10 Signs You May Be Hindering – Not Helping – Collaboration and Productivity Across Your Organization

Are you helping your workforce change how they work, engage, and collaborate as we move forward? Or holding them back?

The future of work is evolving. Ensure your workforce is empowered to do their best work by eliminating barriers to efficiency.

When employees face ongoing inefficiencies, bottlenecks, outdated apps, and broken processes throughout their day, those barriers can hamper operations, reduce profits, and impact employee morale – stalling collaboration and productivity while eating up valuable time and money.

These challenges aren’t likely to go anywhere soon. If they aren’t recognized and addressed, they are likely to get worse than better.

And to remain competitive, organizations are going to need to adapt to an entirely new way of working going forward.

That’s why today, more than ever, organizations need to focus on creating a people-first work environment – and address the core drivers of a holistic digital workplace across their organization – to ensure that all their employees have easy access to the same information, data, apps, and systems they need to do their job regardless of their location.

So Much Buzz  – And Confusion

But let’s face it: the buzz and definitions around collaboration, productivity, digital workplace, and people-first are confusing – often meaning different things to different people.

Insights from Avanade’s 2022 Global Workplace Research Report found that while most of the organizations they surveyed say they put their people first to transform their workplace strategy and employee experience, the data showed a sharp contradiction to fulfilling that promise. Key findings from their research found that:

  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents’ organizations haven’t taken steps to streamline their employee experience and application ecosystem to help their people access what they need more easily.
  • 66% have yet to implement a virtualized workplace environment – providing access to applications and data anywhere, from any device.
  • 60% haven’t enabled seamless communication and collaboration for all employees (front office, office-based, and remote) via a cloud workplace platform.
  • 61% are failing to simplify knowledge management and sharing through cloud-based platforms, AI, or automation.
  • 67% haven’t embraced automation and AI to simplify workflows and increase productivity and efficiency.

One of their key takeaways: Every organization genuinely wants to be (and many think they already are) people first but being truly people first isn’t easy. Especially if you don’t understand the type of challenges your employees face throughout their day.

10 Signs You Are [Unintentionally] Hindering – Not Helping – Collaboration and Productivity Across Your Organization:

If you or your leaders are struggling to understand what a people-first, digital workplace looks like – and how collaboration and productivity tie into it – start by taking a hard look at the common barriers holding employees back.

At Xgility, we find that our customers are often facing the same critical challenges when it comes to tackling knowledge management, document storage, tech sprawl, and Microsoft 365 rollouts. And while you may not realize it, those barriers are affecting not only your employees but your IT team.

Let’s dive in.

1. Content Sprawl:
No one can find the content or information they need on the intranet or in SharePoint. A 2021 study by Cornell University and Qatalog found that in a typical day, people spend 59 minutes simply looking for information trapped within tools and applications. That’s up to 5 hours a week – simply trying to find what we need. Unsurprisingly about 7 in 10 people (69%) reported that finding the information to do their job is time-consuming.

2. Inefficient Collaboration:
People are still collaborating by sending files back and forth via email. And storing their documents in OneDrive. Oh, and using Zoom, Box, Google Docs, Slack, and more.

3. Email Overload:
Email is used for both internal and external communications. The sheer volume is overwhelming – making it difficult to effectively communicate.

4. App Overload:
Your employees are using lots of different apps, systems, and platforms for online meetings, calls, chats, collaboration, and file sharing and storage. The 2021 Cornell University and Qatalog study also found that – on average – people reported spending 36 minutes every day switching back and forth between applications. And people reported taking 9.5 minutes on average to get back into a good workflow once they are switched between apps.

5. Microsoft Teams is Under-Utilized:
Employees are only using Microsoft Teams for internal online meetings or chats because they don’t understand how to use its other features. Or IT disabled key features because they didn’t understand them either.

6. Microsoft 365 Confusion:
You have Microsoft 365 which includes SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and OneDrive from Business but your IT team is not sure how to utilize all those apps and systems. Neither do your employees. Plus, your help desk is overwhelmed trying to support it all – and answer all their user questions too. But everyone is trying their best.

7. Process Fragmentation:
Your automated business processes are now out of date, legacy workflows have broken, and there’s a backlog of new automation and workflow projects from various departments. And you are still using InfoPath. You’ve started to dabble with Power Automate but other priorities keep getting in the way of making real progress.

8. Outdated Apps:
Plus, your legacy custom apps don’t quite work anymore – especially when it comes to connecting with new systems. Your employees are frustrated when they have to use them. Power Automate and Power Apps seem like great tools to address those issues. Your IT team has it on the list. But they are too busy addressing #1–7.

9. Governance Challenges:
Your IT team is under pressure to roll out a governance plan for data protection. But no one is quite sure where to start.

10. Confusing Buzzwords & Mandates:
Your leadership wants the IT team to drive better collaboration. It’s a hot topic. Also, they want a better Employee Experience and are concerned about the Great Resignation. But no one is quite sure what any of that means.

The good news: These problems are solvable.

Innovation is Less about Technology & More about Putting People First

Shifting to a people-first workplace means people-first — technology and corporation second. Not the other way around.

Today, leaders and IT teams must make strategic decisions to empower their employees and create an optimum digital workplace experience that gets everyone on the same page for secure, seamless collaboration, communication, and productivity with a new mindset. Once you understand the key barriers and issues your employees and IT teams face, you can start addressing the challenges.

During this quest to transform, you and key stakeholders will need to rethink and reimagine how to help your employees work in new ways that drive higher employee engagement, collaboration, productivity, and innovation – and real culture change.

A key point: You want to help simplify the way your employees work through their day – not make them work harder.

Start with a clear vision and develop a long-term strategic plan that will result in positive improvements across your organization – saving significant time and money. Part of that journey means connecting your people, applications, and processes in a holistic and unified way across your organization – breaking down silos and getting everyone on the same page. Then build a solid and secure cloud-based foundation that’s agile and scalable.

