Groups, Teams, and Modern Sites: SkyKick delivers data protection for collaboration scenarios of the future

SkyKick is committed to delivering the most comprehensive and partner-centric data protection across the Office 365 tenant. In an ever-evolving space like productivity, this means staying ahead of the puck on innovative collaboration apps and services as they emerge.

Evolving collaboration scenarios

Our partners realize that valuable business data once created through legacy applications like email and SharePoint Classic Team Sites, is now increasingly being created and shared through new Microsoft apps and services like Office 365 Groups, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint Modern Team Sites.

These are not just new applications. These scenarios shift the very foundation of collaboration, including how applications are combined, delivered, deployed, and managed to ensure the greatest productivity.

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Transition

Yesterday and today

Today and tomorrow

From disparate apps to integrated scenarios

Disparate products and features must be interacted with separately  

Integrated apps and services provide a single UI through which all collaboration can be performed

From product-driven to environment-driven collaboration

Products and features determine the collaboration that can occur, and the collaboration delivered is simply the sum of the assembled parts.

Environments allow collaboration to occur naturally, agnostic of underlying products, delivering collaboration beyond the sum of the parts.

From IT-driven to user-driven

Products and features require IT support, increasing IT costs and slowing the pace of collaboration.

Teams are free to create the environments they need, and IT staff is free from having to administer, support, etc.

 

These trends have been a perfect tailwind behind the rapid market adoption of forward-looking collaboration scenarios like Office 365 Groups and Modern Team Sites.

SkyKick’s commitment to protecting Office 365 data wherever it resides

To ensure our partners can protect customer data wherever it resides, and by doing so, empower customers to leverage the latest communication and collaboration scenarios, SkyKick is committed to being the most comprehensive Office 365 backup solution. SkyKick was one of the first Office 365 cloud backup solutions to protect SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, and is now one of the first to backup data across multiple apps and services within Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites. 

Partner response to this added functionality in Cloud Backup has been quite positive.

“As a progressive MSP, it is critical that we protect customer data in new collaboration scenarios like Groups and Teams. The fact that SkyKick is one of the first to offer a robust backup solution for Groups and Teams demonstrates their commitment to partner success. Leading with a comprehensive, integrated solution like SkyKick’s gives us a competitive advantage while enhancing customer satisfaction.” 

-     Ryan Chernick, President, CCCP 

Data protection in Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites

The challenge of backing up Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites

Currently few Office 365 backup solutions cover multiple collaboration apps and services in Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites. This is because Groups and Teams are not products, but a combination of apps and services built across multiple products. For example, the conversations and calendar in an Office 365 Group takes life within Outlook & Exchange whereas the files and notebook come to life in SharePoint. Thus, a backup solution must not only back up data from both Exchange and SharePoint, it must package and store the data from each into the Group entity for it to be found and restored within the Group.

Choosing a backup solution for Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites

In a prior blog we provided a framework for choosing the right Office 365 backup solution. This was based on MSP research which concluded that there are three things that savvy MSPs look for when selecting a vendor: Technical completeness, partner experience, and profitability.[1]

When selecting an Office 365 backup solution, it starts with understanding the comprehensiveness of the coverage across the Office 365 tenant. This must be assessed both in breadth of products covered and depth of coverage within each product. For example, an Office 365 backup solution may claim to cover SharePoint, but only cover files, not full sites or lists.

Coverage of Groups and Teams requires a similar assessment. Due to the complexities of Groups and Teams, simply asking, “Does this solution backup Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites?” will not provide the required clarity. Instead, a more granular approach is needed to understand the true extent and depth of the coverage. Therefore, the better question to ask is “What collaboration scenarios within Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites does the backup solution explicitly back up?”

SkyKick Cloud Backup coverage for Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites

As the leading Office 365 migration platform1 and one of the first Office 365 backup solutions to support both Exchange and SharePoint, SkyKick has the Office 365 expertise that was required to become one of the first to backup multiple apps and services across Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites. And this expertise will continue to drive further expansion across more Office 365 apps and services, both present and future.

