Is the MS-700 Worth It?
If the past year has taught us anything it's that remote work is not only possible, it’s essential. Products that facilitate remote work such as Microsoft Teams are incredibly valuable to organizations that need to keep the wheels turning.
Microsoft has been developing the Teams platform over the years and they have created a robust platform that seamlessly ties in with the rest of their Office 365 products and services. The MS-700 certifications aims to certify critical Teams skills and knowledge for individuals that are responsible for maintaining the product on a daily basis.
What is the MS-700?
The MS-700 forms part of the larger Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert certification. As a Microsoft Teams administrator you will be responsible for configuring, deploying and managing Office 365 operations for Microsoft Teams within an enterprise environment.
You must learn how to plan, deploy and manage Teams chat, apps, channels, meetings, audio conferencing, live events and calling. You can think of this certification as a way to test candidates on any core functions that Teams is expected to perform on a daily basis. There is also an element of Powershell that is tested in this exam as it is a critical component in configuring and managing many of the Teams settings and features of the application.
Once certified you will be expected to understand how to integrate apps and services such as Sharepoint, OneDrive, Exchange, Azure AD, and Office 365 Groups. You will also learn how to integrate external apps and services into Teams as well, which makes this a valuable skill-set for anybody that is responsible for the administration and upkeep of the application.
Another aspect of this certification is that you are expected to be able to collaborate with your organization's telephony engineers for the integration of services such as voice and phone calls into Microsoft Teams, although you will not be responsible for direct routing or any configurations that relate to it.
The end result is that you will most likely end up working with any other team that integrates with Teams, or has an interest in the way that Teams is used in the organization. This includes security, compliance, messaging, networking, identity and device integration.
What Does the MS-700 Test?
The exam objectives of this certification cover quite a few different domains, all relating to key concepts as they relate to IT fundamentals:
Plan and configure a Microsoft Teams environment: 45-50%
Manage Chat, Calling, and Meetings: 30-35%
Manage Teams and App Policies: 20-25%
Plan and Configure a Microsoft Teams Environment
This section has the most weight within the exam. It has a few large sections that you need to cover in detail.
Upgrade from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. Items covered include choosing an appropriate upgrade path, and how to allow Skype for Business and Teams to coexist with one another during and after the process. You must plan the migration and learn how to troubleshoot issues as they arise.
Plan and Configure network settings for Microsoft Teams. You will need to plan the network deployment by using the Network Planner tool, and calculate the network's bandwidth capacity. This will all have an impact on the way that Teams deliver voice, data, video, meetings and Live Events.
Implement Governance and Lifecycle Management for Teams. You must validate your knowledge of how to create and manage team templates, setup policies for Microsoft 365 group creation, configure Microsoft 365 groups, expiration policies and naming policies. You must also know how to archive, unarchive, restore and delete a team.
Configure and Manage Guest Access. You must know how to configure guest users, guest permissions, meetings and live events for guests, messaging and calling options for guests, and how to remove guests. You must be able to manage Azure AD access for guests and configure guest access from the Azure AD portal.
Manage Security and Compliance. You must be able to assign Teams Admin roles, create and manage compliance features such as retention policies and sensitivity labels, create security and compliance alerts, create information barrier policies and how to interpret security reports from Teams.
Deploy and Manage Microsoft Teams Endpoints. In this section you need to know how to deploy Teams elements such as clients to devices such as Windows, VDIs, and also manage configuration profiles. You will also need to know about device tags, device settings and firmware, as well as Microsoft Teams Rooms.
Monitor and Analyze Service Usage. This section requires that you are able to interpret Teams specific usage reports, 365 reports, call quality metrics via Call Analytics, Organization-wide call quality via the Call Quality Dashboard, and how to use Power BI to identify call quality issues.
Manage Chat, Calling, and Meetings
This section of the exam outlines all of the common issues that you will encounter with the communications side of Teams.
Manage Chat and Collaboration Experiences. You must understand how to configure and manage messaging policies, external access, channels for a team, and private channel creation policies. This section also handles email integration and external access for Sharepoint and OneDrive for business, as well as cloud file storage options that are available for collaboration.
Manage meeting experiences. Here you need to know how to configure meeting settings, policies and settings for Live Events. You must also know how to create and manage policies and configure conference bridge settings.
Manage Phone Numbers. Teams has a strong telephony component so you will need to know how to recommend a PSTN solution based on business requirements, and how to order phone numbers. You will also need to know how to add, change and remove emergency addresses for the organization. Other items include conference calling and dynamic emergency dialing.
Manage Phone System. Here you will need to manage the resource accounts and call queue configuration. Auto attendants, call parking, call policies, Caller ID and direct routing are also dealt with here.
Manage Teams and App Policies
This is the smallest of the exam objectives, but it is an important part of the exam.
Manage a Team. You must understand key components of Teams such as team creation, existing resource upgrades for teams, privacy levels for teams, and how to manage organization wide teams.
Manage Membership to a Team. Manage users in a team, configure dynamic membership and also manage access review fro all the team members in that segment .
Implement Policies for Microsoft Teams Apps. You must be able to create and manage app permission policies as well as app setup policies.
How Much Does the MS-700 Exam Cost?
The MS-700 exam costs $165 USD. The exam is a multiple-choice format and there are between 40 – 60 questions, which you will be given 180 minutes to complete. The passing score is 700.
What Experience Do You Need for the MS-700?
There are no prerequisites for the associate-level exam, although holding a Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals certification (MS-900) may be advantageous.
You should have a good knowledge of Microsoft Office 365 administration though, as this will make it far easier for you to understand how the Teams application fits into the broader context of the Microsoft 365 environment.
Who Should Take the MS-700?
If you work in an organization that uses Microsoft Teams, then this is a great cert to have. Not only will you understand how to install and configure the service for your organization, but you will also be better equipped to troubleshoot and diagnose common issues that crop up from time to time. This will allow your company to deal with Teams issues directly, and not need to contact an MSP when problems arise.
MS-700 for Desktop Engineers
In this scenario you might be a gamer or online creator that works with PCs outside of your day job If you are already in a role where you are providing desktop support for users in your organization then this is a great cert to hold.
Not only does it equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to configure Teams on the back end, but it also touches on user level issues as well. Passing the exam gives you the Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate title, which contributes towards earning yuyor
MS-700 for System Administrators
If you are already working in an admin role where you are responsible for much of the Microsoft environment, then earning this certification can really help. The reliance on remote communications applications such as Teams has become an essential component for big business.
If you are able to validate your skills and learn the best practices of Microsoft Teams then you will not only have helped to streamline your organization's adoption of the application, but also shown that you are the right person to look after this critical resource.
Is the MS-700 Worth It?
If your organization is running Teams and you are either already looking after it, or if you are pursuing a role that does, then this is definitely worth it. Passing the MS-700 exam not only gives you an overall view of the product, but it also drills down into the minutia that you need to know in order to properly support the application in a live business environment.
Using the MS-700 to learn skills
The MS-700 will help you to learn all about Microsoft Teams and how it is configured if you are a new-comer to the platform. It details important information about telephony, security, and pretty much any other component that needs to interact with it. If you are looking to step up and show that you have what it takes to maintain and configure this system, then this is the one to get.
Using the MS-700 to validate skills
If you are already maintaining a Teams installation in your current role by virtue of the fact that you are also maintaining other critical Microsoft based infrastructure, then this certification will help to validate the skills that you already have. There are many areas of complexity where Teams needs to be properly understood, and by holding this certification you show your employers that you not only have the skills and knowledge to make it work, but also that your implementation is close to Microsoft's own best practice and advice.
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