What is Microsoft Teams? Learn How to Use It!

Technology changed the way people communicate and interact with each other personally and professionally. Several tools were developed over the years to make this communication more efficient and to increase productivity.

Microsoft Teams is a workspace from Office 365 based on real-time chat that has become one of the most popular tools in the entire world, with over 115 million users per day (statistic from September 2020). 

By creating a single and brand new experience for the user, connecting people, conversations, and content with Office 365 tools, Microsoft Teams facilitates collaboration, allowing teams to do more and stay connected.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a complete collaboration platform that facilitates real-time chat (including language translation for global teams!), document sharing, online meetings, and many other resources that can be really useful for business communication.

Many already knew Skype, a video chat tool acquired by Microsoft several years ago, however, Microsoft Teams not only provided this basic service but many other key features that are necessary for work teams to thrive.

It allows much more integration possibilities and control over processes, more content, more tools, and increased collaboration. And the best part is that it does so in a single platform to make your work even more productive on a daily basis.

Microsoft Teams is based on the idea that having an excellent workspace for your team is essential for decision-making and communication. A shared software workspace makes collaboration easier, especially for big companies with multiple teams, remote workers, and a big amount of collaborators. 

Features of Microsoft Teams

For some people, Microsoft Teams is only a video chat tool, but those who know how to properly use it can explore several different functionalities. 

Teams integrates practically all Office features in a single platform. Users can make video and audio calls, chat, screen mirroring for presentations and demonstrations, and use famous Microsoft software such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc all within the single program.

Through the platform, collaborators from different departments can share files in real-time, follow up on workflows, and create content and different work environments, optimizing the time spent on tasks and increasing team efficiency.

This is done through the following features:

  • Teams and Channels: Teams provide a feature for channel and team creation. Each team has its own channel and chat panel, allowing them to share their work with each other. Everyone in the same team can add files to the conversation and tag each other if necessary.
  • File storage in SharePoint: Each team has a connected folder in SharePoint. This folder is accessed online and contains all shared files. Files sent in the chat are automatically saved and it is possible to set up exclusive security steps to have access to it.
  • Video Chat and Screen Mirroring: Teams allow members to be closer, even when far away from each other. Video Calls also allow document sharing and screen mirroring to improve the experience in online meetings.  
  • Together Mode and Breakout Rooms: Teams launched an amazing new feature at the end of 2020 that allows the meeting organizer to bring everyone together in a single visual, as if they are all sitting in an audience side-by-side. This feature is called “Together-mode”. Oppositely, they also launched breakout rooms that allows users in a meeting to virtually attend different breakout rooms, as if they would at a large meeting or conference. 

How to Implement Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has several different offers, from free ones to those made for each company’s needs. It is recommended that an official Microsoft Trade Representative implements the tools and instructs collaborators to adapt to the platform.  

Although the platform is extremely intuitive, having specialized technical support can be of great use to help your company to extract the most benefits from the features offered. We’ve only scratched the surface with some of the amazing benefits the tool offers!

Microsoft Teams on a Daily Basis

It is likely that you use text documents for work, share them with colleagues and ask for suggestions. Through Teams, you can create a Word document, share it with your team, ask for suggestions or reviews right on the platform. They can access and edit the file within Teams, which saves them from having to save the document on their computer, attach it, and email it back. 

You can create multiple Excel sheets, share them separately with different groups of people at the same time, allowing only authorized professionals to make edits on them. All that, being in a real-time chat or video call.  

Multiple Environments Managed on the Same Platform

And last but not least, Microsoft Teams increases collaboration and facilitates integration in a single platform between different departments, being a great solution for innovation management. Innovation management is the process of conducting innovative ideas until they become results. It is having those ideas, planning, transforming them into plans of action, and developing them until they become reality.

When a company uses a tool such as Microsoft Teams to manage their teams, innovation management also benefits from it since it is possible to integrate everyone’s contribution into a single platform.

Teams also allow the development and implementation of apps that add new features, such as Teams Ideas IDEATION, a solution focused on increasing collaboration for creating and selecting promising ideas. This allows the company to build a solid infrastructure for innovation management, making promising ideas be heard and taken to the next step.

Microsoft Teams, however, is just a tool. You still need to seek great team management to achieve success. If your goal is to establish regular and constant communication and feedback, increase engagement, provide transparency about how your work, and contribute to the company’s objectives, Microsoft Teams is the right solution for you. 

Do you want to know more? Get in touch with us and talk to one of our consultants!