If there is something that we have all discovered in these last two years, it is the difficulty of working from outside the office: problems with coordination, communication, … Many of us have met colleagues who have had to totally change their mentality according to the work remotely, either because it was not to their liking or they had literally never practiced it.
All of this that we have just discussed would have been even more difficult if we had not had the communication solutions that exist today. But what is the best option among all those that currently exist? If you choose Microsoft Teams, it is highly unlikely that you will be wrong.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Those of us who have been working since 2010, or the youngest of us who have used our computers for everything (including work or study), will have used Skype at some point in our lives. The chat / call solution has been active since before 2010 and has been part of Microsoft since 2011 after its acquisition.
We could consider Microsoft Teams as the evolution of Skype and Skype for Business: a unified platform to communicate and collaborate with people internal and external to our company, all from the cloud. Continuing with the collaboration aspect, it allows you to share documents, call and meet in real time with the highest possible quality.
Microsoft Teams makes available to its customers a large number of intelligent applications and services to relaunch teamwork. Today, more than 500,000 companies trust Microsoft Teams. It is designed for companies of any size, whether the employees are in the same office or not, since you can access it from any device and anywhere.
Why should I use Microsoft Teams in my company?
Here are 11 reasons to change your work and communication center to Teams:
1. Chat and collaboration
Teams instant messaging lets you keep your team up to date without needing them to be in the office. You can start a conversation from the main Teams panel either individually or in a group, external or internal. With this, you significantly reduce the need to send, receive and notify emails (something increasingly tedious in the professional environment).
These chats are tailored to your business need: you can have an unlimited number of open, archived, or featured chats with colleagues and guests with no limits when it comes to sharing files and documents (if your company policies allow it).
2. Possibility of making meetings and calls
One of the biggest factors that differentiates Teams from other communication and collaboration software is the ability to make calls with audio and video online, with the ability to share screen, organize and record meetings, and schedule video conferences with up to 250 people and events in line with 10,000 attendees.
In addition, Teams allows you to activate subtitles in real time during a call. These live subtitles allow you to instantly see what the speaker is saying in real time thanks to AI. With this ability, Teams becomes more inclusive for all types of workers as it also detects who is speaking and highlights them.
It also allows you to make and receive phone calls directly, as you would from your mobile phone, allowing you to use Teams as its ultimate purpose: to be a modern cloud-based communication switchboard.
3. Working groups
We do not have to repeat that Teams enhances teamwork. As we have said, it allows you to communicate instantly with any member of the team and archive those conversations, schedule meetings and videoconferences, … By creating groups, and the possibility of carrying out the same capabilities above, they also multiply the scope of collaboration internal and external.
4. Communication resources
Sometimes written communication requires more context to be understood. For this reason, Microsoft Teams includes elements that are normally difficult to see in the company, such as GIFs or emoticons, to improve the communication and interpretation of your messages. Everything helps to maintain a calm, relaxed and more positive environment, which usually helps those who work outside the office and have less physical interaction with their colleagues.
5. Integration with applications and productivity services
Teams not only allows integration with the most emblematic Office 365 applications within the same app: Office, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, … An added advantage is the ability to share a unique link of a task with your team so that everyone has access to edit and configure it together. You can even link it to a team for quick access to the file for editing.
6. Personal file storage and shred use
OneDrive for Business cloud storage is available in Teams by default. It is accessible from anywhere and on any device.
7. Remote work
Having a central communication and collaboration node enables workers to do their part from any environment with any mobile device, tablet or computer.
Convert any space in your workplace using devices designed to maximize the Microsoft Teams experience, enabling hybrid work without any interference.
8. Business video service
Microsoft Stream lets you easily and securely create, manage, and share organization-related videos. You can share recordings of meetings, presentations, training sessions, and other videos that facilitate team collaboration. It also allows you to share comments and tag them at specific moments in the videos so that they appear whenever you want.
It is the most complete way to have recorded meetings, with subtitles and text transcription. Teams will be able to pay attention to the meeting without losing focus on taking notes.
9. Individual agendas
By scheduling a meeting or video conference, or assigning a task with Planner, all teams can see how available or busy their colleagues are. Teams in conjunction with Planner offers a personalized work schedule with which to better manage everyone’s schedules.
10. Easy administration and handling
Teams provides us with user-friendly and intuitive management tools and applications. The same happens for the administration of user policies and access to servers.
For our collaborators, it presents a simple interface with all the tools at hand.
11. Armored security and compliance with regulations
One point that will always concern us within companies is security. With Teams data at rest and in-transit encryption, it’s no longer a problem. With multi-factor authentication and single sign-on for all Office 365 applications, your information will be safe. All of this, of course, is backed by constant auditing and reporting from Microsoft.
The latest news in Microsoft Teams that you can now take advantage of
Start a new chat in a new window
Teams allows us to open a new chat in a pop-up window.
How is it configured? You just have to go to Settings in Teams and select the eponymous option. Under Opennew chat, select New window. Now the next time you start a chat, it will automatically open in a pop-up window. Both in individual and group chats. You can move the window and change the size to your liking, in case you are chatting with more than one person at the same time and you want to have all of them in view.
New whiteboard in chat, channels and meetings
Microsoft Whiteboard is a free-drawing digital canvas where you can bring together people, content, and ideas. The Teams integration works with the web app, which allows meeting members to jointly draw, annotate, and mark on a whiteboard for everyone.
The app has been completely rebuilt to offer a complete visual collaboration and workspace. Here are some of the advancements that the new update includes:
New, cleaner and more modern user interface with improved functionality
Over 40 new fully customizable templates
New sticky note colors and a grid feature for shape and structure
Users can add comments and new reactions
Images and photos can be inserted to bring ideas to life
Basic shapes, lines and arrows can now be added with a click or screen tap
New markers and highlighters with more colors, thicknesses and inks
Arrow attribute can be added to any pen
Now it is easier to draw perfectly straight lines
Start recording and automatically activate live transcription
Live transcription allows meeting participants to follow and review conversations, along with meeting video or audio in real time. Promotes inclusion in participants with hearing disabilities or different levels of language proficiency. Those who were late or could not attend can also catch up by reading the points scored and the transcript itself. It also eliminates the need to write everything down, avoiding unnecessary duplication.
When you start recording a meeting, live transcripts will be activated.
Microsoft Teams is the necessary tool for any company
We could consider Teams as the ultimate business collaboration tool (or at least the most complete on the market). Chat, calls, meetings, … It offers everything you have in different applications, but in an interconnected way and without having to open thousands of windows.
Help your company take collaboration to the next level and start exploring your collaborative limits to eliminate them with Microsoft Teams.
Gloria Vázquez Puga – Digital Transformation Advisor at Itequia
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