In this climate of working from home, staying connected with colleagues is a hassle. It can take its toll on productivity and team collaborative projects.
This doesn’t have to be the case with Microsoft Teams by your side. But if you haven’t used it before, you may not know it can benefit you and your team.
Read on for 9 great advantages of using Microsoft Teams.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that’s chat-based. It comes with secure document sharing, online meeting suites, and much more. It’s a handy tool for keeping business communications going via online working.
Using shared workspace software like Teams makes online collaboration so much easier. It’s especially good for teams within very large companies, companies with a lot of remote workers, or a lot of team members. But it’s valuable to businesses of any size. We’ll move onto the benefits now.
Teams is cost-effective and comes without any upfront cost. As part of Office 365’S monthly sub-model. It’ll come with regular updates, feature additions as well as security patches. It’ll never be out-of-date.
The current monthly sub-model helps your business plan your IT budget better. Business Premium/Business Essentials Enterprise E1, E3, or E5 subscriptions have Microsoft Teams. These packages also include Exchange, Yammer, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, etc.
2. The Security of Office 365
Microsoft Teams implements come with a lot of the same security benefits as the rest of the Office 365 suite. These include multi-factor authentication and single-sign-on using Active Directory. This not only keeps it secure, but reduces administration for your IT team, and complexity for your users.
It’s built on the same enterprise-level cloud platform as the rest of Office 365. This means you get the same high-end compliance and security standards as:
- SOC1 & SOC2
So if any of the rest of the office suite is allowed on your premises, so is Teams.
Teams also come with Conditional Access, so you control who, and what has access. Your IT team can restrict data access to only the devices allowed by your current policies. It also blocks access to services using IP addresses or the user location.
The build-in Audit Log also merges with Office 365 Security and Compliance Center. You can make use of alerts, and ask for reports on log data like you can with any other MS suite software.
3. A Connector for Almost Everything
Teams make use of on-site, cloud-based connectors in Azure. This means you can connect Teams to 200+ Microsoft and third-party services.
You can source data with ease, collaborate for projects, and get network updates. All through Microsoft Teams! This covers almost any use case, a few examples include:
- CRM: Dynamics 365 CRM, Salesforce
- Analytics: Google Analytics
- Social Media: Twitter, LinkedIn, Yammer
- Marketing: CheckMarket, MailChimp
- Project Management: Asana, Trello
- Other: DocuSign, Google Calendar
These connectors are in 9 set categories, so they are easy to find and set up. More are being added all the time, but the current connectors should be more than enough to help multi-departmental collaboration run smoother. Team is so customizable, that it can even be integrated into a full-featured telephone system.
4. Teams Anywhere with Mobile Devices
As it’s cloud-based, you can access Microsoft Teams anywhere with the desktop or mobile app. It’s supported on Windows, MAC, iOS, and Android. So, all you actually need is the internet and you’re good to go.
But as we have discussed earlier, you actually have total control over what you want Teams to be used on. You aren’t limited to just blacklisting and whitelisting approved devices. Integration with Microsoft Intune allows you to:
- Manage what employees and devices can access data
- Control how authorized employees share the data
- Protect stored and shared data
- Keep all devices and apps compliant with company security policy
Speaking of managing mobile devices, Teams is feature-full on both smartphones and tablets. You don’t lose anything by going mobile. This reduces the number of roadblocks and keeps collaboration moving even on the go.
5. Meetings & Scheduling Are a Breeze
Microsoft Teams will sync to your calendar and pull over all existing meetings. It will also let you know suggested times when other team members are free for scheduling.
It also gives you the option to choose a private meeting or one that lets anyone join in. This is very useful if you’re hosting a brainstorming or voluntary training session. You can also set it to merge your third party calendars like Google Calendar.
There is a dedicated Meetings tab that will display all your meetings, past and future. It will contain agenda details if there are any. You can also use this tab to set up Team meetings or do so directly in Outlook scheduler. Whichever way you choose to do it, your meeting will show up on both apps instantly.
When you set up a meeting in Teams, you host it in a channel. This means everyone can see the meeting happening without you needing to send out invites. If you don’t pick a channel, the meeting sets straight to private, so only people invited can join. Even better, participants will get a notification when the first person joins the meeting. So no more ‘I missed the start’ excuses from your Team.
6. There is Native Integration with MS Office 365
Microsoft teams have high-accessibility and seamless integration with all Office 365 software apps. Like OneDrive, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. This is the case regardless of if you’re on the office desktop, a remote laptop, or tablet/smartphone.
With app integration it’s easier to manage emails, messages, and files easier. Microsoft Teams lets you access everything without having to go anywhere else. You can have:
- several background apps (like Word and Excel) and shuffle through with ease
- several conversations or email chains open in different apps
- many different browser tabs open at once
Within the Teams interface, you can use and manage all these apps. If you are transitioning over from Microsoft Exchange or Skype for Business, you can use everything at the same time. No more sifting through multi-app conversation windows.
7. Customize Your Workspace
So, we’ve seen you can create your own team channels, add files, and create tasks. You can also use many third-party apps that work integrate like the Office 365 productive app suite.
Using the native connectors, you can sign up to other data sources and send information to Teams. Whether your marketing team puts stock in Bing News, Twitter, or Facebook, Teams has you covered. You can even connect to Google Analytics to bring statistics into your daily feed.
The huge range of data sources available, with next to no setup required, means it is easy to keep track of all the data your business may need. All organized and delivered to the appropriate teams inside Teams.
8. Real-Time Messaging, with History
One of the best features Teams has over emails is real-time chat and threaded conversations. This makes it easy to keep track of each team and private discussion. It’s recorded and stored in one place keeping productivity and collaboration going.
Whether in one channel or several, you can @mention people to get their attention. It keeps the relevant team members abreast of all important information with ease.
Compared to the old method of email in Outlook Groups, for example, it’s so much easier to use. There, conversations would quickly get chopped up as new users were added, and threads would diverge as multiple people replied to the same email. Teams makes sure everyone is up-to-date and kept in the loop in an easy to navigate way.
9. The Slash Commands Are a Helpful Time Saver
Teams has learned from other productivity tools such as Slack to empower power users to save even more time. No matter where you are in the system, you can use a set of simple slash commands to fire off features, such as reminders, view recent files, status changes and more.
You can even use them to switch to a specific communication channel. For some functions, it’s easier and quicker to use the command box than go the manual route.
All you do is type in the command box “/” and a drop-down will appear. This will show all the current command shortcuts you can use within Microsoft Teams.
You can also press Alt + K (on Windows) or Option + K (on Mac) to open the commands list. Each member using teams can use commands. System admins can customize which ones people can use and which ones they want disabled.
As you can see, Microsoft Teams has a number of stand out features that make it a worthy successor to Skype for Business, and a clear leader in the company communication space. With large amounts of customization, integrations and productivity tools, almost any business will benefit from deploying Microsoft Teams.
If you are considering implementing Microsoft Teams in your business, contact us today at Bridgehead IT. We specialize in transitioning organizations from legacy phone systems and under performing cloud-based systems to Microsoft 365 Business Voice with Microsoft Teams. We have the experience and expertise to make this complex task a quick and easy transition, allowing you to enjoy enhanced communication as quickly as possible.
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