Ultimately, this comes done to a critical blend that includes:

  • Strategic upfront planning to identify goals and business outcomes. This step is critical for long-term success and keeps everyone – including the IT team, C-Suite, and employees – on the same page.
  • Empowering your employees to be part of the process – they are the ones actually doing the work. Look at how each department works and have employees explain how they store files, collaborate, and communicate.
  • Providing the right tools – not more tools. Start by solving the “What Tool When” challenge when it comes to Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business. The power of words and definitions can’t be underestimated when it comes to “how and when” to use applications like Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for Business – especially since both do similar things.
  • Eliminating redundant applications. This will help reduce time spent switching between multiple apps throughout the day. Not only does this benefit your employees but by eliminating duplicate applications, you can eliminate shadow IT, reduce security and data loss issues, eliminate licensing costs, and free up your IT team from maintaining so many different systems.
  • Finding ways to streamline communication and collaboration consistently across your organization. Start by reducing the volume of email by communicating and collaborating through Microsoft Teams channels.
  • Streamlining file storage and sharing: Share and store files with consistency in Teams and SharePoint.  Rethink and redefine your goals for your intranet to take advantage of the new features and functionalities that make it more user-friendly and engaging – and start using Microsoft Teams channels for collaboration.
  • Automating document workflows and electronic signatures for key departments including HR.
  • Finding ways to use often under-utilized features and capabilities in Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Power Platform to streamline processes across departments and projects.
  • Modernizing legacy apps with low-code platforms like Power Apps.
  • Implementing an equitable governance plan that will provide the right structure to keep your data safe giving the flexibility your workforce needs to be productive throughout the day.
  • Providing onboarding information and “How To” materials in a Knowledge Hub. This can be a powerful way to help prepare employees to use Teams, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint in a consistent manner – empowering them to be self-sufficient while removing the burden from the IT team and Help Desk.
  • Ongoing communication. Communication is crucial for all stages of new initiatives. Provide clear guidance around processes, expectations, deadlines, and drive excitement.
  • Helping everyone adapt with ongoing change management. It’s key to success and must start at the strategic planning stages. Getting buy-in from employees is critical to help drive adoption and overcome resistance to new technologies.

Let technology play a supporting role in people’s productivity and connectedness — not the starring role. Relying on technology or just keeping up with the latest software updates to improve productivity and collaboration will only lead to failure.

Don’t keep putting off addressing barriers and challenges to collaboration and productivity — regardless of where you are in your digital workplace journey.  By empowering your employees to do their best work — and helping to alleviate the burden on your IT team and help desk — you’ll help save valuable time and money. And help increase morale all around.

Ready to Get Started?

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, our Strategy & Advisory Team can help your organization rethink, reimagine, and transform how you work and collaborate for today and the future – while empowering your IT team and workforce to be more productive, secure, agile, and innovative along the way.

At Xgility, we know that rolling out new technologies – especially Microsoft 365 and its business applications – is no easy task for both the IT Team and end-users. And with new technologies comes change – and we all know change isn’t easy. When new technology initiatives aren’t done right, it can lead to low adoption, shadow IT, unsecured data, and frustration all around.

As your trusted partner, we can help your organization connect the dots between your technology and business goals, reduce application redundancy, streamline processes, modernize systems and apps, and develop an equitable governance and security plan – while keeping your people at the center to drive real culture change and adoption – and driving value with your Microsoft platform investments including Microsoft 365, Power Platform, and Azure. Ready to get started? Contact Us Now »


Getting Started with Zero Trust Security

More than ever, organizations need a new security model that more effectively adapts to the growing intensity and sophistication of cyberattacks, embraces the hybrid workplace, and protects people, devices, apps, and data wherever they’re located.

Taking basic security precautions can help your organization prepare for – and mitigate – the overwhelming majority of modern cyber threats and helps to prepare for the evolution of threats as technology advances.

Why Zero Trust?

Today, many IT security leaders and IT departments are embracing zero trust security as an effective approach in today’s cloud-first world to improve their organization’s overall security posture against evolving threats.

Cloud applications, public cloud services, and the mobile workforce have redefined the security perimeter – rendering perimeter-based security models obsolete so organizations can no longer rely on traditional network controls for security.

Even more than two years into the pandemic, many organizations are likely to have applications and data exist both inside the traditional firewall and beyond it. Security and IT teams can no longer assume that users and their devices (both personal and corporate) on the network are any safer than those on the outside. Perimeter controls do little to prevent an attacker from moving laterally on the network after gaining initial access to it.

What’s needed is a pivot to “boundaryless” security – known more commonly as Zero Trust. Zero Trust is important to reduce the exposure of sensitive data by limiting the inherent trust within an organization that an attacker would exploit – especially when people are connecting from everywhere and will not necessarily be coming from a “trusted” location.

That is why adopting a Zero Trust approach is now a top priority for most organizations. In a world where it’s harder to predict or prevent the attacker, it’s important to assume they will get in and limit their exposure.

What is Zero Trust?

Despite what the name implies, a Zero Trust approach empowers organizations to grant employees greater freedom across all data, apps, and infrastructure. It is designed to adapt to the complexities of the modern environment that embraces the mobile workforce – and protects people, devices, applications, and data wherever they are located.

An important note: Zero Trust is not a technology, product, or service – it’s an approach to managing risk. You may hear Zero Trust interchangeably referred to as a model, approach, strategy, or framework.

Microsoft describes it as “a proactive, integrated approach to security across all layers of the digital estate that explicitly and continuously verifies every transaction, asserts least privilege access, and relies on intelligence, advanced detection, and real-time response to threats.”

Zero Trust Guiding Principles

When implementing Zero Trust, organizations should adhere to the following three guiding principles:

Verify Explicitly: Always authenticate and authorize based on all available data points, including user identity, location, device health, service or workload, data classification, and anomalies. Note: Microsoft has expanded it to include verifying the software in your supply chain.

Use Least Privileged Access: Limit user access with just-in-time and just-enough-access (JIT/JEA), risk-based adaptive policies, and data protection to help secure both data and productivity.

Assume Breach: Minimize blast radius with micro-segmentation, end-to-end encryption, continuous monitoring, and automated threat detection and response.

Instead of believing everything behind the corporate firewall is safe, the Zero Trust model assumes breach and verifies each request as though it originated from an uncontrolled network. Regardless of where the request originates or what resource it accesses, the Zero Trust model teaches us to “never trust, always verify.”

Zero Trust Defense Areas

According to Microsoft, a Zero Trust approach should extend throughout the entire digital estate and serve as an integrated security philosophy and end-to-end strategy. How? This is done by implementing Zero Trust controls and technologies across six foundational technology pillars: identity, data, endpoints, applications, network, and infrastructure.

Each pillar is a source of signal, a control plane for enforcement, and a critical resource to be defended. Here’s a broad overview:

Zero Trust Security Tech Pillars

Source via Microsoft Security: The Comprehensive Playbook for Implementing Zero Trust Security.

By adopting a Zero Trust framework in one or all of these areas – you can effectively modernize your security technology and processes – and start to maximize protection in the face of modern threats.

