Microsoft Teams – The New Communication Platform for Businesses

May 05 2017
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A few weeks ago, we blogged about why businesses should make the switch to Office 365. One of the core reasons identified in this blog post was that Office 365 provides more opportunities for team members within an organisation to collaborate together on various tasks and projects. Consistent with this philosophy, Microsoft recently introduced a new product in the Office 365 suite called Microsoft Teams. In this blog post, we wanted to show you some of the exciting features about Teams and talk about how it can help your organisation streamline communication across employees.

Microsoft Teams Overview

Microsoft Teams is essentially a chat-based workspace. It provides organisations with a platform where team members can send instant messages to one another. As the name suggests, though, these chats can be divided up across the respective teams within your organisation. For example, your Marketing team can have a chat group that is separate from your Operations team. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from using the platform for company-wide chats, but these settings facilitate for focused conversations to be easily held online.

Teams and Channels

Within these team chat groups, however, Microsoft allows you to create Channels, which can act as a subdivider for team communications. How you use these channel options is entirely up to you. Your team may choose to have separate channels for separate projects they are working on, or use them to create separate divisions within the one department. Regardless of the setup, Microsoft Teams ensures that employees have a centralised and structured platform where they can talk and collaborate.

Product Integrations

One of the important features of Microsoft Teams is that it is seamlessly integrated with other products in the Office 365 suite. For example, a team member could upload a Word document to a particular discussion, and everyone associated with that conversation would have the opportunity to work on this Word document directly within the Microsoft Teams window. Microsoft also allows team members to access SharePoint, OneNote and Skype within the Teams platform.

Why Switch to Microsoft Teams?

There are several reasons why we would encourage organisations to adopt Microsoft Teams. Firstly, the platform provides an excellent alternative to more traditional communication platforms such as email. The ability to structure various communications with specific teams and channels ensures that employees can keep a track of correspondence and files associated with their department or a project they are working on. Secondly, Microsoft Teams enhances the collaboration potential of Office 365 as a whole. Not only can employees work on a particular file together within the Teams window, but the communication tools within this platform allow for more seamless discussions and idea generation. Finally, the built-in search functionality of Microsoft Teams, allows users to easily find particular files or communication pieces across multiple teams and chat channels. All communication is stored in the centralised platform.

In conclusion, we are very excited about this new offering from Microsoft. Teams has the ability to significantly improve and streamline internal communications within an organisation. If your business already has Office 365, we would encourage you to take a closer look at Microsoft Teams. No doubt it will be one of many exciting products to emerge on Microsoft’s cloud platform in the years ahead.