This year, Cloud Backup announced and specified its coverage of the four most commonly used apps and service in Groups and Teams (conversations, calendar, files, and notebook) as well as Modern Team Sites, which are SharePoint Team Sites that include an Office 365 Group.

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Knowing at a more granular level what is backed up empowers partners to make more informed decisions and ensures that there is no misunderstanding that could lead to customer dissatisfaction. E.g. if a customer assumes that conversations are covered, but the solution only backs up Exchange and Group files, they may permanently lose valuable business data they assumed was backed up.

How to succeed with SkyKick Cloud Backup for Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites

As an MSP, your clients rely on your expertise and advice to empower and protect their data and productivity in Office 365. Cloud Backup for Groups and Teams provides a great opportunity to consult with them to ensure their most valuable data is protected.  And in doing so, savvy partners are opening doors to becoming even more valuable as trusted advisors to their customers.

“We transformed our business towards information strategy consulting for our customers, to enable better collaboration scenarios.  As trusted advisors, it is critical to present a strong data protection story across the Office 365 tenant, including new solutions like Groups and Teams. We standardized on SkyKick’s Cloud Backup Suite for its technical comprehensiveness, ease of use, and leadership in data privacy policies like GDPR.” 

-     Ívar Hákonarson, Director of Product Management and Development, Sensa 

Gather basic details on each customer’s current use of Groups and Teams

Because Groups and Teams are user-created without the need for IT involvement, many companies may not realize just how many Groups and Teams they have or if the data is protected. You can gather many of the basic details (names, numbers, and sizes of Groups, etc.) in the Office 365 portal.

Consult with your customer on the value of the data in Groups and Teams

Armed with basic details above, discuss with your customer the value of the data currently in their Groups and Teams. And help them also consider the potential increase in the use of these scenarios. Because Groups and Teams can be created by anyone, they may grow faster than expected.

Overcome assumptions of protection

Some customers and end users may assume that Microsoft backs up the data in Groups and Teams, when in fact, if data in a Group is deleted, it is only retained by Microsoft for 30 days. Other customers may wrongly assume that Group data is covered in their current Exchange Online backup solution. This is because conversations, calendar, files, notebook appear in the Outlook ribbon, and conversations appear in Outlook folders.  

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Discuss the value of the data and how it can be protected

Once a customer understands the extent and/or potential growth of the valuable business data that is moving from traditional applications into modern scenarios like Groups and Teams, you can demonstrate how SkyKick Cloud Backup Suite for Office 365 can protect that data.  

How to enable Cloud Backup for Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites

Cloud Backup for Groups, Teams, and Modern Team Sites is included at no extra cost with all full Cloud Backup subscriptions (i.e. subscriptions that include Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business). It is also included in SkyKick Cloud Backup Suite for Office 365.

For current subscriptions, simply:

  1. Go to the Settings tab of a subscription in the SkyKick Partner Portal
  2. In the Office 365 Groups section, click the edit icon (pencil)
  3. Select Backup Groups and click Enable

For a new subscription:

  1. Go to the Cloud Backup Manager in the SkyKick Partner Portal and select +Cloud Backup
  2. On the Add Subscriber page, in the Backup Sources section, select Backup Groups
  3. Complete the setup and configuration of the subscription.

For more information, see Cloud Backup of Office 365 Groups in the SkyKick Help Center.

Conclusion


SkyKick Cloud Backup was one of the first Office 365 backup solutions to offer backup of SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, and is now one of the first to offer backup of the four most common collaboration scenarios in Groups and Teams. This is consistent with our focus on delivering comprehensive protection across the entire Office 365 tenant.

We will continue to innovate on behalf of our partners and focus on bringing you the most comprehensive and partner-centric Cloud Backup solution across the Office 365 Tenant. To learn more about leveraging SkyKick Cloud Backup in your practice, please reach out to your account manager or support team (support@skykick.com).

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[1] AMI 2018 - Accelerate MSP Growth and Profitability

Topics: MSPs Office 365 Cloud Backup