However, each organization will have different priorities depending on its current capabilities and the level of risk represented by a given security area.

Zero Trust Architecture

Microsoft recommends the following Zero Trust architecture and provides the primary elements that contribute to a Zero Trust approach.

Microsoft Zero Architecture Diagram.

Diagram via Microsoft.

After the lessons learned over the past two years, Microsoft now emphasizes the critical importance of integrating policy enforcement and automation, threat intelligence, and threat protection across security pillars. These integrated elements act upon telemetry across every pillar to inform decisions with real-time signals.

Where Are You in Your Zero Trust Journey?

Gauge where your organization is in its Zero Trust journey with the following questions:

Zero Trust Maturity Levels.

Source via Microsoft Security: The Comprehensive Playbook for Implementing Zero Trust Security.

Zero Trust is a Journey – Not Destination

It’s important to point out that Zero Trust is a journey with a flexible framework. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to Zero Trust implementation – giving organizations permission to start anywhere.

How easily an organization can adopt these principles varies depending on its individual security challenges, needs, and capabilities. In other words, the journey to Zero Trust is unique to your business.

Organizational requirements, existing technologies, and security stages all affect the planning for a Zero Trust implementation. While Zero Trust security is most effective when integrated across the entire digital estate, it’s recommended that organizations take a phased approach that targets specific areas based on their Zero Trust maturity, available resources, and priorities. Each investment must be carefully
considered and aligned with current business needs.

Start Small & Build Confidence

We recommend you start small and build confidence before rolling out Zero Trust across your organization.

The first step in the journey does not have to be a large lift and shift to cloud-based security tools. Likewise, starting with Zero Trust doesn’t require a complete reinvention of infrastructure. According to Microsoft, the most successful solutions should layer on top of and support a hybrid environment without entirely replacing existing investments. No matter the size of the organization, deploying Zero Trust should start with the small pieces since completing multiple larger changes simultaneously often isn’t feasible.

After the first steps are taken and confidence is established, the Zero Trust model should be extended throughout the entire digital estate – while also serving as an integrated security philosophy and end-to-end strategy.

Ready to Get Started?

Whether your organization is considering a Zero Trust approach or already started, our team can help evaluate, recommend and implement the best security solutions to keep your organization secure. Contact Us Now »


  • Microsoft’s Zero Trust Overview »
  • Microsoft Security White Paper: The Comprehensive Playbook for Implementing Zero Trust Security
  • Microsoft White Paper: Evolving Zero Trust – How Real-World Deployments and Attacks Are Shaping the Future of Zero Trust Strategies
  • Microsoft White Paper: Examining Zero Trust – An Executive Roundtable Discussion
Microsoft Build.

Microsoft Build 2022: Round-Up of Key Announcements

Our team here at Xgility was excited to virtually attend Microsoft Build this week to watch the keynote addresses, attend the sessions that showcased innovations in code and application development, and catch the latest announcements around Microsoft Power Platform, Azure, Azure SQL, AI, automation, new development tools, and so much more.

It is inspiring to learn how Microsoft continues its commitment to delivering new tools and features that our developers and teams can use to help drive transformation for our clients and their evolving needs – especially when it comes to automation, low code tools, and application and database development and modernization – while maximizing their Microsoft cloud investments.

So Many Announcements: Here’s What We are Excited To See Roll Out

During the event, Microsoft announced more than 50 new products, tools, and features – wow! We’ve rounded up a list of key announcements that are either available now or in preview.

Let’s dive in.

Power Apps Express Design:

Instantly turn images, documents, Figma design files, and PPTs into apps with leading cognitive AI capabilities using Express Design in Microsoft Power Apps.

Now available to all Power Apps makers, Express Design allows you to instantly generate low-code apps directly from design files and images.

Screenshot of Microsoft Power Apps Express Design.

In just a few clicks, users can upload a design from different inputs – including paper forms and PDFs, sketches on the whiteboard, and even professionally designed assets in Figma – and Power Apps converts it into a working web and mobile app with a UI and data schema within seconds.

Learn More:
Turn Images and Designs into Apps Using AI-Powered Express Design »

Power Pages:

The newest Microsoft Power Platform product to create modern, secure, responsive business websites.

As a new standalone product, Power Pages is ideal for building business-centric websites. It’s designed to empower anyone – regardless of their technical background – with a platform to create data-powered, modern, and secure websites for both desktop and mobile through a fluid, visual experience. Power Pages runs on Microsoft Azure and connects with Dataverse to provide critical security capabilities.

Screenshot of Microsoft Power Pages Opening Screen

As part of the preview, several features and capabilities are now available. The Design Studio makes it easy to design, style, configure, and publish modern business websites. With Microsoft Dataverse, you can securely collect and share business information with site visitors. And use Visual Studio Code in Power Pages to code advanced capabilities using JavaScript, code components, Liquid templates, and web APIs.

Learn More:
Announcing Microsoft Power Pages: Build Secure, Low-Code Websites »

Power Virtual Agents & Azure Bot Framework

Now a unified bot building studio.
Bot builders have used the existing integration between Power Virtual Agents and Bot Framework Composer to create advanced conversational experiences for over a year now—and it’s proven very popular. Now, Microsoft is bringing these complementary strengths together into one, single unified bot building studio.

Microsoft Unified Bot Canvas.

According to Microsoft, this new bot-building approach combines the advanced functionality of Bot Framework Composer with the ease-of-use and end-to-end bot building experience of Power Virtual Agents. Now, professional developers and subject matter experts can easily collaborate within the same studio to build powerful conversational bots and IVRs. And with this deep and continuing integration of Bot Framework Composer and Microsoft Cognitive Services — it’s also the single, unified conversational AI studio from Microsoft for subject matter experts and developers alike.

Power Virtual Agents will be incorporating additional Azure Bot Service Composer capabilities including a new authoring canvas, rich responses, event-driven and contextual triggers, and new telephony channels. These are all available in preview.

Learn More:
What’s New: The Evolution of Power Virtual Agents »

Autoscale with Hosted Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Bots

Faster and easier scaling with Microsoft Power Automate and VMs.

Gone are the days of strenuous approval cycles and costly deployment. With Power Automate’s hosted robotic process automation (RPA) bots, you can create a group of bots by setting up basic parameters and using them to get virtual machines (VMs) scaled automatically for your unattended RPA scenarios — with no Azure subscription required. By hosting VMs that are powered by Azure, organizations can use Power Automate’s built-in auto-scale to scale VM capacity supporting the execution of RPA flows up or down automatically based on need.

