the office. In flexible work models, employees do not come to the office as frequently as they did before pandemic. However, when they do come, it is often en masse and unpredictable, creating peak demand problems for networks. Network volatility like this is becoming a common phenomenon that enterprises across all verticals are experiencing.

What is Network Volatility?

Network volatility occurs when there is a shifting number of concurrent streams running across a corporate network. In the hybrid work model, the number of employees working in an office on a given day is in constant flux. On low-demand days when fewer people are on-site, networks may perform well enough to deliver video to employees without trouble. However, on high-demand days when in-person attendance is greater, networks not equipped with an ECDN are pushed beyond their limits. When this occurs, live events fail and business-critical cloud applications crash, leaving leadership and employees frustrated.

Network Volatility Case Study

To better illustrate network volatility in the hybrid world, we’ll explore typical Teams Live Event consumption for a Fortune 500 Kollective customer during July 2022. This company has a strong global presence, with offices spread throughout EMEA, APAC, and the Americas.

The graph below presents the day-to-day variance of Teams Live Event viewership for one office in the Americas. For most days in July, fewer than one hundred employees consumed live video on-site. However, on six separate days in July, several hundred employees streamed live events from the office, including one day in which on-site viewership nearly crested three thousand. If this office had not been equipped with Kollective’s ECDN, their network would have faced complications on each day when on-site viewership topped one hundred and would have suffered a complete failure when it nearly exceeded three thousand.

Network Volatility in the Americas

Our next example within this company takes us halfway around the world to an office in APAC. For most days in July, several hundred-person live events were streamed on-site. There were nine days where on-site viewership surpassed five hundred, including two days where it topped eight hundred and one thousand three hundred, respectively. Notice that while the average in-person attendance and the days of highest attendance vary between this office and the one in the Americas, both offices experience highly varied on-site video consumption and a high level of network volatility over a short timeframe.

Network Volatility in APAC

Network Volatility is Inevitable in the Modern Workplace

In hybrid work models, network volatility is unavoidable – it’s not a question of if, but when. For businesses with a lower baseline of in-person attendees, it’s easy for leaders to develop false faith in their network’s ability to successfully deliver live video. Take the three offices in the graph below as an example. For four days during the week, a relatively low number of employees stream video at each office. However, each office also experiences one day in which in-person viewership spikes well above their day-to-day norm.

This phenomenon represents the reality that businesses are confronted with in the modern workplace. While these offices may have been able to successfully deliver video without an ECDN on the days when fewer streams were consumed in-office, their networks would have collapsed on the days when consumption spiked. With an ECDN, however, this is not a problem. ECDNs are not only a cost-effective and secure solution, but one that businesses can rapidly deploy across the enterprise to ensure that when their network experiences volatility, they can still depend on it to reliably deliver video to all employees.

Network volatility in multiple offices over one week

Small Offices are Not Immune

In the examples above, we explored network volatility in large offices. While network spikes in large offices may seem more significant, volatility in small offices can be equally problematic. In the graph below, one of this company’s smaller offices in EMEA experiences two days in July when in-person viewership crests one hundred and six days above fifty. These spikes are not as dramatic as the ones we presented above but can have a similar impact on an office of this size. Whether an office is large or small, its infrastructure is very rarely built to natively supply the bandwidth required to deliver concurrent video to all potential on-site employees during company wide live events. A cost-effective solution like an ECDN can alleviate bandwidth issues for offices of all sizes.

Small office teams live events in EMEA

No Matter How Volatile the Network, Kollective Delivers

These examples are not unique – offices throughout this organization and others experience network volatility on a regular basis. Without Kollective’s ECDN, the network would have failed to deliver live events on the days when on-site viewership spiked. It’s also important to note that this is not a company that has fully returned to the office, but one that is embracing the flexibility of hybrid work.

Network volatility is an unavoidable reality in the modern workplace. It can create frustration and roadblocks for organizations which can easily be avoided by putting an ECDN in place. ECDNs ensure that as people return to the office, the network is empowered and able to successfully deliver live video to all employees, regardless of their location. Ease the transition to hybrid work and provide your business with the confidence that your network will always work.

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Microsoft Teams Live Events vs. Teams for Webinar vs. Teams Meetings with Overflow: Which is Best for Internal Comms?


Microsoft Teams Live Events vs. Teams for Webinar vs. Teams Meetings with Overflow: Which is Best for Internal Comms?

