Onboard Frontline Workers to Teams & Viva Connections with secure SMS authentication

Frontline Workers (FLW) make up a massive part of our global industries spanning everything from food, beverage and entertainment sectors to public safety, national security, transport, gas and oil, information technology, financial services to health, social care, charities, education and childcare. And running the benefits and justice systems, religious staff, funeral services, journalists, broadcasters and more!

These days you will find these workers happily using their personal mobiles with barely a second thought with unapproved shadow-IT cloud apps like SMS, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to quickly stay connected with their teams; at no additional cost to them or the company – which sounds great.

However, the bad news is many Legal, HR and Security implications why they should NOT use these unapproved apps to manage what are often, confidential conversations about your business.

But it’s a bright new year so let’s consider exciting good news first!

You can now easily onboard FLWs using only their phone number and give them full access to #MicrosoftTeams channels, Shifts and the new intranet based Viva Connections with Yammer to share news and views. Also invite them to Teams calls and share documents with them. Using F1 Microsoft365 SKU.

Watch this quick video that explains how to do this. We hope this video helps to shine a bright secure light on the importance of the Frontline Worker and finally connect them to their teams securely with the huge bonus of having M365 approved cloud apps, documents and Viva Connections (the company intranet) at their fingertips.

Now the bad news why you should not use WhatsApp etc at work!

Corporate use of WhatsApp is strictly prohibited, as stated in its terms and conditions,: “You will not use (or assist others in using) our Services in ways that: involve any non-personal use of our Services unless otherwise authorized by us.”

And …

“If not given company-approved cloud tools, FLW risk company and data security and regulatory compliance to use their own. 53% of FLW’s use messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger up to 6 times a day for work-related reasons, but 68% said they’d stop if given approved internal communication tools.”

power_frontline_workforce_with_cloud_whitepaper.pdf (google.com)

Two personal experiences:

I wondered why my husband had not responded to some of my random WhatsApp messages a few weeks ago (don’t laff!). When asked he said he was invited to use WhatsApp with his construction project team and therefore ignores alerts on his phone after work and at weekends. So we are now back to using SMS.

And secondly, I am part of a local community forum that recently formed to lobby the local council in making improvements to our streets and pavements. They were using email to communicate so I suggested creating a WhatsApp group. They were delighted and agreed. However, I had to add all the forum members to my phone Contacts before I could invite them to our WhatsApp’s group.  I now have about 20 random contacts on my phone.

So, anyone using it for work, the group Admin will also have to follow this process of adding personal phone numbers to their contacts – this contravenes most HR policies!

Therefore WhatsApp etc are perfectly good apps for personal consumption – but not appropriate for work – so consider MS Teams with MFA+SMS that ticks all the Security, HR and Legal boxes!


Discover free Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops!

Follow my Viva visions

08 Dec: M365 UK User Group: A Viva Visionary chats with a Viva Realist (Sara Fennah, MVP)
08 Dec: Yammer Community Festival: Looking forward to catching up with old and new Yammer fans and hearing great success stories
25 Feb: Scottish Summit: MVP’s – Kevin McDonnell, Zoe Wilson, Ana Ines, Sara Fennah, the Viva Visionary and more!

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