Unattended robotic process automation and virtual machines in Power Automate are now in preview.

In addition, a new integration with process advisor — the process and task mining capability in Power Automate — allows users to leverage process analytics from within their cloud flows, the digital process automation capability in Power Automate. This update is in preview.

Learn More:
Latest Innovations to Scale Automation with Microsoft Power Automate »

Datamarts in Power BI

Enable data self-sufficiency.

Datamart in Power BI is a new self-service capability that enables users to perform relational database analytics and uncover actionable insights from their data. This out-of-the-box feature empowers business analysts to build a data mart over any data warehouse or multiple data sources that can be centrally governed and managed. And it brings turnkey data warehousing to millions of Power BI users, alleviates demands on IT, and accelerates time to insights from months to minutes.

Learn More:
Announcing Public Preview of Datamart in Power BI »
Democratize Enterprise Analytics with Microsoft Power BI »

App Compliance Automation Tool for Microsoft 365

A new service in Azure Portal that helps simplify the compliance journey for any app that consumes Microsoft 365 customer data and is published via Partner Center.

Microsoft 365 App Compliance Program is designed to evaluate and showcase the trustworthiness of application-based industry standards — such as SOC 2, PCI DSS, and ISO 27001 for security, privacy, and data handling practices. Microsoft announced the preview of the App Compliance Automation Tool for Microsoft 365 for applications built on Azure to help them accelerate the compliance journey of their apps. With this tool, developers can automate a significant number of tasks to achieve the certification faster and easier. Also, the tool produces reports that can be easily shared by developers to help IT gain visibility of app security and compliance. It is in private preview.

Learn More:
App Compliance Automation Tool for Microsoft 365 »

Live Share for Microsoft Teams

Interactive app experiences in Teams meetings

Live Share is a capability for apps to go beyond passive screen sharing and enable participants to co-watch, co-edit, co-create, and more in Teams meetings.

Example of Live Share in Microsoft Teams.

Developers can use new preview extensions to the Teams SDK to easily extend existing Teams apps and create Live Share experiences in meetings. Live Share is backed by the power of Fluid Framework – which supports sophisticated synchronization of state, media – and control actions with only front-end development. This synchronization will run on Teams hosted and managed Microsoft Azure Fluid Relay service instance – at no cost to you.

Learn More about Live Share and other new development tools for Microsoft Teams:
Build Collaborative Apps with Microsoft Teams »

Microsoft Purview Ecosystem

Extending new APIs, Power Automate, and built-in integrations.

Microsoft announced they are expanding Microsoft Purview’s multicloud and extensibility capabilities to include native classification, labeling, and protection capabilities for Adobe Acrobat to help secure PDFs as well as new Microsoft Graph APIs for data lifecycle management.

Screenshot of Microsoft Purview.

Unifying these components empowers Microsoft Purview Information Protection and Adobe Document cloud customers to consistently classify and label PDF documents natively – and to properly address security and compliance. These updates are in preview.

Learn More:
Extending Microsoft Purview Ecosystem »

Azure Synapse Link for SQL

Enabling near real-time analytics over operational data in Azure SQL Database or SQL Server 2022.

Azure Synapse Link for SQL allows organizations to now take advantage of low- and no-code, near real-time data replication from your SQL-based operational stores into Azure Synapse Analytics. This makes it easier to run BI reporting on operational data in near real-time – and with minimal impact on your operational store.

Azure Synapse Link for SQL Model.

Now in public preview, Azure Synapse Link for SQL is an automated system for replicating data from your transactional databases (both SQL Server 2022 and Azure SQL Database) into a dedicated SQL pool in Azure Synapse Analytics. Setting up a link from your SQL data to Azure Synapse now takes just a few clicks and a matter of minutes rather than hours or days for traditional ETL processes.

Learn More:
Announcing the Public Preview of Azure Synapse Link for SQL »

Ledger in Azure SQL Database

A new technology that offers the power of Blockchain in Azure SQL Database.

The Ledger feature in Azure SQL Database enables tamper-evident capabilities through cryptographic verification for centralized data stores.

Azure SQL Database Ledger

Microsoft is making the data in SQL verifiable using the same cryptographic patterns seen in Blockchain technology – while keeping the flexibility and performance of a traditional database. It is centrally managed while you can cryptographically attest to other parties, such as auditors or other business parties, that your data can be trusted and hasn’t been tampered with. It is now generally available.

Learn More:
Ledger Now Generally Available in Azure SQL Database »

Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform

Accelerate innovation and achieve agility with a comprehensive data platform.

Microsoft unveiled its new Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform – and an integrated platform that brings together databases, analytics, and governance to add layers of intelligence to applications, gain predictive insights, and govern data anywhere.

The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform enables organizations to quickly pivot and adapt to rapidly evolving landscapes, add layers of intelligence to their apps, unlock predictive insights, and govern their data anywhere. According to Microsoft, it addresses major customer pain points like managing fragmented data while also empowering organizations to capture and utilize data more efficiently to increase market share.

Learn More:
Introducing the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform »

That’s a Wrap!

You can read all the announcements and features in the Microsoft Build 2022 Book of News »

Reach out to learn how our experts can help accelerate your application, database, or data modernization initiatives. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with vast experience under our belts, we are ready to help.
Contact Us Now »



Xgility and AIS: Stronger Together Announcement Splash Image.

Xgility & AIS: Stronger Together

Recently, we announced that Xgility has been acquired by AIS (Applied Information Systems). We’re thrilled to join forces with a leading Microsoft cloud firm  – and will become stronger together with a broader solutions portfolio for cloud adoption, app modernization, and data insights capabilities.

As premier Microsoft Gold partners, our combined capabilities and deep Microsoft expertise will create a broader spectrum of opportunities to serve our clients in new ways and accelerate your cloud transformation.

We will continue our mission to help our clients move to the cloud, reimagine processes, modernize technologies and applications, and empower their employees with the right applications, insights, and guidance to work securely in today’s work anywhere environment.

Read the Executive Brief:
Learn more about our combined capabilities & solutions »

We remain committed to our clients and look forward to amplifying our capabilities to continue to help organizations harness the power of Microsoft Cloud platforms – and become more innovative, agile, and secure.

