July 30

Leveraging the Power of Microsoft Teams

0  comments

Last Updated

In today’s digitally-driven work environment, the impact of technology on productivity is clear — and companies that fail to leverage from the best possible tools to get better collaboration are likely to fall behind their competition. Three out of four employees today believe that their employers don’t give them access to upgraded technology that can make them more efficient. Having said that, it’s time to consider how productivity tools like Teams can make a change in your business.


With Skype ready to sail off into the sunset, right now is the best time to switch to Microsoft Teams. Being one of the newest members of the Microsoft 365 collaboration family, Teams seems to have started revolutionizing workplaces around the globe in all sectors.

Regardless of the size of your business, you can collectively achieve more with Microsoft Teams. You no longer have to imagine a world where collaboration and communication in virtual space feels real because now we have Teams. As a modern, chat-based collaboration tool that furnishes a digital hub for teamwork, Teams has become a favorite all around the world.


What is Microsoft Teams?


Teams is Microsoft’s take on group chat in response to the booming market led by Slack. Microsoft Teams is an immensely powerful application that enhances teamwork through enriched collaboration and communication. Unlike the other Office productivity applications that have a legacy to preserve and millions of users to consider, Teams is built from scratch with the modern workplace in mind. This also means that Microsoft Teams introduces a new work behavior, that a surprising number of people might find difficult.

Teams is fully integrated with the Office 365 services as well as cloud storage and sharing services.  To put in simpler terms, Teams has built-in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Exchange, Yammer, Power BI and Delve. Therefore, all the files and information you need is at your fingertips.

You can get started with Teams today by watching this demo by Microsoft. 


Features of Microsoft Teams


Teams can be deployed across your organization in the attempt to bring your employees together while establishing a more productive way of working. Here are a few features that Teams has to offer.


Company-wide Chat

Teams chat functionality offers threaded conversations, so all communication is recorded in one place. You can chat privately with an individual or have conversations as a team discussion.


Full Integration of Office 365

The biggest advantage is that Teams integrates easily with Office 365 so no flickering through tabs and interfaces. Teams brings all your commonly used tools together for the best and most seamless collaboration possible.

You can all view the same Word document, Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation, OneNote document, Planner, SharePoint at once.


Customized Workspace

Microsoft understands that every team is different Teams is entirely customizable, allowing different teams to integrate with preferred third parties.


Communicate in Real Time

No more going back and forth when you can chat in real time. You can save hours replying to emails adversely effecting productivity.


Everyone is Up to Date

With Teams all team members are on the same page. Everyone knows the status of a discussion/project/task keeping the productivity flowing.


Increased Productivity and Collaboration

Microsoft Teams is a modern communication and collaboration tool that makes teamwork flexible, integrated and thoroughly transparent.

Teams is built to easily manage conversations, files and tools. Microsoft Teams is extremely user-friendly platform that enhances collaboration. It clearly provides an alternative to email communication.


Local and International Security Compliance

Microsoft Teams uses the same data protection and advanced security compliance standards as Microsoft 365.

Teams provides the advanced security and compliance that our Office 365 customers expect. You can easily customize your workspace.


Secure Channels

Secure Channels lets organizations control access to content in a specific Teams channel. The core aim of Microsoft Teams is to connect staff and enhance collaboration.


Why Use Microsoft Teams?


A large number of organizations have adopted Teams for workplace collaboration and communication. The app has proven to be an effective, all in one solution for group-file sharing, collaboration, and seamless chats between users, especially in a digital workplace. End-users have found the tool to be a vital Office 365 suite feature. Here are some of the benefits of Microsoft Teams.


1. Real-time Messaging

With Teams, you can keep everyone in the loop as it allows real-time messaging. You can supervise team and private discussions in threaded conversations and chat functionality. Moreover, this is the core feature in Teams that is designed to improve collaboration and boost productivity.

You can @mention people when you want specific team members to see certain messages in a channel. Teams has everything archived, so even the newer members to group conversations can easily get up to speed. Unlike traditional chat platforms, Teams ensures that every team member is updated in real-time.


2. Cost-Friendly

Teams is an up-to-date and collaborative software that comes a lot cheaper than other similar collaborative platforms. It doesn’t have an upfront cost as it is part of the Office 365’s monthly subscription. Also, it benefits from the suite’s frequent, automated upgrades and security patches. This means that Teams will never be outdated.

IT admins can plan their expenses a lot more easily investing in a subscription, rather than purchasing a standalone software. Companies with Office 365 subscriptions like Business Essentials / Business Premium, or Enterprise E1, E3 or E5 get access to Teams as part of their Office 365 services package.


3. Security & Compliance

As expected out of any Microsoft product, Teams has enterprise grade security features. These include Single Sign On (SSO) on Active Directory (AD) and multi-factor authentication (MFA). Data in transit and at rest is also protected through automatic encryption and secure-guest-access.

Teams also allows you to limit access to specific devices in your organization through its Conditional Access (CA) and regulates MFA domain joined devices. You can set alerts and report on log data and audit events through the platform’s Audit Log, which integrates with Office 365 Security Compliance Center.

