Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, organisations of all sizes have become increasingly reliant on communications platforms like Microsoft Teams to stay connected with their operations and their people.
With many workplaces having to close their doors and allow their staff to work remotely for at least some part of the past 18 months, Microsoft Teams, alongside video conferencing tools such as Zoom or GoTo Meeting, has really come to the fore.
Teams hit 44m daily users worldwide at the start of the pandemic and has become an essential part of business ever since.
It enabled millions of workers around the world to work seamlessly from home and access the same files, documents and apps as they would be able to if they were sitting in the office. It also meant teams could continue collaborating on projects in real time and stay connected through video and voice calling and instant messaging.
With the economy starting to reopen as we enter the next phase of the pandemic, Microsoft Teams is here to stay. Here, we take a closer look at what we’ve learned about the collaboration platform and how your organisation can get the most out of it as normality starts to return.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration tool that allows your people to communicate and share information instantly within a single workspace. Each team can have multiple channels, and within each one, tabs can be set up for different purposes, allowing for numerous topics of conversation within each team.
Microsoft Teams brings together several powerful communication channels, including instant messaging, one-to-one or group calls and meetings via voice or video, using a chat-based format. It also provides a central location for team members to collaborate on documents and projects.
Each team you set up comes with several components, including a Microsoft 365 Group, SharePoint site, shared mailbox and calendar, and OneNote notebook, so everyone in the team can collaborate.
It can also be integrated with other Microsoft apps, such as Planner, Forms and Power BI, as well as accessing select third-party applications.
When you set up a team, all the meetings, calls, documents, and collaboration are hosted by the Microsoft Teams app. This helps with document management and auditing because all the information relevant to a project or team is saved within the workspace.
Meetings can be recorded, and you can now even turn on live subtitles.
And because Microsoft Teams is cloud-based, all the data is stored in the cloud, and your users can access and collaborate remotely via a secure online connection.
The great thing about Teams is the flexibility it offers. You can use it just for instant messaging, team communications, video calls with colleagues or partners, or even for phoning someone’s mobile.
Or, you can use it for all these things, so it can fit in with the way you want to do business.
Tips to get the most out of Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams has become a powerful corporate communication application used by more than 300,000 organisations worldwide. It helps businesses, charities and public sector bodies bring their people together in the most efficient and collaborative way possible.
Before the pandemic, many corporate users of Microsoft Teams didn’t utilise the platform to its full potential. However, 18 months of continued use and learning have seen those who have adopted it start to get to grips with some of its most powerful features.
Today, Microsoft Teams has become an essential tool in many workplaces. If your organisation uses it, here are some top tips to help you get the most from it…
->Title your chats
Most Microsoft Teams channels contain multiple conversations. To help you and your team keep track of what each chat refers to and make it easier to search them, you can give each chat its own title. This could be project-related, such as ‘Social Media Strategy’; team-related, such as ‘Sales Team Chat’; user-related, such as ‘Andrew and Ruth’; or relate to a specific area of your organisation, such as ‘Marketing and Communications’. To edit the name of each chat, simply click on the pencil icon next to the member names.
->Connect with SharePoint
SharePoint is Microsoft’s secure file storage and document sharing platform. It can be integrated into Teams to enhance collaboration even further. In every Teams channel, files can be shared with team members via SharePoint, while users can also access SharePoint files already shared to the channel. Team members can collaborate in real-time on files shared to a channel using the relevant Microsoft Office application, such as Word, PowerPoint or Excel.
->Access messages and files on the go with mobile apps
Microsoft Teams is available via a web app and a desktop client. But there are also simplified but highly functional versions for Android and iOS devices, which focus on team chats and channels.
It means your users can stay connected wherever they are, from any device with the app and an internet connection.
->Integrate with Microsoft Planner and other apps
One significant advantage of Microsoft Teams compared to other communications platforms, such as Slack, is that it can be easily integrated with the full range of native Microsoft apps, like Planner and OneNote. It also offers integrations with thousands of third-party apps from vendors, including Zoom, Adobe and Trello. Planner, in particular, is a handy app to use because it helps users and managers to allocate and monitor tasks to help keep projects on track.
->Share with others
With Microsoft Teams, you’re not limited to just your own team or internal users. For projects with external stakeholders, you can create specific channels and guest access to anyone outside your organisation with an Outlook account, so you can chat, share documents and collaborate in the same way as you can with a member of your team. Teams is clearly positioned on supporting teamwork both within an organisation and beyond. It facilitates this with how well in integrates into the broader Microsoft 365 product set and third-party products, something which other platforms, like Zoom, don’t do.
AMDH can help you get the most out of Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams has grown from a simple chat and video calling platform into an essential part of the operations of many organisations. The coronavirus pandemic has helped accelerate its adoption, and now many businesses are getting to grips with all the features it offers.
If your organisation is using Teams but you’ve yet to unlock its full potential, or if you need a refresher on the things it can do, AMDH can help.
We offer a wide range of implementation and support options to help your organisation use Teams and its features to its full capability. We can also optimise your apps and security settings and establish best practices to ensure your organisation makes the most of its investment. To find out how we can help, get in touch today.
If you enjoyed this blog and want to learn more about how we can help your organisation achieve improvement through technology and make the most of Microsoft Teams, give us a call on 01332 322588. And if you would like to stay up to date with the latest news, views and insight on everything going on in the ICT and technology sector, subscribe to our FREE email newsletter