Too many apps? Consolidate them with Microsoft Teams
For the few out there that aren’t familiar with Microsoft Teams, it is a platform designed by Microsoft with the sole intention of improving communication, collaboration, and productivity for your users, no matter where they choose to work from around the globe. The app has recently gone through a period of growth that is rarely achieved, aided by the uncertainty of last year and the Covid-19 pandemic that forced businesses everywhere to work from home. The app allowed for this to be possible – making Teams the saving grace for businesses all over the world.
Microsoft Teams’ wide range of features are designed to make the workday easier for everyone. These features include Instant Messaging, Channels, Files, Calendar, and Online Meetings, to name some of the more popular. We will now break these features down into their component parts and discover why Teams has been the go-to application for quite some time and why it continues to be the best app of its kind on the market.
Microsoft Teams features
The instant messaging feature is very self-explanatory – it is a place where you and your colleagues can chat both freely and about work. The Chat feature allows you to have a conversation with someone one-on-one or as part of a ‘group chat’. I’m sure you will agree that it sounds like every other messaging app on the market, so what makes it unique? One particularly special part of the app is the ability to not only send text but also emojis, stickers, Gifs and, most noticeably, files and links. If used correctly you can cut down on the number of emails being sent around the office (depending on the office size) – by doing this you have a chance of completely revolutionising the way your team communicate forever.
Channels are sections of Teams dedicated to keeping conversations organised by specific topics or departments. The best part of ‘Channels’ is that it is your environment and you can structure it in whatever way is best for your organisation. You can leave all Channels open to all team members or you can make them private for specific audiences. You have complete freedom to cater the environment according to your own organisation’s requirements.
When you upload a file to Teams it will go straight to the Files tab of whatever Channel you upload it to. A clever feature is that all files shared in a private or group chat are stored in your OneDrive Business folder automatically. Those files are only shared with the people that are in that conversation (which prevents others in your organisation that aren’t allowed to see them from having access).
The Calendar feature within Teams works in conjunction with your Outlook calendar by essentially connecting with it automatically. This allows your users to work on Teams alone without having to constantly switch back and forth between different calendars in order to stay on top of their important schedules. This will mean increased productivity and will allow for a much more streamlined experience for your users.
Meetings is one of the best features of Microsoft Teams – the main aspect of Teams that promotes collaboration. With Meetings you can use audio, video, and screen sharing, meaning that you can have a very interactive experience with the participants of the meeting no matter where they are. You don’t even need a Teams account to join but simply look in the invitation and follow the easy instructions.
Teams is an app designed to communicate within itself, resulting in every part of it working in unison with other parts in order to make your work day easier. It allows you to work solely on it, as opposed to having to learn the functions of multiple different platforms.
Although Microsoft Teams is clearly the best option some are considering the alternatives – let’s take a look at the alternatives now:
The alternatives to Teams
Slack is an instant messaging application – like Teams, it allows for casual or work chat with your colleagues, but you cannot send files via Slack so an alternative/add on would need to be purchased.
We would be surprised if you haven’t heard of Zoom. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic it – like Microsoft Teams – grew to be one of the most popular apps in the country. It – like Teams – allows for meetings, chat, and video conferencing, all in one place – the key difference is you can’t send files via Zoom.
Dropbox provides you with a folder on your computer that automatically backs up and syncs your files across all your devices. It also keeps them in the Cloud so they can be accessed from any computer, anywhere in the world. Which sounds great, I agree, but IT administrators cannot control which users have access to the shared files or who is accessing them which means they can be synced anywhere, by anyone, whilst not being monitored – and this can pose a serious security dilemma for your organisation.
The alternatives to Teams – as good as they are – simply don’t compete. They don’t compliment each other and are unable to work in unison on the same platform with the intention of reaching a common goal, making for a clumsy and very disorganised experience.
In the following blog we will explore the advantages of working from one single system and further explain why Teams is the go-to application for so many around the world.
Consolidate apps with Microsoft Teams
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