How to Use Microsoft Teams Effectively in 2020Reading Time: 4 minutes
What’s your team’s chat-based communication and collaboration platform of choice? Is it Microsoft Teams? Slack? Or is it Skype?
Whether you are currently using Microsoft Teams of not, the platform’s popularity is growing. Since it is integrated with Office 365, its got a few interesting and useful features to offer its users. Hence, it is rapidly gaining market share, despite having come out some time after every start up out there had already gotten hooked on Slack.
However, this article will not debate the benefits between Slack and Microsoft Teams, unlike other articles on our blog. The objective here is to give you an introduction to Microsoft Teams and to see how to best use this software effectively in 2020.
What Is This Software All About?
Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s answer to competing chat platforms for team-based communications and businesses.
The basic functionality of any of these platforms is that it allows users to set up group chat rooms. These chartrooms or hubs are called channels. In Microsoft Teams, groups of people, obviously named Teams, can have access to multiple channels.
On the different channels Teams can organize their discussions around specific topics. Within a Microsoft Teams chat channel, conversations are threaded and flow from top to bottom. Team members can get up to speed quickly. They can also get notified when there are updates to the discussion.
Furthermore, it is easy to jump into a voice or video call with other channel participants. Unlike some of its competitors, Microsoft Teams has the multiple caller option enabled right away. Therefore, with a single click, an entire team in a certain channel can get on a call.
More Than Just A Chat Tool
Additionally, Microsoft is positioning its platform to be more than just a chat tool. First of all, it is a part of Microsoft’s online Office 365 suite. Hence, Teams is integrated with other Microsoft Office services, such as Word and Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Planner, etc.
Indeed, when any spreadsheet, document or presentation is shared on Microsoft Teams, it is synced and stored on Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage platform. Therefore, every Team members can always access the documents referenced in the chat tool. It’s a great way to never lose track of important documents sent inside of conversations.
Moreover, every Microsoft Team member has access to the local SharePoint environment. This environment offers collaborative editing for shared content. Indeed, editing can be done in real time, with multiple users working in the document at once. Since it’s native to Microsoft, there is no need to open it in a browser, such as with documents uploaded to Google Drive. It makes for a very seamless Microsoft Office experience.
New Functionalities In The Works
On the one hand, Microsoft Teams already has a wide array of integrated services through its integration with the Microsoft Suite. Yet, they are still working on adding new functionalities over time. These functionalities can be industry specific. They could also be related to simplifying various organizational processes for a variety of industries.
For example, a common and recurring task for all teams is vacation or days off planning. Many modern HR tools are out on the market, and some are even developing extensions for Teams.
In fact, Vacation Tracker is working to integrate its useful vacation planning and leave tracking software with Microsoft Teams. What’s more, early adopters will get a 3-month free trial of the software and could help contribute to making this Microsoft Teams integration a success.
Want To Be More Effective In 2020?
We’ve already established that Microsoft Teams is a software that facilitates group collaboration and online conversation.
It’s a more effective way to share and communicate with a group of people. For instance, it would be rather ineffective to plan and execute an entire project through emails. Similarly, sharing files via different services or platforms would be complicated. This is where comprehensive collaboration tools come in: they bring all tools and groups together.
The unique selling proposition of Microsoft Teams is it seamless integration with other Office services. These integrations allow for the editing of documents, shared dashboards and planners. These services require no set up or additional integration, making the set up and implementation of Teams a quick and easy process.
Other important defining elements of Microsoft Teams are the group video and voice calling capabilities. In fact, although group chat logs are a more effective way to run projects than to go through email, it is even more effective to sometimes have group calls. For remote teams, virtual meetings are the best way to get on the same page.
What About Integrated Apps?
Since its launch, Microsoft has integrated apps and services with Teams and is working to integrate even more apps going forward.
It goes without saying that the in-house Office 365 apps were integrated from the start. However, other popular software such as SurveyMonkey, Trello and InVision have also been integrated with Microsoft Teams.
Indeed, team members can reference information from these integrated apps into their Teams-based conversations without having to hyperlink them.
Furthermore, with another integrated app called “Who”, searching for the contact information of an individual in Teams has been optimized. Searches can be performed by name or topic. It’s easier than ever to find the right information at the right time.
Alongside the above-mentioned integrations, Microsoft has also added new features to Teams in recent years. Online meetings, or group calls, can be uploaded directly to OneDrive or Azure Cloud. These meetings can include timestamped transcriptions. Automatic translation of chat messages that have been sent during the meeting can be included these transcripts. This interesting feature makes Microsoft Teams the perfect recording tool for meetings that require detailed documentation.
What Are You Waiting For? Become More Effective, Today!
In a nutshell, if your objective is to be more effective in 2020, look no further than Microsoft Teams. Make sure you keep an eye on its growing list of integrations. This collaboration tool is setting itself up to become a go-to resource for many businesses.
In conclusion, Microsoft Teams is available across platforms. Clients of Windows, macOS, Android, or iOS can easily access this useful software. The service is available to all subscribers to Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 Suite.