Alexandre Piatetsky, Head of Presales for Hub Collab, shares his impressions about ShareGate’s Microsoft 365 management solution and discusses the main challenges facing IT teams.
As an IT expert, you know that change management doesn’t end with migration. You’re always in need of the right tools for understanding your inventory, managing content, adjusting permissions, governing your tenant, and guiding users to use Microsoft 365 the right way.
Managing your environments with maximum efficiency is key to making end users happy and saving your time for more add-value tasks. And who could be better to line up your best options than someone in the field talking to other IT admins and managers all the time?
We caught up with Alexandre Piatetsky, Head of Presales for Hub Collab, who’s been presenting ShareGate as a Microsoft 365 migration and management solution to prospects and customers for years. He shared his impressions about how ShareGate goes beyond migration and discussed the main challenges IT teams are facing these days. Let’s get to it!
(And if you want to learn more about managing Microsoft 365 with ShareGate, see 10 ways to use ShareGate for your everyday Teams and SharePoint operations.)
Our questions to Alexandre:
- What is your experience with ShareGate?
- What are the main pain points facing IT managers and admin today?
- How can ShareGate help IT overcome those challenges?
- What feedback do customers give after using ShareGate?
- What impact would ShareGate’s end-user app have on IT managers and admins, as well as end users and customers?
- What long term outcomes can organizations expect from managing Microsoft 365 with ShareGate?
You’ve worked with ShareGate in diverse professional capacities. How would you describe your personal experience with it?
Alexandre: I’m currently the Head of Presales for Hub Collab, an IT company based in France, but my personal history with ShareGate goes way back to when I was a SharePoint consultant carrying out migrations for our customers.
ShareGate quickly became my go-to solution when I had to migrate content and when I had customers with one of your licensing packages. I was also able to use it beyond the scope of migration, for things like inventory and space restructuring. As more functions were added, it became even more useful for my role as a consultant and for my customers’ operations.
Based on your experience, what are the main pain points facing IT managers and admin today?
Alexandre: These days, especially since COVID, IT managers and admins are facing significant governance issues. The pandemic drove a very rapid change in the ways we work, which led IT to give access to Teams and SharePoint more quickly than anticipated. So, when the time came to implement governance plans, challenges began popping up, like the number of spaces that were created almost overnight. I can’t count the number of customers that reported having dozens, sometimes hundreds, of test Teams, duplicate Teams, and so on.
On the other end of the spectrum, some customers chose not to open the gates of Teams and SharePoint at all. They avoided giving their users free access to those solutions to have more control over this changing work landscape. But this approach creates other kinds of challenges, like the added overhead cost of having IT teams doing small tasks, like creating Teams for users. Then, with the rise in demand, IT isn’t able to fulfill these tasks as fast as users would like, leading to a boom in shadow IT as users look for alternate solutions on their own.
The third major challenge I see with IT managers and admins is the need to restructure their Microsoft 365 architecture, either because the company restructured itself or because they’ve undergone other significant changes, like acquiring a new business or carving out part of the existing one. These changes require them to move lots of content and data very quickly.
Aside from being difficult to manage, each of these challenges–especially the rise in shadow IT–make it more difficult for IT managers and admins to ensure their data storage and systems meet legal and compliance regulations.
How can ShareGate help IT teams overcome these challenges?
Alexandre: ShareGate helps you implement lifecycles for your collaborative spaces quickly. For example, you can add things like permission reviews and schedule them to run periodically. And right now, I’m eager to dig into your new provisioning feature that provides templates for creating new Teams, since many of my customers were also waiting for it. These Teams templates will allow end users to create their spaces freely, without overburdening IT, and decrease their chances of resorting to shadow IT.
ShareGate also provides a quick and efficient way to gather relevant data to ensure security and compliance goals are met. In a few seconds, you can launch a complete inventory of your system and get an overview of what’s happening with your organization’s data, what’s being shared with who, and so on. Besides, you have the tools to restructure existing spaces quickly, like changing permissions and removing shares that shouldn’t be there.
I was working with our new presales team recently and I had to transfer a lot of content from our previous space, and then change the permissions because the content was going to an archive repository. That task alone could have taken me hours with Microsoft’s out-of-the-box tools, but ShareGate enabled me to do it in a few minutes. It becomes a process of basically scheduling the job instead of executing each step. I plan the job, launch it, and go grab a cup of coffee while it’s executing. What a great tool!
Many users just see ShareGate as one of the top Microsoft 365 migration tools, but it’s much more than that. What feedback do your customers share about their experience with ShareGate?
Alexandre: When they first start using ShareGate, we often hear how it’s quick and easy to use. They like the user-friendly interface and how it can be easily picked up by people without IT experience. There’s no need for a sequel platform to be built and managed to use ShareGate, like with many of its competitors, and no complex architecture is needed for deployment.
As you mentioned, ShareGate is great for migration projects, and most of our customers go for it with that purpose first, but with time (and our help), they discover its value goes beyond that. They’re usually amazed by all of the administrative tasks that can be done much more quickly than with out-of-the-box solutions, like analysis and inventory functionality.
One of my favorite ShareGate permission functionalities is copying permissions from one user to another during onboarding. Instead of having to take inventory of the first user’s access and replicate it step by step, you just select User A, User B, then click Copy, and you’re ready to roll. As a former admin, I love that.
Finally, ShareGate empowers and gives autonomy to departments that have IT-related responsibilities that aren’t part of IT themselves. Departments like SISO and Legal, for example, which are responsible for some aspects of the IT infrastructure, typically have to go through IT for simple tasks like standard reviews. But with ShareGate, they can navigate those tasks independently.
That’s interesting because one of the upcoming ShareGate features is an end-user app, which will empower end users to manage SharePoint and Teams themselves without going through IT. What difference would this feature make for IT managers and admin, and for end users and your customers?
Alexandre: For end users, it’s easy; more freedom and less time to market. It will become much faster to go from expressing a need to meeting it. Overall, I’m sure it will also give other departments a better perception of IT because IT will be delivering direct value to their users. As for IT, it will free up time to focus on tasks with higher ROI by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, like moving content.
It will also likely lead to a decrease in shadow IT, which is better for the organization’s security, the IT department, and users. When you give the right tools to your users, they don’t need to look beyond that for alternate solutions.
What long-term outcomes can an organization expect from managing Microsoft 365 with ShareGate?
Alexandre: The three main outcomes organizations can expect are: increasing your IT department’s ROI; ongoing adherence to your governance plan; and the ability to meet your user needs.
What are your thoughts about this Q&A with Alexandre? Leave your comments! And if you want to learn more about ShareGate’s new management features, watch the on-demand video of our recent Rise Up event, or check this Q&A with our VP of Product, Ben Niaulin.
Finally, if you want to try ShareGate for yourself, you can test it for free for 15 days!