Get the low-down about Microsoft Teams, the ultimate hub for Office 365 that brings together communication, collaboration and security to form a digital workplace for the real world.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is the communication and collaboration hub for your Office 365 digital workplace. It brings your team together online, making collaboration easier and more efficient, and ultimately making it easier to get more done.
The main features of Microsoft Teams are text-based chat, the ability to schedule and hold online meetings (both video calls and voice calls), and easy collaboration on documents.
Teams can also be extended with additional apps and third-party integrations, bringing all your business systems together in one place.
Most Office 365 licences include access to Microsoft Teams. It’s available as apps for computers and for mobile devices, with versions available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. That means more than 100 million users have access to the world of Teams.
The biggest change prompted by Microsoft Teams is a major shift away from email and sharing multiple versions of files. Instead of email, you can now chat on Teams – your chats are stored so you can refer to them later from any device. Files created or shared within Teams can be edited by multiple people without having to consolidate multiple versions – everyone’s working on the same file.
Communicate with Microsoft Teams
Communication features are built into the heart of Microsoft Teams, including audio calls from desktop or mobile devices, getting notifications of important activity across your devices, and the ability to forward emails to Teams channels – including attachments.
Microsoft Teams is deeply integrated with the rest of Office 365. It brings the power of centralised storage with SharePoint and OneDrive for Business together with an intuitive interface which encourages teamwork. Any documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, videos and other files shared in Teams are synchronised such that every member of your team can see and work on the latest version.
Real-time editing is enabled by Teams, with your colleagues’ changes appearing instantly. Combine that with live chat and instant video calls and you have a single tool that enables deeper collaboration – even if you’re all working from home.
Microsoft Teams adoption services
Uptake of Microsoft Teams has accelerated in tandem with more and more people choosing, or being required to work from home.
Microsoft has invested heavily in Teams, and it’s obvious that they believe it represents the future of the digital workplace. No matter what sector you work in or size of organisation you run, Teams offers a scalable, intuitive way to ‘work smarter’ with greater efficiency.
The team at CompanyNet are experts in Teams. We have delivered Microsoft Teams adoption programmes for organisations of all sizes, from major household-name brands to small non-profit organisations. We have an enviable selection of tools, frameworks and learning methods we’ve developed over these engagements, and are confident that we can help you and your colleagues get the most out of this amazing technology.
If you’re used to Skype for Business, you might view Teams as an evolution of that product. However, that only represents a tiny, tiny fraction of the capabilities of Microsoft Teams. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Teams isn’t just a new app: it’s a new way of working.
Now you can have instant messaging, voice calls, video calls, video meetings, Microsoft Teams live events, file sharing, collaborative editing and much more, all from a single, intuitive user interface. Once your organisation has properly adopted Teams, you’ll wonder how you ever got things done without it.
Switching Teams on is just the first step
The team here at CompanyNet recognises that moving to Teams represents not just some shiny new software, but a mindset change. Indeed, approaching the move to Microsoft Teams as just a software change is the path to disaster. Deploying Teams is only the first step; to fully experience it, you must understand the benefits of your new, truly digital workplace.
To get people using Teams, you need a well-thought-out programme of adoption. That’s where we can help. We’ll take you through a step-by-step programme, from discovery and assessment of your technology, through the creation of an adoption programme tailored to your business, to ensuring its delivery and ongoing success.
We have been on the Microsoft Teams adoption journey before, and we know all the potential pitfalls. We also know what it takes to successfully get people using Teams in the real world. Let CompanyNet be your trusted guide towards ensuring the adoption this exciting new technology.
Microsoft Teams vs email
Microsoft Teams has been created from the ground up to revolutionise the way we work with information. Rather than contending with each other to have the latest version of a file, or being stumped by not knowing something, Teams gives everyone access to the files and people they need to get their work done.
It’s been designed from scratch to work in the way people think. Built around the idea of instant messaging, Teams borrows ideas most of us are familiar with from social media like Facebook, and combines it with the underlying power of Office 365. Unlike email threads, Teams conversations are easy to navigate, maintain the correct order, and are fully searchable.
And, unlike email, it’s easy to search within Teams conversations and quickly find what you’re looking for. You can drop documents, images and links into your conversations, just like email attachments. But, unlike email attachments, those files are easy to find later on, as they’re all stored in one place.
Microsoft Teams integration
The Microsoft Teams platform has also been designed to integrate with hundreds of third-party tools, which lets you quickly add capabilities to Teams as needed. For example, you can instantly create a whiteboard, add a task list or Kanban board, a wiki or a spreadsheet.
