“We are in the midst of digital transformation, we are increasingly connected, in recent years we have gone from communicating by email to using instant messaging apps and this new way of communicating is also coming to the business world”
I remember when I created my first email account to keep in touch with some friends abroad. Back then mobiles only had those limited character text messages. You had to perform some type of linguistic “Tetris” to fit a whole conversation into one message as you were paying for every message you sent.
Then the famous Microsoft Messenger arrived, followed by Skype, and, finally, mobiles with WhatsApp. Communication started to become easier and is now a part of our daily lives. In fact, when message services like WhatsApp, Facebook, or Instagram go down almost all of us miss them. Quick and collaborative communication is essential in our daily lives.
We started to see this happening in companies, communication between colleagues was done by Skype, or before that, Lync. Although there was always at least one user that even used it to contact external providers. My question now is… What is Skype integration like with the rest of an organisation’s collaboration tools? Can we really work as a team with Skype?
Well, I don’t think so and that was exactly what Microsoft thought too. We can also add that it is increasingly commonplace in organisations to see people dispersed over different locations or who want to work remotely. We aren’t even going to go into the team WhatsApp group where we speak about both work issues and personal matters. What security does the tool where we talk about work issues offer us?
These are exactly the reasons why Microsoft has given us Microsoft Teams, a communication hub where we can have efficient group communication with online meetings, group and private chats where all conversations are saved and files are shared.
Have you ever been sent a file via Skype and then had to ask for it again because you don’t have it? “Can you email it to me please?”
Microsoft Teams solves this because when you are sent a file in a Microsoft Teams chat the document will be saved on the platform. If it’s a private chat the documents will be saved on OneDrive and if it’s a workgroup they’ll be on Sharepoint.
What’s a workgroup? It’s a workspace where we can create channels by project/client so as to organise our work conversations, meetings and information, and documents.
Additionally, Microsoft Teams aims to be a desktop. We can customise our Teams desktop by adding the applications that we use. Do they have to be Microsoft applications? Nope. Microsoft Teams can be integrated with an ever growing number of third party apps.
Just to give you a few examples: Asana, Cisco Webex meetings, Evernote, Youtube, and many more.
Is Microsoft Teams just for users in our organisation? Can we work with external collaborators, even if they don’t have Teams? Yes. We can share a Teams group with external users, which allows us to set up meetings, share information, and send messages on the chat. Best of all, external users don’t need a Teams licence, although they won’t have access to all the features.
Can I use Teams on my phone? Another yes! There is a Teams mobile app which gives us access to groups and channels, private chats, and practically everything we can use on our computers.
Can I use teams as the company WhatsApp? Of course you can. The Teams mobile app allows us to share our location, chat, and send voice messages.
All of this takes place in a secure communications environment with Microsoft’s full compliance guarantees.
This is the way for quicker and more direct communication with front line users (delivery staff, logistics or manufacturing workers, cabin crew, and so on) who don’t have access to a computer but do normally have a mobile or tablet.
The amount of emails and attachments we get will go down, so we will use less space in our email accounts.
There is a whole host of other features that greatly enhance collaboration between team members and give us greater flexibility.For example, we have Bots who we can ask for answers to problems and who can help us with the organisation of meetings. Zoom.ai and SecretaryBot are just two of them.
There are many other Bots with different features and, additionally, we can add other Bots that we design ourselves to meet our needs.
To conclude, Microsoft Teams is one of the most powerful collaboration tools on the market and can integrate with Microsoft 365 apps and many more. What’s more, according to Gartner, Microsoft Teams is set to become the leading company communication tool.
“Teamwork makes the dream work: Working together is a Success” John C. Maxwell