One of the most important aspects of running a business is effective teamwork and collaboration. Many companies use programs that have features including live conferencing. However, these programs may fall short of fulfilling your team’s collaboration needs. Group communication does not always mean a voice call or live conference. Often you need to use email and share documents in order to monitor and oversee the updates for a particular project.
Over the years, various applications have been developed to fill the void but are lacking in features. Some of the other concerns businesses have to address when using these apps are around security, and that is where Microsoft Teams has the advantage.
What Is Microsoft Teams?
In November 2016, Microsoft developed Microsoft Teams and added it to its powerhouse Microsoft Office 365 suite of services. Microsoft Teams is a unified communication-based and collaboration tool (a combination of workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration) that offers remote and dispersed teams the ability to work together and share vital business information via a common platform. Its services are fully integrated with Office 365 services (e.g. Skype, SharePoint, Exchange, and Yammer). It also comes with features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products and services.
Core capabilities included in Teams:
Chat – Allows your team to enjoy public and private conversations. Merging Skype video into the application enables you to add fun emojis and custom memes to your chat.
Hub – Teams offers users a shared workspace for different Microsoft Office apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Planner, SharePoint, Power BI, and Delve. Using the hub features gives the team the choice to perform their tasks conveniently without switching between applications while trying to complete projects.
Microsoft Teams’ Competitive Edge
Microsoft developed Teams to meet the standards and needs of today’s diverse workforce. Over the years, the methods used for communication and collaboration in organizational teams has gone through drastic changes. Teams was created to provide users with an open, digital environment to make task integration easier, more visible, and accessible across the board.
Improved Meeting Experience – The need to conduct virtual meetings is an important and cost-effective feature every modern business should have. Microsoft Teams allows you to view your meeting schedules, timing, subjects, and the list of meeting attendees.
Bots Gallery – Teams features approximately 24 bots that feature different functionalities to boost productivity. Among the most popular bots used by Teams include:
- T-Bot: Answers most basic and frequently asked questions about Microsoft Teams
- Polly Bot: Used for polling co-workers
- Statsbot: Delivers scheduled reports via Google Analytics and Salesforce
- Growbot: Allows the exchange of greetings between co-workers
Top Five Major Features of Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams comes with a unique set of features designed to be useful for group projects.
Here are the top five features that give Microsoft Teams an edge over traditional communication methods, such as email and SharePoint team sites:
1. Conversational Channels – Team members can set up and dedicate chat channels to enable easy communication within the group and resolve problems quickly without the use of emails and group SMS. It also allows the group to respond to posts with text, images, GIFs, and custom-made memes. Additionally, users can also use direct messages to send a private message to a certain user instead of a group of people.
2. Reduced Email – Using Teams reduces the number of emails in your inbox every day that you must read and answer. The application allows you to promptly answer questions and resolve problems over Teams chat. Teams also comes with a feature that enables you to send email to the team channel.
3. Direct Access to Email, Skype, OneDrive, and SharePoint – Teams enables users direct access to Office 365 applications within one location to allow efficient workflow. You and your team can access files and documents in OneDrive and Sharepoint or conduct live video conferences and make calls directly from Teams. It simplifies communications and tasks because everything you need is all in one place. Also, Teams allows you to have immediate real-time access to team members who are online and conduct a quick and easy collaboration with the team.
4. Secured Internal and External Collaboration – Cybersecurity is what sets Microsoft Teams apart from its competitors. Users feel confident with the innovative security and compliance capabilities featured in Office 365 subscriptions, including Teams. There is the option to customize the privacy of each member within your business. It also features security control options that include data-loss prevention, information barriers, retention policies, legal hold, eDiscovery, etc.
5. Access Across All Devices – In addition to its comprehensive web interface, Teams allows you to collaborate anytime or reply to questions using mobile apps (Android, Windows, and iOS). It has an easy-to-use application that allows the whole team to communicate through text, voice conversation, or video meetings.
Be sure to give Teams a try and experience for yourself, the benefits of Microsoft Teams in boosting your productivity.
BSC Solutions Group takes pride in being a trusted and reputable caretaker of business computer systems for 30 years. Our company has been a Microsoft Partner since 1999, offering Microsoft Office 365 migration services and support, including the setup of Teams sites and training. Call us today at (905) 458-9333 to speak with one of our IT solutions specialists in Mississauga, Brampton and the Greater Toronto area.