Microsoft's Productivity Score feature is intended to help companies understand how users are adapting to Microsoft 365 technologies. It is an assessment of overall organizational productivity.
Privacy advocates had expressed some concern about the user data revealed in the Microsoft Productivity Score. By default, this allowed managers to see individual user names. In response, Microsoft has recently removed this functionality. In the “people experiences” area, the metrics are now available at the organization level only. Users can also now choose to “opt out” of the people experiences section.

The entire concept is a high-level overview. But there’s still some valuable data to be gleaned from the productivity score. Currently, the score includes data from Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Yammer, and Skype. An enterprise subscription is required for the “people experience data”.

Since Perfrax’s TrueDEM® is the real user Digital Experience Monitoring solution, we wanted to see how this information aligns with our data and insights. Our TrueDEM agent is where the user is, on their devices, so we provide insights that the Productivity score cannot offer. (There are actually sub-scores in several areas, each with their own methodologies). For example, in the “communication” area, the tool offers nothing at the individual user level.

Big picture, few details

The Productivity Score allows you to see the different meeting types used, get overall details on how users collaborate, and even compare your Teams meetings to “best practices”. Perhaps the most interesting area (to us, anyway), is the “Endpoint Analytics” topic, since that’s where Perfrax excels.
This score is a weighted average of a “Recommended Software Score” and a “Startup Performance Score”. Currently, the recommended software score is examining the managed devices to see if Windows 10 is installed. The measurement also checks to see if the device is registered for Autopilot. Enrollment in Azure AD and cloud management are also factors. For example, if you're not using Autopilot with Intune, your score will get “dinged” for that. The scoring is only available for managed devices.

The “Startup Performance Score” examines boot times and assigns a “sign-in” score, which is how long it takes after sign-in before the user has a responsive desktop. You can also get a “Network Connectivity” score that looks at your users’ connections to Exchange Online.  Again, an overview, but no individual device detail.

So, what do these scores tell you? They let you compare your world to industry benchmarks. You could see changes over the 180-day comparison period. But what do you do about it? There’s no individual detail. Which users, precisely, have “below benchmark” boot times? Most importantly, what’s the cause and is there anything can you do about it?

They say “the devil is in the details”. That’s what TrueDEM delivers. Our agent monitors the individual user and their device. We see hardware and software. We see their local network performance, including Wi-Fi. We follow their data paths all the way to the Microsoft endpoint where their data lies. If they have a dropped Teams call, for example, we might see that their Wi-Fi signal is suddenly unacceptable. We know their individual history, so we can look for changes. Maybe they just moved to another room. Or maybe there was a driver update. We know that too.

An overview such as the Microsoft Productivity Score is a good starting point. But it's just the tip of the monitoring iceberg. It's not enough to just be aware of productivity trends. Especially in today’s environment. You need to know what your users are experiencing. You need user-level facts and insights. That’s what TrueDEM delivers.