Microsoft Teams is growing fast. In the latest announcement in September 2018, the app boasted adoption by 329,000 organisations – it only launched in March 2017.
A Quick Recap: What is Microsoft Teams?
Teams is a chat-based collaboration platform designed to integrate seamlessly with the Office 365 productivity suite. It combines the features of meetings, notes, chats and attachments, as well as integrates non-Microsoft extensions. The aim of Microsoft Teams is to make teamwork simple.
In this blog we’re going to cover the top five reasons why you should be using Microsoft Teams.
1. Teams and Channels
Teams and Channels structure your conversations and files to deliver the right information to those who need it, with the aim of cutting down the clutter.
Within the platform an administrator would set up individual ‘Teams’. Typically, these would be the different departments within your business: Sales, Marketing, Service Delivery, Project Management, Development, etc. The administrator need only invite those employees to whom the content is relevant into the ‘Team’. The software is designed with focused productivity at the forefront, for example, the Project Management Team don’t need to know that the latest Marketing brochure has been signed off.
To most efficiently manage each Team, you then can create sub-categories called Channels. The Sales Channel could therefore include Forecasting, Outbound Updates, Promotions, etc. Conversations would then take place within each of these Channels about the specific subject.
It therefore becomes easy for each employee to see what’s relevant to them and to collaborate on discussions/decisions that are occurring around each topic.
2. Group Chat and Mentions
When different emails are pinging back and forth it can be hard to keep track of actionable items – it’s easy to become numb to the constant cc’d messages and for tasks to get missed.
In Teams you can @Mention a user within a conversation, in the same way you would on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. The user will get a notification that they’ve been mentioned in a specific Channel and can head there to respond.
3. File Collaboration
You can edit your Microsoft Office files directly within Teams. Users can upload files to the platform which are stored in One Drive, collaborators then have the option to ‘Edit in Teams’, there and then within the app. By being stored in the cloud, the latest version is always worked on, eliminating duplicate copies.
Teams also brings the little-known feature of real-time editing within Office applications. A team who are all working on the one document can edit and give feedback simultaneously and live, saving immense amounts of time cross-comparing email notes and versions.
4. Customisation and Integration
Microsoft know that users run their businesses on a myriad of different applications. Teams can integrate with much more than the standard Office suite. As every organisation requires a different set up you have the option to integrate only the apps you need. The apps list is extensive and includes the Adobe Creative Suite, Hootsuite, Adobe Sign, ZenDesk and many more.
Custom notifications can also be set up, such as to notify certain users when social posts are published.
5. Effective Meetings
It’s likely you use a few different online meeting platforms in your business, whether Zoom, Webex, GoToMeeting or otherwise. Teams has the option to schedule meetings within its interface. With Skype for Business gradually being retired, Teams is taking over as Microsoft’s offering.
Hosting an internal meeting in Teams only requires that you be a part of the Team, no need to sign up, call in, or have a PIN number. There are different meeting options available, including audio, video or screen sharing. The interface shows who is invited, who has accepted or declined and any meeting notes. What’s even better is any meetings scheduled in Teams also sync with the invitees’ Outlook calendar. Live notes can be taken throughout the session by incorporating any chosen apps into the meeting.
A further handy feature is ‘Open Meetings’. If a meeting is listed as ‘Open’ any member of the Team is able to join in the conversation if they deem the content relevant to their role.
Integrate Microsoft Teams into your Environment
Microsoft Teams is a fantastic tool that brings Microsoft’s productivity suite together into one succinct interface. Help your employees to work better together, staying connected via the mobile app when on the go, or when working remotely. The simple, user-friendly experience comes with all the security of Office 365 and is a highly recommended tool by us.
M-Tech have been avid users since the launch of Microsoft Teams and will happily advise you on integrating Teams into your environment.