Microsoft Teams – one of the latest additions to the Microsoft Suite of tools – is the future of business communication, collaboration, and productivity. The platform has undergone a period of rapid growth; with the help of Covid-19 it has become a staple for thousands of teams around the globe. The app has allowed businesses to continue trading from anywhere, and enables teams to be spread out around the world and never need to cease work because of their location.
Microsoft Teams is bursting at the seams with features that are capable of revolutionising your day; some of these include Instant Messaging, the ‘Channel’ feature, files, calendar, and online meetings. Let’s take our time to break these down and discover what they can do, in the process highlighting what makes Teams one of the most famous business apps on the planet.
Teams features – A breakdown
The instant messaging feature is a place to chat with colleagues both about work and otherwise. The ‘Chat’ feature allows you to have a conversation with someone one-on-one or with more people in a ‘group chat’. Yes, it sounds like every other chat-based app on the market, so what makes it better than all of the rest? The unique thing that helps Teams stand heads and shoulders above the others is that once in the chat you are not limited to sending just messages with text – you can add emojis, stickers, and Gifs. You can even attach files and links – giving you the ability to cut down on the number of emails being sent around the office every day. With a large office this could be a gamechanger – the efficiency of communication in your organisation will be changed forever.
The Channel feature
Channels are sections of Teams designed to keep conversations organised according to their specific topics, disciplines, or departments. It is your environment; Channels allows you to take control of that environment by letting you easily structure it in the way that works best for you, your team, and your organisation. It is up to you – you can leave all Channels open to all team members, or you can make them private for specific audiences.
A particularly good part of the Channel feature is that files shared in a Channel are automatically stored in a SharePoint folder. Each team in Microsoft Teams has a site in SharePoint Online and files shared are added to the document library. The permissions and file security settings you set in SharePoint automatically carry over to Teams and will apply there as well.
We have partially covered Files already in the previous section, but let’s have another look. When you upload a file to Teams, it will go straight to the Files tab of whatever Channel you uploaded it to. Files that are shared in a private or group chat are stored in your OneDrive for Business folder and are only shared with the people in that conversation.
The Calendar feature within Teams works in conjunction with your Outlook calendar data. With this, you and your team have no reason to leave Teams, because you can save the time that would have been wasted in constantly having to switch back and forth between different calendars in order to ensure you keep up with your important events or to schedule meetings for the future. The Calendar feature in Teams can completely transform your cyber landscape. Streamlining work functions results in less time being wasted, and increased productivity.
Meetings in Teams is one of the main ways to collaborate in Teams. The Meetings tool allows you to use audio, video, and screen sharing, meaning you can interact on more than one level with the participants of the meeting, resulting in a much better experience for all involved. One of the best parts of Teams’ Meetings is that you don’t actually need a Teams account to join a call – you can send an invitation out and the recipient need only click, follow some simple instructions, and then the call is underway.
All the features of Teams link together. They are designed to communicate and work in conjunction with each other to make your workday easier to manoeuvre, more productive, and generally more prosperous. Teams allows you to get familiar with one platform and then get underway, as opposed to wasting time in having to learn multiple systems.
Understandably, many use the alternatives that are available on the market, either through familiarity, ease, or not knowing that there are better options out there. Whatever the reason, the alternatives simply don’t complement each other and are unable to work from the same platform. You may not realise it now but when using them you will have to work in a clumsy, disorganised way, making for an unproductive experience.
If you still aren’t convinced let’s explore why using one system is advantageous over the alternative.
Microsoft Teams – All your apps in one place
One of the most obvious and eye-catching benefits of consolidating apps is the drastically reduced cost that comes with it. Subscriptions are usually cheaper than hosting applications onsite and most business applications base their monthly fees on how many users they have or the amount of storage that they use – these costs have a tendency to mount up without anyone realising until they become extortionate. Do not pay for multiple apps; it is a waste of money! If your apps cross in functionality – what is the point in having different versions of the same tool?
Managing multiple subscriptions can be a nightmare. When different parts of your organisation use different apps it can become very confusing. Consolidating your bills into one place will give you a clear and concise view of what your company is using, in turn allowing you to ensure it is being used to its full potential, and guarantee value.
Having too many apps leads to reduced productivity. Frequently moving between apps wastes time, and this time wasted creates a ripple effect across your organisation – your team get annoyed, making them produce less work, and this in turn prevents your company from offering the quality of service you want to provide for your customers. It may seem we are overreacting, and I can understand why it may seem that way – “So, what’s a couple of minutes a day? What difference does that make?”, I hear you say, and it doesn’t sound too bad when you say it like that, but if you add those times up over the course of the year for the whole workforce the amount of time wasted is astronomical.
Data has the power to be the greatest asset to your business. Consolidating apps into a single solution makes data much easier to analyse as it comes from across your entire organisation into the one place. Having a clear view of your data and what it shows you allows your team to anticipate what your business needs and to provide better service to your client base accordingly.
Cyber criminality has become all too common in the modern workplace. Similar to a bank keeping all of the most valuable items in one safe, you must treat your apps the same, because the more spread out your apps are then the greater the risk there is of your organisation being a victim of an attack. Again, like a bank concentrates the best and most extensive security measures in this one central location – you must do the same.
Or if you want to boost the levels of security your organisation achieves contact our team to learn more about Cyber Essentials, an accreditation that will show your clients just how serious you are about protecting their data and assets from all manner of cyber threats.
Let’s take a look at how to know if you have too many apps in your organisation.
How to know
It is easy to get carried away and for your IT landscape to get cluttered. To ensure this doesn’t happen you need to consolidate your apps. To start the transition, ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Are different departments of my organisation using different apps that have similar functionality?
- Is important information scattered across many different tools which necessitates employees having to search to find what they need?
- Is it hard to connect different parts of your organisation because they are functioning separately to one another?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above questions consider dissecting your organisation; pick it apart and begin the process of consolidating your resources into one application – and the obvious choice to make this a success is Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams’ popularity has grown to levels no one could have foreseen. It has amassed a daily average user count of an amazing 250 million people and is truly a revolutionary tool – contact our team to learn more and see what it can do for you.
Teams has the power to revolutionise your business
We’re in the business of helping businesses. We provide IT solutions and support to facilitate and encourage growth. Our team of experts offer effective comprehensive cyber solutions that protect your data. We centre our efforts around reducing the risks your business faces and offering improved levels of communication, collaboration, and productivity. If you and your team want to get the most possible from IT in the most secure way, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.