Read the full press release about the acquisition »

Our Team is Here to Help

Let’s talk about how Xgility – and now AIS – can help your organization be more innovative, agile, and secure while driving adoption and ROI for your Microsoft cloud investments including Microsoft 365, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Power Platform, Dynamics 365, and Azure.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner with vast experience under our belts, we are ready to help. Contact Us Now »

Microsoft 365 Strategy Pays Off: A Customer Transformation Success Story [Recorded Webinar]

Listen to our recent webinar to hear one of our clients – the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) – share their Microsoft 365 strategy transformation success story.

The speakers:

  • JoAnna Battin, Director of Strategy & Advisory Services at Xgility
  • Thomas Lyons, Chief Information Officer at ASM
  • Jerry Cruz, Manager, Network Operations & Support at ASM
  • Kevin Gauthier, IT Project Manager at ASM

JoAnna and the ASM team share how Xgility’s strategy-first methodology – along with critical planning, change management, culture change, and adoption activities – drove real change and transformation across their organization – while empowering both the IT department and employees along the way.

Let’s Dive into Key Highlights from the Discussion:

First, you’ll quickly find out that this isn’t your normal software implementation project.

JoAnna and the ASM team break down the three phases of their Microsoft 365 initiative – the strategic planning engagement, rollout stages, and ongoing adoption activities – to discuss the impact on the IT team and employees, lessons learned along the way, and how the power of critical planning paved the way for the future success.

Here are some of the key highlights from the inspiring discussion:

  • Upfront planning is critical for long-term success and keeps everyone – including the IT team, C-Suite, and employees – on the same page.
  • Look at how each department works and have employees explain how they store files, collaborate, and communicate.
  • The power of words and definitions can’t be underestimated when it comes to processes and how to use applications like Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for Business – especially since both do similar things.
  • Ongoing change management is key. Getting buy-in from employees is critical to help drive adoption and overcome resistance to new technologies.
  • Empower your employees to be part of the process including the Advisory Committee and Ambassador Program.
  • Ongoing communication is crucial.  Provide clear guidance around processes, expectations, deadlines, and drive excitement.
  • Providing onboarding and “How To” materials in the Knowledge Hub was a powerful way to help prepare employees to use Teams, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint in a consistent manner – empowering them to be self-sufficient while removing the burden from the IT team and Help Desk.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of FOMO to help drive adoption.

Listen to the webinar to learn more – especially how to get buy-in from leadership – and find out why now’s the time to ensure your workforce has the right mix of streamlined processes and applications to do their best work or risk having them leave.

Our Team is Here to Help

At Xgility, we know that rolling out new technologies – especially Microsoft 365 and its business applications – is no easy task for both the IT Team and end-users. And with new technologies comes change – and we all know change isn’t easy. When new technology initiatives aren’t done right, it can lead to low adoption, shadow IT, unsecured data, and frustration all around.

That’s why our team takes a different approach – fusing both technology and user-centric decisions – to help our clients truly change the way their employees collaborate and communicate with the right tools while setting their IT teams up for future success.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner with vast experience under our belts, we are ready to help. Contact Us Now »

Strategic Tips to Combat Collaboration Chaos & Employee Exhaustion [Recorded Webinar]

In case you missed our recent webinar, Xgility’s JoAnna Battin and Kai Benson, shared why many employees and IT Departments are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed after a year of disruption – often stemming from decentralized collaboration tools and processes plus remote work stressors.

Listen to the recorded webinar to learn why it is vital that you and your organization take a step back and address those challenges.

One way to combat the issues starts with ensuring your Microsoft 365 collaboration strategy is both human-centric and technical to drive employee productivity, efficiency, engagement, and satisfaction at scale. But the strategy might not be what you expect.

Let’s Dive into Key Highlights from the Webinar

Remember the Quick Pivot to Remote Work Environment?

First, we need to first understand where the collaboration chaos and digital overload is coming from – and where we are today – in order to address it using a methodical and strategic approach to help your workforce thrive as we move forward into the next phases of all remote or hybrid work environments.

When we first went into lockdown due to the pandemic, it was a chaotic time for many organizations especially if they didn’t have a remote work environment strategy already in place or didn’t have online, connected applications for meeting, collaboration, and file storage. Let’s recap:

  • Quick Deployment of Online Meeting & Collaboration Applications:
    When the lockdown first started, organizations hastily rolled out different online meeting technology and communication tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams so their employees could continue to communicate and collaborate with people both inside and outside their organizations. Or they might have started using Slack along with other online tools.
  • Quick Deployment of Other Online Technologies File Storage or External Sharing:
    Next, organizations worried about providing their employees the technologies they needed to get their jobs done so they started using Box, SharePoint, or Microsoft Teams if they already had them – or employees themselves added Box or Google Docs to the mix because they were easy to deploy. Essentially, our employees found ways to do their jobs in the early time spent working remotely.
  • Lack of Guidance on How & When to Use the Online Technologies:
    But, when those applications or technologies were deployed, employees did not often receive the right guidance when it came to using them – and the lack the proficiency often led to creative workarounds, use of additional third-party apps, and unsecure external collaboration or file sharing.

As a result: employees have been using a myriad of disconnected tools and different ways to meet, collaborate, email, chat, share files, and store data throughout the day. And IT departments have been trying to support their staff with these technologies while keeping their networks and data safe.

Then remote work fatigue started setting in – stemming from three key sources: digital distractions, virtual overload, and an always-on mindset.

In a recent Gartner article, Alexia Cambon describes those stressors in real-world terms:

“Imagine driving a car and a squirrel jumps in front of your car every 40 seconds. That’s your digital distraction. Now add a passenger next to you who won’t stop talking. That’s your virtual overload. Finally, put this car on a highway with no exit signs. That’s your always-on mindset. So you’re in a car that’s start-stopping every 40 seconds, with a passenger who won’t stop talking and there’s no way to take it off the road. Wouldn’t that make you tired?”

It is no wonder our employees and IT teams overwhelmed and exhausted!

New Research Shows the Toll of Remote Work

And new research and studies show the toll that has had on our workforces. As JoAnna states, we need to pay attention to the findings of these reports to address the causes going forward. One such new study from Microsoft found that high productivity may be masking an exhausted workforce.

  • 1 in 5 global survey respondents say their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance.
  • 54% feel overworked.
  • 39% feel exhausted.
  • The digital intensity of our employees’ days has increased substantially – with the average number of meetings and chats steadily increasing since last year. This barrage of communications is unstructured and mostly unplanned, with 62% of calls and meetings unscheduled or conducted ad hoc. And workers are feeling the pressure to keep up.

