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Why Your Business Should Be Using Microsoft Teams

As we move away from the traditional 9-to-5 workplace to more flexible, remote working environments, digital collaboration is more crucial than ever to keep your team productive and engaged. While most organizations have embraced some form of communication and collaboration software such as Zoom, GoToMeeting or Slack, many business owners don’t realize there’s an even better, more cost-effective option available – and it’s right under your nose.

Microsoft Teams is included with the Office 365 suite and provides a powerful and user-friendly solution for remote workers and scattered teams. No matter where you’re working from, Teams will ensure you and your employees can connect, collaborate and work better together, even when you’re further away from the office.

What is Microsoft Teams and what can you do with it?

Teams (previously known as Skype for Business) is Microsoft’s answer to the growing need for a one-stop collaboration, communication and conferencing platform for organizations of every size. The number of businesses using Microsoft Teams has grown exponentially in the last few months, particularly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic as more and more companies make the shift to a remote workforce, and its usage is only expected to continue to rise.

Microsoft Teams offers a range of features to help you communicate with your team and clients, hold virtual meetings, share files and collaborate on projects in real time. It comes included with most Microsoft 365 business plans, and there is also a less functional free version for those who aren’t ready to invest just yet.

With Microsoft Teams you can:

  • Create teams and channels. Organize your team members into channels where they can hold conversations and invite other team members to join.
  • Chat with team members. Instant messaging between individuals and groups lets you have quick, short conversations with teammates and free up your email inbox.
  • Make video calls. Have face-to-face conversations with fast, high-quality video and audio for up to 250 people at once.
  • Schedule and record meetings. Invite up to 250 team members and external users to live video meetings, and record them for those who can’t attend.
  • Hold large events. Reach more people at once with video conferences and events for up to 10,000 attendees.
  • Store and share files. Every team member gets a SharePoint account where they can store files and documents, share them through Teams, and access all shared files.
  • Hold audio conferences. Assign a phone number to your Teams account and allow external users to join meetings and conferences by calling in.
  • Share your screen. Share your entire desktop or just parts of the screen to collaborate instantly, and you can also share the control of your PC which is ideal for technical support.

Key benefits of using Microsoft Teams

On top of everything you can do with Teams, it also has several major benefits for businesses both large and small.

No need to set up or manage any new software

Teams comes automatically included with Microsoft 365, so for the many organizations that are already using the Office suite and other Microsoft services, setting up Teams is as simple as clicking a few buttons in your admin portal. If you’re subscribed to a Microsoft Business or Enterprise plan, you already have full access to Teams – there’s no need to download, set up or manage a new program.

Cost-effectiveness

This makes Teams a very cost-friendly option, especially for businesses that are already regularly using the Microsoft suite of services such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Exchange Online, SharePoint and OneDrive. It gives Teams a major advantage over comparable tools like Zoom and GoToMeeting, which are standalone products and an extra cost for your company – whereas the large majority of businesses are already using Microsoft 365. So you can easily leverage your existing Microsoft subscription by adding Teams to your arsenal at no extra cost.

Seamless integration with existing tools and services

Another distinct advantage of being part of the Microsoft suite is that Teams works directly with all the most common tools you’ll be using every day including Office, Outlook, SharePoint and OneDrive. You can easily schedule calendar meetings, collaborate on documents and share files from Teams without having to switch between multiple tools. Plus, it also connects smoothly to hundreds of third-party services so you can integrate your entire business toolset including Google Analytics, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Evernote, SurveyMonkey, Asana, Trello, your social media accounts, and more.

World-class security

Security and privacy are top concerns for business owners choosing a collaboration tool, especially after Zoom’s well-documented security issues. Microsoft Teams is easily one of the most secure and reliable options, backed by the same world-class security infrastructure that backs every Microsoft 365 product. That means all messages and data in Teams – including audio and video streaming – are automatically encrypted and integrity checked, and administrators can enforce a range of extra security standards including multi-factor authentication and conditional access by IP address or user location.

Top tips for getting the most out of Microsoft Teams

Explore all the features on offer

If you do decide to use Microsoft Teams in your business, make sure to fully embrace everything it has to offer and take the time to learn how to make it work for you. Put Teams on all desktops, laptops and mobile devices, and ensure every member of your organization can use it effectively at work, at home and on the go. A managed IT professional like PCG can provide the necessary consulting and training to help you and your team better utilize Teams in your business, develop internal processes and structure, and make the most out of the platform.

Use the mobile app

The Teams app is secure and feature-rich, giving you added flexibility to communicate, collaborate and stay in the loop even when you’re away from your desk. It’s available on both Android and iOS and has all the same features as the web-based platform except for screen sharing, so you can chat, video call, attend meetings and share files from your mobile when you’re out and about, on the road, and even traveling overseas.

Personalize your experience

There are plenty of customization options in Teams that can make it your own and a more fun experience to use. Change your background in video calls to feel like you’re at the beach or in a rainforest, use the built-in meme generator to create your own memes and add some humor to your conversations, and use the platform to catch up socially for a drink and a laugh – particularly if your team is scattered or isolated. It’s a great way to keep everyone connected and engaged on a personal level, resulting in better productivity and performance at a company level.

PCG can help you get started with Microsoft Teams and improve collaboration, engagement and productivity in your business. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our Microsoft Teams Experts.