As it goes, Teams is built on the same cloud platform as the Office 365 suite itself. This means that both, businesses and individual users benefit from the security standards and advanced compliance of services such as:

• FERPA

• ISO 27018

• SO 27001

• HIPAA

• EU Model Clauses (EUMC)

With Microsoft Intune, your IT administrators have substantial control over all the projects and tasks executed on mobile devices. Intune, included in the Microsoft 365 subscription, has mobile device management (MDM) capabilities that allow you to:

  • Manage or control the mobile devices and workforce access to your organization’s data
  • Protect the corporate data stored and shared via mobile devices
  • Control how authorized personnel share company data
  • Protect company data by ensuring that all mobile devices that have access to your organization’s data are compliant to your predetermined security requirements

Teams is a feature-rich solution on multiple devices. The major mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android support the official Teams app. Your organization can, therefore, continue collaborating on-the-go without experiencing any speed breakers or data security concerns.


4. Makes Scheduling Easier

Since Teams is well integrated with the Outlook calendar and can also be integrated with Google Calendar, setting appointments is a lot easier, quicker, and more accurate. Moreover, you no longer need to send individual invites to everyone as you can accomplish scheduling in one channel. However, since meetings are automatically private, you would need to send individual invites to attendees if you don’t choose a channel.


5. Teams Lets Users Generate Customized Memes

With Teams, you don’t have to rely on third-party meme generators. This is a feature that I’m sure a lot of you have been waiting for. The meme picker has some of the latest pop-culture memes and Office Drama memes. This gives you a break from the otherwise serious work routine.


Leveraging the Power of Teams


You can start your Teams journey by leveraging any of these services that best fit your organization’s needs.


Instant Search Results

Looking for the right tools, information, conversation threads, and content is a tedious and time-consuming task. You can stop your employees from wasting valuable time searching for data, and make collaboration effective by giving your staff members instant access to work efficiently through Teams. Teams uses integrated search capabilities and access to Planner, OneNote, and SharePoint, enabling empoyees to find anything they need in a matter of seconds. All this is possible because any documents or files shared in Teams are saved to the cloud.


Get Qualified Feedback

The only way to evaluate your team’s performance is by analyzing feedback. Feedback-based analysis is always viable as compared to relying on trial and error approaches. Unfortunately, some team members may need to hold back while they wait for feedback and sign-off to proceed with their tasks. All this back and forth burns up valuable working time. With Teams, they can set up online meetings with decision-makers or use private chats to quickly collaborate, share important project documents and secure approval in real-time.


Bring Relevant Information into Teams

It is a lot easier and a lot quicker for team members to leverage from specialized content and apps as they allow users to tailor their workspaces according to their own preferences. For instance, they can add the Power BI dashboard and Excel sheet tabs to Teams to take quick actions with bots. With Teams’ data encryption, multi-factor authentication and its built-in security features, it is fairly easy to achieve these integrations. The frictionless sharing capability of Teams makes great ideas exceptional.

In easier words, Teams lets you reap the benefits of highly efficient teams. When you aquire the potential for innovation, your organization can:

  • Open more doors to the Innovation
  • Build reputation in the Market
  • Deliver better products
  • Improve customer experiences

Here’s a quick infographic that shows the Economic impact of Microsoft Teams


Microsoft Teams Adoption Strategy


Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace. Staying up to date and enabling a modern workplace environment has become a standard in how companies operate. As Microsoft Teams’ intelligent communication vision continues to unfold, having an operational plan in place helps ensure that your company is being set up for long-term success. An optimal operational plan includes monitoring your work environment for health and quality, continuing user momentum to improve adoption, and planning for new functionality that will continue to come over time.

There are three vital things that need to be looked at during the phase of adoption. These three things are:


1. Monitor for Network Health & Quality

The status of your network affects your user experience. When a user has a poor experience, they usually relate this with the technology, leaving with a bad impression of the software in discussion. This opens doors for the competitor apps and software. Implementing a plan to monitor network health will help ensure a positive user experience in addition to reducing calls to your support desk.

2. Drive user Momentum & Adoption

To ensure maximum benefit and business outcomes with Teams, users need to utilize it. Initial excitement tends to fade and then users revert to old ways of working. You can encourage adoption and maintain excitement for Teams with an ongoing adoption plan, which includes:


3. Prepare for New Functionality

The Teams and Microsoft 365 roadmaps will continue to bring new functionality lighting up regularly. Establishing a change cycle within your organization will ensure you’re ready to manage collaboration and maximize value. This change cycle can include:

  • Monitoring the Teams roadmap.
  • Implementing a change planning form to prepare and implement new functionality.

For a more detailed account on the Teams Adoption Strategy, read this article by Microsoft.


Microsoft Teams Licensing Plan


In order to use Teams, you need a Microsoft 365 account with the appropriate Microsoft 365 license plan as suited to your organization. You might need to refer to your company's IT administrator to get an account or sign your company up. Microsoft offers various licensing plans for Teams, both, for businesses and enterprises. You can find their prices listed here.

Change management is the human side of the transformation. It focuses on activities required to prepare organizations for change. Book a strategy call with us today to find out how we can help you deploy Teams.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Communication Square aquires the minimum time to design and deploy Unified Communication Solutions like Microsoft Teams. We ensure that all this is done within the budget of the client. Throughout the process, our team is responsive, helping Businesses at all and any points before, during and after deployment of a solution.

To familiarize you with our process of deployment, here’s a recent case study that discusses the Deployment of Microsoft Teams as a solution in the Education sector.

Need more information? Book a strategy call with us today to get in touch with one of our finest consultants.

About the Author

I'm a professional digital marketer & content specialist. You may know me from my greatest hits such as, "No, I can't just make it go viral." or "No, you can't have everybody as your audience." and "Yes, you're absolutely going to need a copywriter!"

Rijah Naseem

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>