Other key findings from the survey are important to know:

  • Flexible work is here to stay:
    Employees want the best of both worlds: over 70% of workers want flexible remote work options to continue, while over 65% are craving more in-person time with their teams.
  • Leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call:
    Many business leaders are faring better than their employees. Sixty-one % of leaders say they are “thriving” right now — 23% points higher than those without decision-making authority. And workers feel the disconnect. 37% of the global workforce says their companies are asking too much of them at a time like this.

Now more than ever, organizations need to look at the data around employee exhaustion and digital overload – and address with a strategic mindset.

So, how does all this tie into a Microsoft 365 strategy?

Why You Need a Microsoft 365 Strategy – But It’s Not What You Think It Is

Deploying even more applications or tools to your workforce will not help reduce chaos or employee burnout. In fact, many strategies that organizations are employing to ensure productivity are actually exacerbating these fatigue drivers.

As we look to create a better future of work, addressing digital exhaustion must be a priority for leaders everywhere. It won’t be easy, but consider how to reduce employee workloads, embrace a balance of synchronous and asynchronous collaboration, ensure employees are given the flexibility to work when and where they want, and give everyone in your workforce a consistent set of connected applications and tools they need to equally contribute from anywhere.

To put this idea in perspective, ask yourself:

  • Are your employees switching between multiple different applications throughout the day? For example, are they storing documents in Dropbox, sending emails via Outlook, meeting with internal teammates via Microsoft Teams calls but holding online video meetings with clients via Zoom? Are some using Slack to chat with clients but using Google Docs to share important documents because guest access isn’t turned on in Microsoft Teams?
  • Is everyone in your organization using the same Microsoft 365 applications consistently or different people using different applications to do the same thing? For example, are some departments using SharePoint Online to store and share documents while others are using OneDrive for Business or Dropbox, or Microsoft Teams?

Just imagine how much more efficient and productive your employees could if they used the same set of connected, online applications in a consistent and structured way. And Microsoft 365 business applications like Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business have multiple and powerful functionalities that help your users streamline how they work throughout the day.

But, as JoAnna explains, your organization’s Microsoft 365 strategy needs to focus on the EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE – not the technical solutions. With careful consideration, your organization’s managers and IT leaders need to set clear expectations and standardized collaboration processes that get everyone within your workforce on the same page – and provide opportunities for improved performance and employee wellbeing. And then the technologies will naturally fall into place.

As JoAnna points out, this new strategic mindset may feel uncomfortable – but it is not about control. It’s about setting expectations and communicating them to your organization. Be explicit in establishing what collaboration looks like for online or video meetings, chats, working together on documents, file sharing and storage, external communications, and more. But make sure you take a human-centric approach.

But what exactly does that look like in action?

  • Provide Guidance and Guardrails for Microsoft Teams, SharePoint & OneDrive for Business:
    This step is key. Get everyone on the same page for seamless collaboration and communications. How? Set expectations and define tool usage for Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business. Explain to your workforce how and when to use each application – and why.
  • Address 3rd Party Applications:
    We know change is hard. Taking away 3rd party apps like Dropbox or Google Docs may backfire. Instead, show the value in connected Microsoft 365 tools over 3rd party applications so your employees will want to use them. That can eliminate or reduce switching back and forth between multiple applications throughout the day. And bring back all that data from those 3rd party systems into the Microsoft 365 environment.
  • Enable Guest Access:
    Provide seamless collaboration and communication with external users. This will help keep your data and files secure – while eliminating 3rd party apps. But until you turn that guest access on, your employees are going to continue to use third-party apps. So, identify how and why your teams or departments are sharing files or need to have online chats with people outside your organization. Then enable the right types of guest access within your applications and tenants.
  • Encourage Consistent Processes:
    Once you have set clear expectations about which Microsoft 365 applications to use and when, addressed the 3rd party applications, and enabled guest access, then encourage your employees to think about how they can recreate the processes they were using before to collaborate – and map those processes within Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, or OneDrive for Business.
  • Protect Your Data – Governance is No Longer an Option:
    Developing an equitable governance plan will provide the right structure to keep your data safe giving the flexibility your workforce needs to be productive throughout the day.

Remember, the focus of your Microsoft 365 collaboration strategy is on helping your workforce do their best work throughout the day – and adding consistency will help eliminate the stresses that come from collaboration chaos.  By taking both a human-centric and technical approach, you can drive employee productivity, efficiency, engagement, and satisfaction at scale.

Whether you have already rolled out Microsoft 365 apps like Microsoft Team, SharePoint, and OneDrive or plan to do so soon, those tips will not only help reduce the chaos but will help build a solid foundation to help get everyone on the same page for seamless collaboration and communication with connected applications moving forward into a hybrid or all-remote work environment.

Our Team is Here to Help

At Xgility, we know that strategic planning is key to success. Our Strategy & Advisory team has been helping clients of all sizes successfully roll out the Microsoft 365 platform and key business applications including Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business with unprecedented adoption rates.

Please reach out to learn how we can help unravel the complexities and capabilities of the Microsoft 365 tools and applications to empower your employees and optimize operations. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with vast experience under our belts, we are ready to help. Contact Us Now »

Microsoft Ignite 2021 Announcement Roundup

Our team here at Xgility was excited to virtually attend Microsoft Ignite 2021 last week along with over 100,000 global attendees to watch the keynote addresses, attend the sessions, participate in training, and catch the latest announcements around Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Power Platform, Security, and so much more.

Throughout the event, Microsoft showcased innovative and new ways they are helping organizations and people stay connected, secure, and thrive in the hybrid work world with cloud-powered solutions.

According to Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, people often think of 2020 as the year work moved home. But in reality, it’s the year work moved to the cloud.

And moving forward, the cloud will continue to play a critical role as organizations accelerate their digital transformation and adapt to the realities of a hybrid workforce that require flexibility to securely work from different locations and with different devices. Azure cloud services will be more important than ever to help companies survive and thrive in a constantly evolving world.

So Many Announcements: Here’s What Our Team is Excited to See Roll Out

Our team is excited about the announcements from the event – especially as we learned about the new features, functionalities, and products that we can leverage to help our clients increase both internal and external collaboration, enhance their meetings experiences, safeguard their workforce and data, improve processes and integrate them across applications, accelerate cloud adoption, and unlock the power of the cloud to help modernize and develop apps, build hybrid networking solutions, migrate data centers, and so much more.

I reached out to three of our directors here at Xgility to learn what announcements particularly caught their attention. Here’s what they had to say.