This functionality also allows third-party apps to interact with Microsoft Teams, as if they were part of the Teams app itself. That means you can bring line-of-business apps and systems your organisation relies on directly into the Teams window, making it a true hub for all your work.
Finally, integration means interoperability with the Microsoft Power Platform, which lets you build advanced customisations and apps tailored just to your business using Microsoft Flow, Power Apps and Power BI.
The Future of Microsoft Teams
Microsoft maintains a constantly-updated roadmap for Microsoft Teams, which sets out which features are being worked on and what to expect. This has included features like recording meetings to the Cloud, virtual backgrounds and federation with other organisations’ Teams tenants. They are also highly responsive to requests from the community, with features such as Breakout Rooms and more people on screen at once being added following popular demand.
At CompanyNet, we operate on a principle of monitoring of the Teams roadmap, which lets us advise our customers of upcoming changes and new features that may be of interest to them, or affect their business. It’s part of the proactive ‘Evergreen’ service we pride ourselves on delivering.
Microsoft Teams vs Slack vs Facebook Workplace
So what makes Microsoft Teams so useful, particularly over competing software products like Slack or Facebook Workplace? All have a similar range of features, but Teams has a distinct advantage over the competition, particularly where your organisation has already made the choice to use Office 365.
Teams is a Microsoft product which is provided as part of your Office 365 licencing, so there’s usually no additional cost. What’s more, it integrates seamlessly with the rest of your Office 365 environment: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; SharePoint, OneDrive and Exchange. Your calendars, meetings, tasks and files can all be surfaced in Microsoft Teams with no additional effort.
Because it’s integrated with the rest of Microsoft 365, you can use single sign-on to connect to Teams – and you’ll find the rest of your organisation already there. For IT administrators, it’s easy to manage, too.
Microsoft Teams information security
No matter the size of your organisation, Microsoft Teams gives you enterprise-grade security and compliance features, designed and implemented by Microsoft’s world-leading security team.
Not only that, but Microsoft Teams is Tier C-compliant, and complies with ISO 27001, ISO 27018, SSAE16 SOC 1 and SOC 2 and HIPAA. You can rest assured that your data is secure and compliant with local, international and sectoral regulations.
Served from Microsoft’s own cloud, with datacentres around the world, including in the UK, Teams is a global-scale app that can meet your data residency requirements.
Information Protection is built right into the fabric of Teams. All data is encrypted, and multi-factor authentication can be enforced to make sure your valuable corporate information is as safe as possible. Advanced eDiscovery and auditing features are also available.
Book your Microsoft Teams Health Check
When it comes to remote working with Microsoft Teams, organisations around the world have had to rapidly accelerate the pace of change. Whether you were already rolling out Teams, or had your hand forced by COVID-19, good governance demands that you properly understand what’s going on with your Microsoft Teams environment.
CompanyNet’s Microsoft Teams Health Check gives you a deep understanding of how your organisation is using Teams, shows what you’re doing right, and highlights any potential security concerns so you can nip them in the bud.
You’ll also have access to our friendly team of experts who can advise you on your next steps.
Our Health Check gives you peace of mind, backed up by real data, and opens the door to a well-managed Teams estate that works better for your business.
How it works
Health Check – Microsoft Teams Governance
The Health Check helps you answer a wide scope of questions about your Microsoft Teams estate as it stands, and helps you make informed decisions about where to take it next.
- How many teams does my organisation have – and is that too many?
- Are there inactive or duplicate teams I can legitimately delete?
- Are there teams with too many channels, and what implications do they have?
- Should we implement or revisit team creation policies?
- Are there teams with too many owners, or too few owners?
- Do any teams exist that might give cause for concern?
- Do we have teams with too many external users?
- Are there external users with unwarranted levels of access?
- Who are our most active users?
- Are some users in too many teams?
- Which teams should our new hires join?
- Are we prepared for a team owner being on holiday, off sick, or leaving altogether?
Discover how your Teams is performing
Get in touch with CompanyNet’s subject matter experts today and we’ll start the process of helping you get more out of Microsoft Teams.
Ready to find out more? Get in touch now
Get in touch with our friendly team now:
The CompanyNet team has more than 20 years’ experience of creating Microsoft digital workplaces that really work.
We’re a tight-knit team that delivers results for customers including Scottish Water, Mencap, the Student Loans Company, Walt Disney, Tesco Bank, the Scottish Housing Regulator and many more.
We’re always keen to discuss whether we can help you get more out of Office 365.