As 2020 powers down, we took some time to reflect on what we’ve been up to at ShareGate this year. From inspiring digital resilience to game-changing new features, this is ShareGate’s year in review!
2020 has been a YEAR. The past twelve months brought unforeseen challenges to organizations around the globe, as businesses were forced to accelerate digitization and many employees transitioned to fully-remote work.
But it has also been a year full of commendable resilience. As many of our biggest events went entirely virtual and the digital collaboration tools we use were put to the test, we had to rethink our approach to nearly every aspect of normal operations.
With 2020 drawing to a close, we asked members of the ShareGate team to reflect on what we’ve been up to at ShareGate this yeart. In the process, we were incredibly inspired by the learning and experimentation we saw within ShareGate and in the response of our friends in the Microsoft community.
So, settle in with some eggnog, put another yule log on the fire, and join us in a mistle-toast—we couldn’t have done it without you!
Get caught up on all things Microsoft Ignite 2020! Missed this year’s virtual conference? Check out the ShareGate Takeaway for all the event news, announcements, and session recaps with analyses from the ShareGate team and Microsoft experts!
Get The ShareGate Takeaway, our Microsoft Ignite recap, fresh from the oven!
Prepared with care by our team and 7 Azure and Microsoft 365 MVPs
Adapting to distributed work with Microsoft Teams
March was a challenging month, I don’t think I need to explain why 😊 . And after that, switching to 100% distributed work was also a challenge we had to adjust to—but I’m proud of how well we did.Laurent St-Pierre, Community Engagement Manager, ShareGate Brand team
There’s no doubt about it: 2020 was a challenging year. As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, organizations everywhere transitioned to new methods of virtual collaboration and fully-remote work—and technology played a critical role. Microsoft Teams usage soared to 75 million daily active users (DAU) in April, and by October the ‘hub for teamwork’ had surpassed 115 million DAU.
Microsoft responded with the kind of digital resilience that CEO Satya Nadella advocated for in his Microsoft Ignite keynote address, releasing a steady stream of updates and features for Microsoft Teams, including new video experiences like ‘Together mode’ and virtual breakout rooms, and the announcement of a dedicated Teams app for seamless integration with Microsoft’s new information tracking service, Microsoft Lists.
The ShareGate team also had to make some adjustments. Internally, we faced similar challenges to organizations everywhere making the transition to fully-remote work. We had to get used to all of our meetings taking place in Teams, instead of face-to-face like we’re used to. We had to learn how to collaborate across productivity apps and communicate effectively without simply dropping by our colleagues’ desks.
Without a doubt, 2020 has been a year of Microsoft Teams, which increased its daily active user base to 115M—up from just 20M a year ago! Now that all of us are working remotely at ShareGate, we’ve become even bigger fans of Teams and it’s always fun to see what silly background effects our colleagues will be featuring on our calls!Alexandra McKay, Head of Product Marketing, ShareGate
As difficult as those first few weeks were, we realized that many of our customers were facing similar situations. And as we learned to adapt, we shared the tips and tricks we’d picked up with you!
In April, our Head of Product (and Microsoft Regional Director & MVP), Benjamin Niaulin, hosted a live webinar: ‘Teams Administration 101: Build a solid foundation for effective remote work’. And in December, our in-house Azure MVP Stephane Lapointe led a webinar, ‘Stop wasting money in Azure: Build an efficient Azure cost management strategy for your business’, where he shared cloud cost optimizing tips to help you take control of your cloud environment—something that’s become even more crucial in the context of distributed and fully-remote work.
Collaborating with our MVP friends in the Microsoft Community
[I think our proudest moment was] Deploy, for sure! It was our first virtual live event with a lot of MVPs from all over the world. It was a good day, a good challenge, and our biggest collaboration to-date in the Azure universe.Frederic Marcoux, Product Owner, ShareGate Infrastructure team
Transitioning to distributed work didn’t stop us from collaborating with our friends in the Microsoft community this year! Instead, we found creative ways to work closely on a wide range of initiatives that we adapted to fit the ‘new normal’.
On May 7th, we hosted Deploy, an expert-led online event focused on Microsoft Azure governance. This free all-day event spanned eight virtual sessions led by Azure experts, members of the Microsoft product team, and Microsoft MVPs. Topics ranged from how Azure Arc can help you manage and govern your hybrid servers to first steps to creating an organized cloud infrastructure. It was our biggest collaboration to-date in the Azure universe and enabled us to make many new connections within the Azure community.