JoAnna Battin, Director of Strategy & Advisory Services

I’m excited about Microsoft Teams Connect. Over the past year, we’ve seen an increasing demand for external guest access for our customers.  But we’ve also seen ongoing challenges and confusion – due to gaps in functionality – when our clients set up Teams and try to implement the right controls and security to separate external users from internal information. With Microsoft Teams Connect, now we can help clients combine internal collaboration with external guest access sharing by separating Channels by audience, thus removing duplicative Teams while also maintaining the security around the data.  It’s a great new addition and I’m excited to be able to streamline the recommendations for users.

Also, several of the new features and functionality announced at Ignite focus on their new approach to encouraging “employee experience.” Many of the technical features and functionality that just a year ago were attractive from a technical perspective have now been reimagined from the employee perspective. This is a direct result of the pandemic and how organizations must now think about their workforce – and attracting and retaining valuable employees.  For example, Microsoft Teams has accelerated the rollout of so many new features that enhance the employee experience – especially around meetings, chats and collaboration, security, and more.

What might not be as apparent is Microsoft’s introduction of Microsoft Viva. Microsoft has stated that Viva is a combination of AI features and technical functionality presented in a way to enhance the employee experience.  In fact, Project Cortex will no longer be called by name, but its features are integrated into Microsoft Viva. Microsoft Viva will provide employees with information, insights, and knowledge to increase productivity and gather information quicker, easier, and in a comprehensive way – thus enhancing the employee experience.

Learn More:
Flexible Work is Here to Stay: Microsoft 365 Solutions for the Hybrid Work World »

Greg Schneider, Solutions Factory Director

The new IT governance and security features in the Power Platform will be a game-changer for our clients. Microsoft is releasing a slew of new targeted capabilities that will allow admins to put up the right guardrails for governance and security to protect data within the Power Platform.

Admins will be able to enable environment – and tenant-wide data exfiltration governance, fine-grained data loss prevention rules for connector actions and endpoints, and Data Loss Prevention support for custom connectors. These will help address concerns for IT and security teams – especially when it comes to citizen developers – often preventing the organizations from using Power Apps.

I’m also glad to see they’re incorporating more monitoring capabilities and reports in the Power Platform. Now clients will be able to view new tenant-wide analytics, usage and maker activity reporting for Power Apps and Power Automate, and inventory reporting. These all give full visibility to what their employees or developers are building and how these apps and flows are getting used. Armed with those insights, we can help address low adoption rates or see where there are issues with apps – and make the right corrections to ensure their apps are helping – not preventing – their staff from using them to increase productivity and efficiency.

Learn More:
Solve IT Governance and Admin challenges with New Features for Power Platform »
Announcing New Power Platform Capabilities at Microsoft Ignite »

David Simsik, Cloud Infrastructure Architect

Over the past year, we’ve been helping our clients implement a Zero Trust model – a security strategy that combines maximum flexibility with maximum security. So, I was happy to see new features coming out to help manage identifies, address threat protection, and ensure compliance.

External access is a common requirement for our clients – and the new Azure AD External Identities will help meet those needs. A strong Zero Trust approach requires that we treat access requests from customers, partners, and vendors just like requests from employees: verify every request, allow users to access the data they need only when they need it, and don’t let guests overstay their welcome. With Azure AD, you can apply consistent access policies to all types of external users. Generally available starting this month, Azure AD External Identities is a set of capabilities for securing and managing identity and access for customers and partners. Self-service sign-up user flows in Azure AD apps make it easy to create, manage, and customize onboarding experiences for external users, with little to no application code.

There are also updates for Azure AD Conditional Access, the policy engine at the heart of Microsoft’s Zero Trust solution, now uses authentication context to enforce even more granular policies based on user actions within the app they are using or sensitivity of data they are trying to access. This helps appropriately protect important information without unduly restricting access to less sensitive content.

And several updates for Azure Security Center and Azure Defender are now available. Windows Server 2019 in Azure Defender has improved security alerts experiences as well as endpoint detection and response (EDR) support. Azure Security Center has improved the integration of network security and new reporting capabilities. The improved alerts experience includes an improved triaging experience with better performance for larger alert lists, alignment with Azure Sentinel’s incident experience, and additional alerts from the Azure Resource Graph.

Learn More: 
Identity at Microsoft Ignite: Strengthening Zero Trust Defenses in the Era of Hybrid Work »
Microsoft unifies SIEM and XDR to Help Stop Advanced Attacks »
4 Ways Microsoft is Delivering Security for all in a Zero Trust World »

And More Announcements

Microsoft Teams
We can’t overlook all the new features coming to Microsoft Teams. I’m excited to see the new Dynamic view in Meetings that intelligently arranges the elements of your meeting for an optimal viewing experience. As people join, turn on video, start to speak, or begin to present in a meeting, Teams auto-adjusts and personalizes your layout. The dynamic view is rolling out soon.

And the new Presenter Modes are a meeting game changer. Use Presenter Mode to step up the production level of your presentations and customize how your video feed and content appear to your audience. Standout Mode shows your video feed as a silhouette in front of the shared content. And Reporter Mode places content as a visual aid above your shoulder just like a news story. Side-by-Side Mode displays your video feed next to your content. Presenter mode will be available soon.

Other new Microsoft Teams features rolling out include 1,000-person interactive webinars with moderation control, 20,000-person view-only broadcasts, meeting attendee reporting. Teams mobile experience enhancements, Teams device enhancements, security and compliance features, and much more.

Learn More:
What’s New in Microsoft Teams »

Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 was another hot topic throughout the event as they announced new capabilities that will help businesses adapt and evolve to elevate customer experiences. One announcement stood out in particular: A new powerful and seamless integration of Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 that includes embedded Teams collaboration experiences in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service.

Learn More: 
Announcing new Dynamics 365 capabilities at Microsoft Ignite »

So, That’s a Wrap!

You can learn about other announcements for Azure, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Microsoft Teams, Identify & Security, and other announcements in the Microsoft Ignite 2021 Book of News »

Please reach out to learn how we can help you and your organization empower your workforce to be more collaborative, productive, and secure with the Microsoft Teams, the Power Platform, Azure AD, and other Microsoft endpoint and security tools. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with vast experience under our belts, we are ready to help. Contact Us Now »

Xgility's CEO Chris Hornbecker and Chief Strategy Officer Joe Brown.

ShiftHappens Video: Chris Hornbecker and Joe Brown On Cloud Adoption

Last week, our CEO Chris Hornbecker and Chief Strategy Officer, Joe Brown, had a chance to sit down with Brad Sams at AvePoint’s #ShiftHappens Conference in Washington DC.

