London Microsoft Teams Event: Session 4 Recap – Client Matter Collaboration

London Microsoft Teams Event: Session Recap – Ensuring an Efficient & Safe Client Matter Collaboration
8 October 2021 · 4 min read
This past September, we at Prosperoware hosted a hybrid networking and panel discussion from London on all things Microsoft Teams. Topics ranged from Teams adoption, governance, and many more, as we were joined by experts from organizations like Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Avanade and Morae Global Corp.
In the fourth and final session of the event, Andrew Hutchins — the Director of Workplace advisory for our peers at Avanade – shared some helpful insight on how to ensure efficient and safe client collaboration.
When it comes to external collaboration, Microsoft Teams is ushering in a new era, but there are important steps to take care of before you’re collaborating with confidence.
Interested to find out how you can safely collaborate with external users? Do you want to establish a crisp client-matter collaboration? Read on.
Why is Client Collaboration Important?
Whether you’re at the start of your Microsoft Teams experience or have already become an expert, no doubt you’re aware of the massive benefits it entails. From organizing workflows to creating a centralized hub for document and project creation, Microsoft Teams is the platform for digital collaboration.
Teams goes beyond internal collaboration. Did you know that it’s also built to ensure client collaboration? With features like Guest Access, Anonymous User profiles, and more, Teams allows organizations to collaborate and work effectively with both internal and external users.
You may be wondering though, why your organization would want to open the doors to external collaborators?
One answer is client expectations.
Today, over 80% of law firm clients say that they expect a transparent and collaborative experience when it comes to planning and executing matters. They are no longer interested in handing off their wants and needs to an organization, only to be approached sometime later with a final cost and vision that simply doesn’t line up with what they had planned.
In an age where the majority of our meetings are held over Teams meetings and calls, it only makes sense that clients would want to be included as well.
So, how can you meet client expectations while ensuring security across your organization?
Know Your Cloud
The foundation of any collaborative virtual workspace is a strong Cloud-based infrastructure. Not only does Cloud storage allow organizations to keep data in the hands of trusted sources like Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS, it also saves money on resources, as your organization doesn’t need to invest as heavily in on-premises storage.
But a strong Cloud infrastructure is also paramount for client collaboration. Before engaging with client data or their projects, clients must be made aware that their data will be stored in a Cloud location and give their consent. Not only is this a necessary legal step from a privacy and regulatory standpoint, but it also creates a sense of transparency and good faith with clients.
At the end of the day, clients just want to trust that you’ve got their data secured and will act responsibly with it.
Gaining consent from your client is just the first step. You must also demonstrate that their data is secure.
Zero-Trust leads to Client Trust
Storing data in the Cloud is just a fraction of the equation when it comes to client collaboration. To ensure that your organization creates a safe environment for client collaboration, implementing Zero-Trust security is paramount.
As projects grow in complexity and number, so too does the potential for chaos. With users prone to saving content in their personal drivers with naming conventions most convenient to them, chaos is inevitable. Couple this with Teams limited metadata for projects or matters and risk management teams are lost without context.
Ultimately, without consistent data locations and metadata to understand context, users end up having access to files irrelevant to their position. Some might even end up taking advantage of this access and use it to harm the organization.
Now imagine a scenario where your organization has 50 clients working and collaborating on matters with you. That’s at least 50 new users added to your organization’s Teams environment. In other words, potentially 50 new access points through which hackers, cybercriminals, and nation-state attackers can gain entry into your systems. If that system’s data is in chaos, the amount of financial and reputational damage could be irreversible.
We already know the overwhelming majority of hackers prey on human error to gain entry into systems, and external clients are often prone to even more error as they don’t always know the ins and outs of your organization’s policies.
This is why a Zero-Trust security model is key. Through this method, users gain the least privileges possible when added to the Teams environment. From there, they can have access permissions granted only for projects on which they’re working. When their contribution is over – or in the case of the client, when their matter has been completed – they are stripped of their access privileges to ensure a hacker can’t retroactively use these permissions to breach the organization’s data system.
Before engaging in external collaboration make sure you are informed about the type of Microsoft Teams users. Read our blog post for helpful information with regards to the out-of-the-box permissions of the platform.
With Teams limited capabilities to enable an efficient and safe client collaboration, organizations must seek elsewhere to satisfy their needs. Organizations need a solution that enables provisioning for their Teams, Channels, tabs, and more, with folder templates and naming conventions, so users will know where to place files.
Adding rich custom metadata will also make it easier to search and locate content and will enable risk management teams to understand context so they can apply the right security policies and add the right external users to the right Teams and Channels.
Luckily, Prosperoware CAM is here to help.
How Prosperoware Helps 
Prosperoware CAM is a Software-as-a-Service platform (SaaS) for adoption and governance of collaboration systems. It allows organizations to provision, classify, protect, move, and minimize data, mitigating data chaos and reducing risks related to privacy & cybersecurity.
CAM enables organizations to create logical locations for users to place data. It provides rich custom metadata, empowering users to locate documents, and risk management teams to understand business context in order to apply the right security & data minimization policies.
CAM integrates with Microsoft 365 (Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, OneNote, Planner, Lists), iManage, NetDocuments, HighQ, and more to come.
Here is what CAM can do for you:
    • Provisioning of workspaces, Teams, Channels, Lists, users & groups, and folders from Project Portfolio Management, CRM etc., or through a human workflow using readily available templates.
    • Rich, custom metadata for project or document context.
    • Unified project directory for content location for end users and risk management teams.
    • Gain advanced templating ability- beyond native Microsoft Teams capabilities- to support complex business processes.
    • Synchronize content between Teams and DMS (i.e., iManage).
    • Provision automatically or on-demand internal & external users, manage permissions across collaboration systems, and integrate with leading ethical wall systems.
    • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) with activity monitoring and bulk security & metadata changes.
    • Data protection by creating a separate archive of documents to access in case of incidents.
    • Minimize data by setting automatic data disposition policies or apply litigation hold.

Watch the Teams On-Demand Session Replay

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