Today’s solutions for corporate communications are more robust than ever and Microsoft remains a top player by continuously innovating the Microsoft Teams video platform . New product features are amazing but can often confuse the end user. Do you know when to use a Teams Live Event vs. Teams Meeting with Overflow vs. Teams Webinar? The Enterprise Video Strategy (EVS) team at Kollective will help you navigate the best solution for your particular use case.

Microsoft Teams Live Events

Teams Live Events are an extension of Teams meetings that allows users to deliver video and other content to large audiences. It’s Microsoft’s primary one-to-many communication tool and is ideal for events where the host needs complete control of the content being presented – like a CEO Town Hall or All Hands Meeting.

In a Teams Live Event, presenters and producers handle sharing audio, video, or their screen with the audience and only one presenter can be active at a time. The audience can interact with presenters via moderated Q&A sessions or in Yammer. Attendees who are unable to watch the event live can view the recording after in Teams, Stream or Yammer.

Another benefit of Teams Live Events is that they fully integrate with enterprise content delivery network (ECDN) technology. An ECDN enables organizations to scale high-quality live and on-demand video behind the corporate firewall by optimizing bandwidth consumption. This is especially important for enterprises and small and medium businesses (SMB) with offices challenged by network capacity, remote locations and/or bandwidth limitations.

What are the Pros and Cons of Microsoft Teams Live Events?


  • Host up to 20,000 attendees through December 31, 2021
  • High production value
  • Equal access of features
  • Full ECDN functionality


  • Limited interactivity
  • Takes some training to understand how to use

When to Use Microsoft Teams Live Events

Teams Live Events remain the gold standard for large-scale, one-to-many communications. Choose to host a Live Event for meetings where audience interactivity is not necessary and executive polish is required.

Microsoft Teams Meetings with Overflow

While typical Teams meetings allow you to host up to 250 participants, Teams Meetings with Overflow expands that, now enabling up to 10,000 attendees to join your meeting. The first 1,000 users that join get to enjoy the same Teams Meeting experience they know and expect: they can share their own audio and video, view shared content, and interact in chat. Attendees that join after the 1,000-user capacity is met enter in view-only mode with reduced interactive capabilities.

View-only attendees cannot take part in chat or view PowerPoint Live files, or files shared using individual application shares. They are also not included in the event analytics, making it difficult to gain full insight into meeting performance.

The only way to know more about your Overflow attendees and their quality of experience is by deploying an ECDN. When used during a Teams Meeting with Overflow, an ECDN scales content and collects analytics for all view-only users.

What are the Pros and Cons of Microsoft Teams Meetings with Overflow?


  • Higher attendance capacity than a standard Teams Meeting
  • Collaborative environment
  • Easiest set up of Teams video solutions


  • No analytics collected on overflow attendees without Kollective ECDN
  • ECDN only scales Overflow viewers
  • Technical limitations

When to Use Microsoft Teams Meetings with Overflow

Microsoft Teams Meetings with Overflow should only be used when you require the same level of interactivity as a standard Teams meeting with over 250 users. If your network does not have the capacity to scale live video to 1,000 employees, opt for a Teams Live Event instead.

Microsoft Teams Webinar

Micrsoft recently released its new Webinar tool for Microsoft Teams . Designed to compete with top virtual event platforms, Teams Webinar offers many of the same benefits, including event registration pages, breakout room configurability and a dashboard that displays attendance data relative to registration details.

Teams Webinar does support ECDN functionality, scaling video for viewers behind the corporate firewall. An ECDN also supplies advanced analytics for all attendees, so you know who, what, where and when your Webinar was consumed.

What are the Pros and Cons of Microsoft Teams for Webinars?


  • Host up to 1,000 attendees
  • Registration page integration
  • Disable/enable cameras and microphones (globally or individually)
  • Configuration of breakout rooms before the meeting
  • Breakout room timers, room retention, and attendee reassignment
  • Dashboard displays registration and attendance data


  • Focused on external customer engagement, not internal use

When to Use Microsoft Teams for Webinars

Microsoft Teams for Webinars is best for meetings where you want a high-level of interactivity and tracking for up to 1,000 attendees. While Webinars can be used internally, it is especially useful for external communications and marketing activities.

Choose the Right Tool for the Task

To determine which option in the Microsoft Teams ecosystem is right for you, consider the purpose of your event and how you want your attendees to engage. For events where a high-level of interactivity is needed, consider Webinars or Teams Meetings with Overflow. However, for one-to-many communications and large-scale internal broadcasts, Teams Live Events will serve you best.