In July, we released our Win as a Team eBook, an insightful guide on how to empower end users to use Microsoft Teams effectively and leverage it to its full potential. It’s filled with Teams best practices from our friends in the Microsoft community—13 Microsoft MVPs share their takes on topics like why you should keep self-service features enabled and how to stay on top of Teams security and compliance.
And in September, we joined with 7 Microsoft MVPs to cook up the ShareGate Takeaway, a mouth-watering recap of Microsoft Ignite 2020.
[Microsoft] Ignite is the biggest happening in the community, and the most important for us to meet our customers and new people. We decided to take part in the virtual event in order to offer the ShareGate Takeaway. It was a lot of great content in a very short time, and we were so happy to see that people were interested in it!Laurent St-Pierre, Community Engagement Manager, Brand team
This year, Microsoft Ignite went virtual—three full days, 800+ sessions, nearly 1000 speakers, and 100% online—which meant the ShareGate team had to rethink our usual approach of building a big booth and having all of you join us there.
With the help of our friends in the Microsoft community, we compiled insights from Azure experts into Microsoft Ignite 2020 announcements and MVP takes on what’s new and next in Microsoft 365, in addition to rounding up event news and writing session recaps to help you stay on top of all things Microsoft Ignite 2020!
Helping users get more from a ShareGate subscription
This year also saw a lot of big changes and ongoing improvements to our three ShareGate products. Our team worked hard in 2020 to release new features in response to your feedback and requests!
Productivity: ShareGate Desktop + ShareGate Apricot
The release of our ShareGate Productivity subscription was a HUGE step and shows our ambition to unify our products and simplify the cloud.Maxime Soucy, Product Owner, ShareGate Productivity team
On the productivity side, we made the decision to bring ShareGate Desktop, our flagship migration tool, and ShareGate Apricot, our automated governance platform for Microsoft Teams into a single ShareGate subscription—so that you have everything you need to be successful in your Microsoft 365 journey.
Get more from the same ShareGate subscription
If you’re a ShareGate Desktop customer, your subscription now gives you full access to ShareGate Apricot at no extra cost! Activate your ShareGate Apricot account by signing in here. (Make sure to have your ShareGate Desktop license key handy; you’ll need it to complete your activation)
In May, we introduced Microsoft Teams migration capabilities with the release of ShareGate Desktop 13.0, enabling you to migrate Microsoft Teams data from one tenant to another. And in December, we added team-to-team migration capabilities to our Teams migration tool with the release of ShareGate Desktop 14.0—allowing you to migrate public channels and their contents between teams. So, you can move exactly what you want, right where you need it.
Also in May, we launched our ShareGate Apricot chatbot for Microsoft Teams to help you understand why users create their teams. Now, with the release of group sensitivity labels in ShareGate Apricot, our chatbot collects information about a team’s sensitivity at the same time—then automatically applies the right security settings based on the group sensitivity label that was chosen. That way, you can protect your organization’s information without hindering collaboration or productivity.
Infrastructure: ShareGate Overcast
2020 has also been a big year for ShareGate Overcast, as we introduced our first big AI-backed feature when we launched Azure cost anomaly detection. It’s always great to hear customers tell us that they’ve been able to save a ton of money with one of our products.Alexandra McKay, Head of Product Marketing, ShareGate
2020 was also a big year for ShareGate Overcast, our Azure cost management platform. Our infrastructure team worked hard to release new “cost intelligence” capabilities—helping you get the insights you need to run a lean, scalable, and cost-efficient Azure environment.
In March, we announced the biggest addition to ShareGate Overcast to date: automatic anomaly detection. During ShareGate Overcast’s daily scans of your Azure environment, it analyzes your Azure resource usage and cost information and alerts you if it finds any unusual activity. It also provides you with the contextual data you need to investigate the spike in your Azure spending, including the affected resource’s name, type, administrator, and resource group, as well as the last action taken on the resource before the spike. Having all this information can help you fix issues before they become bigger problems for your business.
Then, in October, we launched four new types of cost-saving recommendations to help you save even more money in Azure:
- Idle Azure Cache for Redis
- Idle container instances
- Idle Service Bus
- Unconnected application gateways
We’re planning to launch more new types of cost-saving recommendations in 2021, so stay tuned!
Tom, the head of IT, needs to move his team and their tools to the cloud (Microsoft 365 & Azure). His first concerns: rising cloud costs, migration downtime, and group sprawl—just to name a few.
Sam, who's managed some digital transformations in the past, shared his experience using ShareGate's tools. His opinion? "ShareGate keeps IT simple."
How can ShareGate keep IT simple for you?