How Arkin is identifying unused and orphaned teams 96% faster with ShareGate
With over 4,000 employees across 60 location, Arkin’s IT team didn’t have visibility into their ever-expanding Microsoft 365 environment. ShareGate’s automation features helped Arkin monitor, manage, and organize their tenant quickly and easily.
Lack of visibility into which teams were inactive, orphaned, or sharing data externally. Manual monitoring wasn’t working.
An automated solution that detected inactive and orphaned teams and set reminders to ensure guest access is up-to-date.
Finding inactive and orphaned teams was 96% faster, and 98% of inactive and orphaned teams were removed by team owners.
The most important thing that ShareGate does is help us keep our environment up-to-date. Our users are happy, our access is secure, and we’re achieving that with a lot less frustration.Vera Van Es, Arkin
Managing Microsoft 365 groups without Teams
As one of the largest mental health networks in the Netherlands, Arkin had complex data.
Their 4,000 employees were spread across more than 60 locations, with 12 units of specialization that collaborated between offices.
With clientele ranging from children and families to adults and the elderly, and covering issues such as anxiety, addictions and severe mental health diagnoses, Arkin’s teams needed excellent communications in order to deliver well-integrated support.
Functional Microsoft 365 Administrator Vera van Es was at the forefront of helping front-line staff collaborate with digital content. Her users needed a data environment that was tidy and easy to navigate.
But in the early days, her team didn’t have the right tools to maintain it.
When Microsoft launched Teams, it was a welcome opportunity for Arkin to migrate to the cloud with a more user-friendly structure.
Although the move made it easier for users to find and organize their data, it caused a new problem: the accumulation of unneeded teams.
“Every employee was able to create their own Microsoft 365 teams. In the end, there were a lot of unused teams, and we didn’t have a tool to manage them.”
Vera and her team tried to sort out which teams could be deleted or archived, but without an automated process, it was so untenable they only attempted doing it manually a few times.
“We had to create reports within SharePoint and check each team to see if it had an owner, how many users, and what the last activity date was. Then, we had to email or call the owner to ask if the team was still in use. It took hours of work over the course of months.”
The process was so arduous that when they did it, it was impossible to keep up to date, leaving them open to more clutter and potential security threats.
“By the time you’ve finished tracking down one batch of inactive teams, you have to start over again, because everything will have changed already.”
Out of 1,100 teams that existed at the time, over 300 needed to be painstakingly investigated.
“No one was happy, and we knew we needed a solution. We tried creating different reports using Power BI and adding automations. And we knew there were things you could do with Azure. But we didn’t fully understand the possibilities.”
Thankfully, they heard that ShareGate, which they were already using to migrate from network drives to Microsoft 365, had recently integrated a set of tools that would make it painless to collaborate with team owners to keep teams decluttered and up-to-date.
It wasn’t long before Vera and her team implemented an efficient, sanity-saving new system with ShareGate.
Painless Microsoft 365 maintenance
When Vera and her team started using ShareGate’s management features, it completely changed the way they addressed inactive teams.
“Before, no one was happy. We used to draw straws to see whose turn it was to search the inactive teams. But now, with ShareGate, everything is automated. It saves us so much time.”
Implementing the system was smooth from the start.
“It was very easy. We got it up and running quickly and could immediately see what kind of teams we had.”
Of teams found to be inactive
Better processes for organizing teams
The tool allowed Vera’s team to set parameters that helped users organize their content.
“We organized teams into three types: the first type was connected to an organizational unit (such as a department), the second consisted of an ongoing inter-unit collaboration, and the third was for special projects.”
They also created a script that automatically checks the members of a team and makes updates if someone leaves a unit or transfers to another.
Automating reminders for effortless collaboration
The next step was collaborating with users to monitor unused teams and keep the clutter at bay. ShareGate simplified that process with its automated inactivity detection feature.
Of inactive teams have been removed
“We set the tool to notify users if their team wasn’t active for 90 days. Then we informed them that they would start getting emails from ShareGate to ask whether you want to keep, archive, or delete the team. It was so easy and it’s working very well.”
Another element that Arkin now monitors easily is orphaned teams.
Of teams found to be orphaned
“With ShareGate, we can spot orphaned teams and assign a new owner. We can also see if a team member is not responding to reminders, and either keep or archive the team. If it turns out it’s still needed, we can restore it.”
Securing guest access with routine reviews
Arkin has strict privacy standards for their clients’ data. Although most client information is kept in a separate content management system, security is still paramount for the organization’s other content.
“Since we’re a mental healthcare organization, privacy is very important. When we first migrated to Teams, we didn’t enable guest user access.”
Since then, Arkin has started to allow guest access for certain partners. ShareGate’s automated external sharing review feature has helped them minimize risk by keeping those permissions monitored and up to date.
“ShareGate works very well for this. Every 30 days, an email is sent to the team owner to ask, ‘Are these guests still part of the team or should they be removed?’ If they don’t respond, we can check if the guest is still active in Azure, and if not, we delete them.”
A faster process and tidier M365 environment
ShareGate’s automatic detections and end-user notifications have transformed the task of managing Microsoft 365 into a smooth and productive process for Vera’s team.
“Before ShareGate, it cost us so much time to manage inactive teams. Now, we have an instant view, and we can quickly delete or archive them.”
Arkin’s IT team is happy, too.
“Our IT admins can now easily see our teams and find the one they’re looking for, even if they don’t know what it’s named. We’re still growing as an organization, but our data is much more manageable.”
With 1,000 active teams within Microsoft Teams and 500 additional groups in Microsoft 365, Arkin’s success is a strong testament to ShareGate’s flexible capability.
96% faster process to identify inactive teams
Thanks to ShareGate’s automated detection of inactive and orphaned teams, Arkin is identifying them 96% faster.
And with the tool’s email notifications reminding users to resolve their unused teams, they’ve reduced clutter by 98%.
“When we first assessed our teams, 100 were orphaned and at least 300 were inactive. Today, we’re down to 6.”
Faster to identify inactive teams
For Arkin’s Microsoft 365 administrators, these workflows have transformed their work. Tasks that used to take hours to follow up with end users and months to resolve are no longer a burden.
“It’s a huge difference. We spend maybe five minutes now just quickly reviewing the reports. That’s hours’ worth of work that’s been eliminated.”
Having ShareGate handle the heavy lifting with regards to managing inactive and orphaned teams has freed Vera’s team to focus on more valuable activities.
“Time is money. Because we don’t have to spend as much time keeping the environment tidy, we can do more to help the business. Right now, we’re digitizing our paperwork and exploring the Power platform to create apps and do more within SharePoint.”
With such outstanding results, it’s easy to see why Vera is thrilled, and why Arkin is all-in on ShareGate.
“The most important thing that ShareGate does is help us keep our environment up-to-date. Our users are happy, our access is secure, and we’re achieving that with a lot less frustration.”
Arkin is one of the largest mental health institutions in the Netherlands. With 12 distinct specialties and more than 60 locations, they help over 38,000 clients and families each year.
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