How does Microsoft Teams Work? What is Microsoft Teams? Microsoft Teams integrates with many other applications in the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites, including Excel, OneDrive, PowerPoint, SharePoint and Word. For added workplace productivity, Teams also integrates with apps outside the Microsoft domain, such as Box, Cisco Webex Meetings and Zoom. Microsoft Teams App Studio enables developers and businesses to build custom apps that will work with Teams.
In addition to software integrations, Microsoft Teams integrates with hardware components. While Teams video calls are possible through desktops and laptops, Microsoft has partnered with video conferencing hardware vendors, such as Crestron, Logitech and Poly, to integrate Teams with their devices.
Microsoft Teams operates on Android, iOS, macOS and Windows systems and devices. It also works in Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge web browsers. Firefox and Safari, however, don’t fully support some of the Teams calling and meeting features.
How does Microsoft Teams Work?
Using a remote communication tool like Microsoft Teams is essential to ensure that your team stays connected even if they’re thousands of miles away.
But if you’re not familiar with the tool, this can be challenging.
If that’s the case for you, don’t worry!
Just follow this simple step-by-step guide to use Teams the right way.
We’ll cover the steps you need to follow on desktop and mobile platforms over:
- How to get started with Microsoft Teams
- How to create teams and channels
- How to set up video conferencing
- How to schedule meetings
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is cloud-based team collaboration software that is part of the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suite of applications. The core capabilities in Microsoft Teams include business messaging, calling, video meetings and file sharing. Businesses of all sizes can use Teams.
Teams is Microsoft’s core cloud-based unified communications (UC) offering, and it competes with similar products, such as Slack, Cisco Webex and Google Workspace. As a business communications app, Teams enables local and remote workers to collaborate on content in real time and near-real time across different devices, including laptops and mobile devices. Microsoft Teams integrates with other Microsoft business applications, including Exchange, PowerPoint and SharePoint.
Microsoft Teams is especially useful for remote collaboration because it keeps dispersed teams of workers connected and communicating. The COVID-19 pandemic compelled organizations worldwide to use Microsoft Teams extensively — as well as other collaboration software — as a communications platform for remote work.
Microsoft Teams is usually deployed across entire organizations and not just within certain company departments. In some cases, Teams could replace email for internal company communication among employees.
What are the Microsoft Teams features?
Microsoft Teams is a persistent chat-based collaboration platform complete with document sharing, online meetings, and many more extremely useful features for business communications.
Having an excellent team space is key to being able to make creative decisions and communicate with one another. Shared workspace software makes this much easier to achieve, especially if a particular team is based in a very large company, has many remote employees, or is made up of a significant amount of team members.
Microsoft Teams features make it stand out from other collaboration software:
- Teams and channels. Teams are made up of channels, which are conversation boards between teammates.
- Conversations within channels and teams. All team members can view and add to different conversations in the General channel and can use an @ function to invite other members to different conversations, not unlike Slack.
- A chat function. The basic chat function is commonly found within most collaboration apps and can take place between teams, groups, and individuals.
- Document storage in SharePoint. Every team who uses Microsoft Teams will have a site in SharePoint Online, which will contain a default document library folder. All files shared across all conversations will automatically save to this folder. Permissions and security options can also be customized for sensitive information.
- Online video calling and screen sharing. Enjoy seamless and fast video calls to employees within your business or clients outside your business. A good video call feature is great to have on a collaboration platform. One can also enjoy simple and fast desktop sharing for technical assistance and multi-user real-time collaboration.
- Online meetings. This feature can help enhance your communications, company-wide meetings, and even training with an online meetings function that can host up to 10,000 users. Online meetings can include anyone outside or inside a business. This feature also includes a scheduling aid, a note-taking app, file uploading, and in-meeting chat messaging.
- Audio conferencing. This is a feature you won’t find in many collaboration platforms. With audio conferencing, anyone can join an online meeting via phone. With a dial-in number that spans hundreds of cities, even users that are on the go can participate with no internet required. Note this requires additional licensing.
- Full telephony. That’s right! The days of seeking VoIP vendors and overspending on a phone system are finally over. Microsoft 365
- Business Voice can completely replace your business’ existing phone system. Note this requires additional licensing.
To put it simply, Microsoft Teams is similar in concept to the popular collaboration software Slack with a lot more bells and whistles. Plus, Microsoft Teams is included in Microsoft365 and Office365 for free.
Why Should Your Business Use Microsoft Teams?
When it comes down to it, businesses should use Microsoft Teams because it is extremely user-friendly and can facilitate a work environment between remote users or within a large business. Projects, productions, and other business elements can benefit from Microsoft Teams.
For businesses already using Skype for Business, the Microsoft Teams client will replace the Skype client, but all additional existing functionality will remain the same.
Using Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is incredibly straightforward and user-friendly. There is little to no set up required. Still, some thought should be put into how a business wants to use the platform before rolling it out across the company.
There are two main options to consider:
- The Organic Approach. A business can choose to immediately implement Microsoft Teams in a “complete free for all” fashion where everyone in the company can do whatever they want with the platform, and the adoption and usage of the Microsoft Teams platform can grow organically.
- The Controlled Approach. This more managed approach involves mandating Microsoft Teams’ use for specific aspects of the company. It also involves tightly controlling who is able to use it and who can do certain things within it, resulting in a phased rollout plan across the company.
You can choose to do something involving both of these approaches or something somewhere in between. What is right for a particular business depends on its culture and use cases. Teams can be controlled and configured directly from the Teams admin centre.
From the user standpoint, Teams is very intuitive and the learning curve is quite small compared to more complicated collaboration tools.
Bespoke training can be provided if needed for team members, but there are also excellent online user training materials available from Microsoft. These materials are presented as a series of very short videos on how to do different things and execute different functions within Microsoft Teams. Because of how easy and simple it is to share documents within Microsoft Teams to multiple or all members, custom training materials and business guidelines can be made available within the platform for new users or employees to access.
Teams is a powerful and extremely useful collaboration environment that will only get more popular. Microsoft Teams is included in Office 365 for free, so any Office user can enjoy all the benefits of this collaboration solution. In summary, it brings simplicity to teamwork by collaborating, sharing, communicating and doing it all under one platform.
Compete366 is an SMB Microsoft Partner. We specialise in helping small and medium companies excel in their respective competitive industries through the use of Microsoft’s cloud technology. We strive to help our customers save money and drive their revenue.
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