Learn more about Microsoft Teams video solutions and virtual event best practices from our team of experts. Sign up for a FREE one-hour consultation with Kollective’s Enterprise Video Strategy team. We will review your requirements, help you navigate the platform and help you choose the right Microsoft Teams video solution.

The post Microsoft Teams Live Events vs. Teams for Webinar vs. Teams Meetings with Overflow: Which is Best for Internal Comms? appeared first on Kollective Technology .

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Webinar Recap: What Great Analytics Reveal About Microsoft Teams Live Events


Microsoft Teams Live Events have become an indispensable tool for enterprise communications. From high production events like company-wide town halls to crisis communications requiring quick turnarounds, Teams Live Events can engage and connect distributed workforces. To ensure these communications are successful, Live Event reporting is crucial.

In a recent webinar, What Great Analytics Reveal About Microsoft Teams Live Events , Garrett Gladden, Director of Product Management at Kollective, outlined the importance of understanding Live Event reporting data, identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) for Live Events and how adding an advanced analytics platform provides those insights where and when you need them.

Let’s Talk Teams

Teams Live Events are an extension of Teams Meetings meant for one-to-many communications. With Live Events you can broadcast to up to 100,000 attendees no matter their location or device.

Garrett was joined by Raphael Barini, Microsoft Modern Workplace Technical Architect at the time of the recording, who ran a quick demo on creating and running a Teams Live Event.  In the demo he covered:

  • How to set-up a Live Event in Teams
  • A breakdown of the different options you have when creating your event
  • Best practices for inviting attendees
  • Starting and managing the event as a Producer

The ease and simplicity of Teams Live Events allows anyone in the organization to set-up an event to relay important messages efficiently and at scale.

Data Needs Meaning

Teams Live Events produce a large amount of data. To be of any value in running a successful event, that data needs meaning. Finding that meaning, Garrett explained, requires two things – recency and relevance. Recency requires accessing the data when you need it which, to be actionable, is during the event. To achieve relevance, that data needs to be surfaced where you need it, in a centralized and easy to use dashboard.

Meaningful (and Easy) KPIs

Teams Live Events provide Attendee Engagement reports you can download after the event but does not provide actionable data in a usable format while the event is in process. To access this data as well as additional insights into video performance and employee engagement in real-time Garrett recommended using an advanced analytics platform like Kollective IQ .

Using a Southeast Asia business strategy planning event as an example, Garrett detailed the metrics you can access from a Teams Live Event with Kollective IQ. The event was held during COVID-19 lockdowns with the majority of attendees joining the event from home. The high-level analytics pictured in the dashboard below show that the event was a success.

Teams Live Events metrics with Kollective IQ analytics

Quality of Experience (QoE) Score shows what the experience was for everybody receiving the event content. The score is a combination of two metrics – the bitrate or quality of the video they received and the time to first frame or how long they waited for the video to arrive.
Average View Duration measures whether viewers stayed for the duration of the broadcast or dropped off letting you know how much of the content was consumed.
Reach indicates the attendance rate for the event and is measured by unique viewers.
Bandwidth Savings is the amount of bandwidth saved by using Kollective’s Enterprise Content Delivery Network (ECDN) to deliver the live event.
Peering Efficiency is another indicator of the ECDN’s performance and in this example shows that high concentration regions were able to share content at the edge, pulling the Live Event from a peer rather than the network.
Geo Explorer shows where the content was consumed.

This data quickly answers the questions:

  • Did attendees have the experience that we wanted?
  • Did people watch for the duration showing that we effectively communicated with them?
  • Did we reach the number of people that we targeted?
  • Did we reduce strain on our network?
  • Did Kollective’s peering do the heavy lifting instead of our network?
  • Where and by whom was the content consumed?

For a deeper understanding of the data or specific users, Kollective IQ allows you to drill down into and explore each of these metrics.

Teams + Kollective IQ

Microsoft Teams lets you produce and distribute live events to your entire workforce no matter their location or device. Adding an advanced analytics platform to the mix lets you visualize your attendee experience and network performance and make real-time adjustments.

Kollective IQ offers you:

  • Persona-based workflows with stellar UX
  • Delivery of ALL data to clients, with data mining, exploration, and custom
  • calculations
  • Custom visualizations and dashboards
  • Data exportability with many formats to many destinations

Test out Kollective IQ’s valuable and actionable insights for Teams Live Events today.

The post Webinar Recap: What Great Analytics Reveal About Microsoft Teams Live Events appeared first on Kollective Technology .

To view our Partner blog, click here