6 Reasons We LOVE Microsoft Teams and Why You Will Too...

Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based team collaboration platform with features that combine meetings, notes, files and various Microsoft and non-Microsoft apps in real-time. It comes as part of the Office 365 Suite at no additional cost and was designed to create a new experience that brings people, conversation and content together with the relevant tools teams needed to easily collaborate.

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Some may say Microsoft has effectively been playing catch up with Slack, another collabortion hub, however, only two years on, Teams is now more widely used than Slack. It is Microsoft’s fastest growing app ever with more than 500,000 organisations using Teams across the globe!

micrsoftSource: Microsoft

6 reasons we love Microsoft Teams

As Microsoft Partners, we have had the time to use and see the development of Teams since it was released. Here are some of the reasons we love Microsoft Teams and why you will too:

- Integration with Office 365

Teams has been built on top of Office 365, so it’s no surprise that it integrates flawlessly with Office 365 applications. For example, users are able to edit Word documents in Teams without having to download, edit and upload again. Once you’re in Teams, there is essentially no need for you to leave as you will still able to take full advantage of Office 365 functionality.  

Furthermore, Microsoft have made Teams in such a way that many 3rd party applications such as Asana or HootSuite can be accessed seamlessly to help keep your business running effectively and bring everything into one place.

- Collaboration Made Easy

Any collaboration tool should make team-work easier, however, this hasn’t always been the case with the limited integrations and missing features other tools have offered (or not offered!). Microsoft Teams overcomes obstacles of the past, making collaboration easier and more organised than it ever has been before.

Firstly, you have the ability to collaborate in real time. For example, if a team needs to work on a PowerPoint presentation with a short deadline, real-time editing allows all members to watch edits being made and simultaneously make changes themselves or give feedback. This is great for teams that work remotely and saves time by copies not needing to be sent back and forth through email.

Secondly, all conversations and files are stored in a chat-based location in the cloud. This means there is a clear message thread being saved, so employees can dive in and out when they need to and not worry about confusion when returning. By default, all chats are public with your team, however, private chats are also an option. Similar to various social media platforms, you can use the ‘@’ symbol to get the attention of a particular person in a chat.

- Security and Compliance Built In

As with Office 365, security and compliance are built in from the start to ensure corporate data is protected; teams encrypts all data, at all times, with zero standing access to your data.

Microsoft have a compliance framework to classify their applications and services into four categories. Teams is Tier-D compliant which includes ISO 27001, ISO 27018, SSAE16 SOC 1 and SOC 2, HIPAA, and EU Model Clauses (EUMC). Details of the Compliance Framework for Industry Standards and Regulations can be found here.

In an overview of security and compliance for Teams, Microsoft stated that “Teams also enforces team-wide and organization-wide two-factor authentication, single sign-on through Active Directory, and encryption of data in transit and at rest. Files are stored in SharePoint and are backed by SharePoint encryption. Notes are stored in OneNote and are backed by OneNote encryption.”

- Helpful Bots

An exciting element and one of our favourite are the helpful bots Microsoft have released to Teams. They interact with you to help you obtain the information you need in a natural chat manner. There are many different bots you can add to your workspace but here are some of our favourite:

T-Bot – Helps by answering any questions you have about using Teams.

Who Bot – Helps by answering questions about people in your organisation.

Polly Bot – Enables you to use polls and gives you the chance to analyse results.

Grow Bot – Allows you to give kudos to your team mates!

You can find the Microsoft Bot Framework here.

- Meetings Made More Flexible and Effective

Did you know 71% of people said meetings are unproductive and inefficient in a survey by Harvard Business Review?

The reasons for this statistic can vary, however, with Teams these ‘unproductive’ and ‘inefficient’ meetings can be made more flexible and effective. Microsoft Teams gives you the ability to schedule meetings and will sync it with your Outlook calendar so you don’t have to, as well as giving you audio, video and screen sharing ability on the platform.

This year Microsoft unveiled eight new capabilities in Teams that make meetings more inclusive and effective while delivering new levels of security and compliance. You can find the article outlining these changes here.

- Customisation

Every business is different and within that business, everyone person will require something different. Microsoft recognises this. Teams allows you to tailor your workspace the way you want it and has an app store with a range of apps.

The use of tabs means that you can pin commonly used files, apps and websites for easy reference. The ability to turn on notifications also means that all employees, whether they work remotely or not are in the loop and alerted when there is any new activity.

If you are familiar with Skype for Business, you will know that it is in the process of being phased out with Microsoft Teams taking over. Making the change now will enable you and your employees to find out about these amazing features for yourselves. It is clear that Teams is leading the way with collaborative spaces for businesses and will only continue to get better and better.

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