Watch as they discuss how Xgility’s federal and corporate clients are adopting Microsoft cloud technologies and the emergence of Microsoft Teams popularity.

Plus, Brad shares a bit of trivia about the origins of Microsoft Teams that you may not know.

Unlock the Power of Office 365 with a Strategic Approach.

Unlock the Power of Office 365 with Strategic Planning

It’s not uncommon for organizations to use Microsoft’s Office 365 for just email and SharePoint for document storage and/or their intranet. Yet, Office 365 has a whole suite of powerful collaboration and teamwork solutions and tools too – including SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer. But rolling out the tools without a strategic plan can often result in low adoption rates – and lead to frustration for both IT departments and end-users.

Sound familiar? Let’s look at how we got here and how strategic planning can reduce Office 365 confusion and transform it into a powerful platform with widespread end-user adoption.

Why the Chaos? We’ve Opened a Firehose

The great news is that the tools in Office 365 are user-friendly and respond to end-user needs and wants. BUT the sheer volume of new apps and the updates can be overwhelming for both IT and end-users.

It’s Not Because We Aren’t Trying

Most user adoption issues are not for the absence of traditional implementation practices or methods. The tools are powerful, but users don’t know what to use and when. Without a strategy and plan for rollout and adoption, even IT has a hard time supporting end-user questions.

Tame the Office 365 Chaos with Strategic Planning

Experience has taught our team that strategic planning and execution are key for any Office 365 successful implementation, rollout, and higher end-user adoption.

Our Director of Strategy & Advisory Services, JoAnna Battin, recommends the following steps as part of an Office 365 strategy to help drive wide-spread adoption:

  • Start by Understanding the “Why”
    Determine what you want to achieve when rolling out new Office 365 applications, tools, and solutions. Do you need to increase collaboration between workers in multiple locations? Do you need a centralized document management system? Do you need to improve a business process? Once you have determined specific goals then you can move onto the toolset selection.
  • Define How Each Application Will Be Used in the Organization
    Most issues users face can be resolved by using their right tool for the right purpose at the right time. When you define the purpose of each tool and expectations for their use, the users don’t have to guess.
  • Define Governance for Each Tool & for the Tenant
    Put guardrails around the applications and use the tenant admin tools to govern their use.
  • Prepare Messaging & Story Planning – Then Communicate to Users
    Setting expectations for each application and communicating that message give users the information they need to know what tool to know when.
  • Demonstrate & Encourage Using the Tools Together to Improve Business Processes
    Each tool is powerful by itself. Using several tools together to build a business process is where the transformation takes place.
  • Build Excitement
    Engage your key stakeholders and end-users while building excitement around new changes.

JoAnna also advises organizations to start small – don’t try to roll out all the applications at once. Create a strategic roadmap for all Office 365 solutions you plan to implement but stagger the roll out in stages so both the IT departments and end-users won’t be overwhelmed with changes.

Do you need help unraveling the complexities and capabilities of the tools and applications within the Office 365 ecosystem including SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer? With vast experience under our belt and a passion for transformation, we are ready to help.

We take a strategic approach to Office 365 to connect your people and applications in a way that drives higher employee engagement, productivity, and innovation.

Ready to get started? Contact our team today »

Cloud Optimization and Management.

What Forrester and Customers Say About Cloud Cost Optimization and Management

This is Part 3 of our 3-Part series on Best Practices for Cloud Management.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Forrester Wave is a rigorous vendor evaluation conducted over several months by the Forrester Research team. It’s meant to help enterprises put together a short list of vendors for them to evaluate.

In Q2 2018, Forrester named CloudHealth as one of the leaders among the top nine vendors that made the cut for Cloud Monitoring and Optimization. This is significant because our Cloud Optimization Platform Service is powered by CloudHealth.

Xgility’s Cloud Optimization Platform Service

Our Cloud Optimization Platform Service enables control and optimization of your cloud from every angle. The service is designed to enhance visibility and reporting into your public cloud spend and usage, as well as streamline billing. Additionally, we can create rules and automate tasks for powerful active policy management and set up guardrails for your environment using our platform to send alerts and notifications for noncompliant policies and assets. The service is offered in three levels aligned to your infrastructure and requirements.

Xgility's Cloud Optimization Platform Service Levels.

Subscriptions are determined by the percentage of your cloud spend, and supplemental hours are available for configuration, support, and customization.

On average, customers see a reduction in cloud costs of 20%-30%, but sometimes much more. For example, reducing Reserved Instances (RIs) in Azure can quickly supply you with up to a 72% discount on your virtual machine and SQL database costs compared to pay-as-you-go.

Check out this chart below comparing Azure reserved virtual machine instances and SQL Database reserved capacity:

Chart comparing Azure reserved virtual machine instances and SQL Database reserved capacity.

The real key behind cloud cost optimization and management is to not treat different cost-saving tactics as one-time activities but rather ongoing best practices that are automated to ensure efficacy.

That’s why a single pane of glass into your Azure environment helps you gain visibility and actionable insight into cost, security, performance, and compliance of your data center and public cloud infrastructure is the best way to achieve your goals. Xgility’s Cloud Optimization Platform Service does this by:

  • Consolidating all cloud infrastructure and data in one place
  • Identifying opportunities to optimize costs, utilization, performance, and security
  • Manage cloud sprawl
  • Establish governance guidelines and rules with policies to manage your cloud as it scales
  • Align cost reports with business requirements

Real-life Examples of Customer Savings

Needless to say, putting in place an automated cloud cost management and optimization program can have a huge impact not only on your Azure spend but also on growing your business. As proof, here are some real-life examples of savings using the Azure cost-savings tips we provided in our infographic and previous blogs:

  • One large B2B SaaS company found that almost 60% of the instance hours they ran in the past 12 months were using older-generation instance types. Upgrading those instances to the latest generation saved them millions of dollars per year. By setting a target for weekly hours that non-production systems should run, one large publishing company set that target at less than 80 hours per week, which is saving them thousands of dollars a month.
  • By setting a target for weekly hours that non-production systems should run, one large publishing company set that target at less than 80 hours per week, which is saving them thousands of dollars a month. A mobile gaming company moved 600TB+ from S3 to S3 Infrequent Access, saving them more than $7k every month.
  • A mobile gaming company moved 600TB+ from S3 to S3 Infrequent Access, saving them more than $7k every month.

The road to cloud cost optimization and management is easier than you think. Contact Us to get started.