Microsoft Teams: collaboration tool of the future

a hand writing company structure on the glass (using little avatars of employees, not writing)

With more than half a million organisations and 13 million people using it every day, Microsoft Teams is already the biggest collaboration tool on the planet.

These organisations have realised that Teams is one of the best ways to save time and money. Because it allows you to share ideas and collaborate with your team at the touch of a button:

What is Microsoft Teams?

Teams is the communication platform which is a key part of – and which comes completely free with – Microsoft 365.

It includes everything your team needs to communicate – whether they’re in the office, in multiple offices or working from home. The features of Microsoft Teams’ include:

1) Channels and chat

Working in a similar way to apps like Slack and Discord, Teams is neatly organised into conversation boards called channels.

All you need to do is use the @ function to start a new conversation on a new subject with specific people.

You also have the basic chat function which has become a sensible include for most collaboration tools.

2) Online meetings and video calls

Why bother having a whole separate Zoom account where you constantly hop back and forth between multiple communication channels? Teams has everything you need.

It can accommodate up to 10 000 users from inside and outside your organisation or quick one-on-ones between individuals.

You can take notes, add things to your schedule, message other callers and upload files during your meeting.

3) Audio conferencing and telephony

With a little bit of extra licensing, Microsoft Teams can provide audio conferencing too. For this, all you need to do is pick up your phone and dial a set number to create a conference call. You don’t even need internet access in most places.

Plus, Teams can replace the old VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system you used to pay for. Again, more licensing is needed. But when you get it, it’s a pretty sweet all-in-one solution for this kind of business communication.

4) Shared folders in SharePoint

If you’ve ever struggled to find a file which was shared by somebody in some email thread or chat conversation at some point you can’t quite remember, you’ll know just how useful this feature is.

All files which are shared by your team in any conversation are saved to a default document library folder automatically. You can set permissions and security to stop just anyone having access to this folder. But searching through endless messages to find that file is now a thing of the past.

What’s new in Teams?

For 2020, Microsoft has listened to the feedback of Teams’ 13 million users to make it more intuitive and responsive than ever before. It now includes:

  • More integrations
  • More industry-specific features
  • Chat translation (so you can talk to colleagues in several languages)
  • Multiple chats at the same time
  • The ability to share information across different chat groups
  • The capability to manage private channels so that only specific people have access to your updates

Collaboration tools, pandemics and the future

On top of the everyday productivity boosts, collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams have really come into their own in a world where global pandemics are a thing which can hit your business.

When you know there’s now a possibility that your team could have to work from home at the drop of a hat with “lockdown” written on it, the best thing you can have in place is a collaboration tool – like Teams – which means you can keep communicating with your team essentially as normal.

It’s something which, to date, over 500 000 different organisations have discovered to their benefit.

Wondering if Microsoft Teams might be for you?

Dial A Geek are the Microsoft 365 experts already used by nearly a thousand businesses in Bristol and the local area.

Let us arrange a free Teams demo for you. Get in touch today and let’s chat about how Teams works – and if it might be something your business will benefit from.