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MICROSOFT TEAMS: what it is and how it can benefit your business

As the world and business went into lockdown over the last year, Microsoft Teams took off as an excellent solution to many businesses remote working issues, providing communication and collaboration opportunities via a virtual chat-based workspace which allows colleagues to organise and hold meetings, chat about projects, and share files and documents securely. 

Despite its inception into the mainstream tech market as a replacement for Microsoft Classroom in 2017, it wasn’t until 2019, when it was announced that it would take the place of Skype for Business, that it really got its foot in the communication and collaboration door, boasting 20 million active users by the end of that year. Six months later, however, Microsoft Teams went from just sitting at the King’s table to actually ruling it as the world watched those numbers make an astounding jump to 75 million DAILY users to seamlessly transition into the remote working model many of us found ourselves in.

Software hubs like Microsoft Teams have allowed us to maintain some form of normalcy in our working lives, but the virtual workspace which Microsoft Teams has created should not just be filed away in the “remote working” pile never to be used again when the pandemic finally comes to an end. On the contrary, Microsoft Teams can benefit your business, whether employees are working on-site or remotely, in ways that you may never have even realised.

ALLOWS FOR FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT WITHOUT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT SECURITY

It’s 2021, so obviously mobility is key, but often a big concern with mobility is data protection. In the good old days, all of your business’s sensitive data was stored on-site, so it was easy to see, and know, exactly who was accessing different types of data. Today, however, Cloud platforms have allowed data to be stored in a shared virtual space which has changed the security playing field a little, but Microsoft Teams has employed the mobile device management (MDM) capabilities of Microsoft Intune to allow your IT team more control over company-issued mobile devices, therefore, allowing total control over:

  • which employees and mobile work devices can access company data
  • how data can be accessed and shared by those users and devices 
  • the protection of business-related data which is stored on and shared via mobile work devices
  • the compliancy of all work applications and devices according to security standards.

HELPS YOU SOURCE DATA AND COLLABORATE MORE EASILY

By utilising the connectors of Azure, Microsoft Teams allows you to connect to more than 200 Microsoft and third-party services in analytics (e.g., Google Analytics), developer tools (e.g., Stack Overflow, Azure DevOps), project management (e.g., Asana, JIRA), customer support (e.g., Groove, Aircall), CRM (e.g., SalesForce), marketing (e.g., MailChimp, GetResponse), HR (e.g., SimpleInOut), and news and social (e.g., Facebook, Sharepoint, Twitter), so you can effortlessly find data, collaborate and get network updates. 

PLAN MEETINGS AND ORGANISE SCHEDULING WITH EASE

As it syncs with an array of online calendars (eg, Google, Outlook) and third-party scheduling and planning apps because of its connector opportunities, planning meetings and scheduling your day has never been as easy as it is with Microsoft Teams.

The ‘Meetings’ tab allows you to quickly see all scheduled and completed meetings and the agenda details. After setting up a meeting using Microsoft Teams, Teams will automatically send meeting invites to those involved and provide you with a channel to host the meeting.

ORGANISE YOUR WORKSPACE TO SUIT YOU

Due to the freedom you have with integrating third-party apps, you have the power to organise your workspace in a way that is more convenient and comfortable for you. This is the virtual equivalent of organising your real-world desk or developing your morning routine. Are breaking news updates as important to you as a message from your boss? No problem! With personalised workspace customisation possibilities, your workspace can reflect this.

ENHANCED COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITIES

“No man is an island”, and a truer word has never been spoken in relation to successful businesses. Having a team that can collaborate easily and seamlessly is essential, and although they may be separated by distance, Microsoft Teams ensures that this becomes a non-issue. Microsoft Teams allows employees to work together on projects and documents in real-time, meaning that all documents, files, and chatgroups are updated immediately as soon as something has been changed, added to, or deleted, making it easier for everyone to stay up to date.

INTEGRATED WITH – AND AS SECURE AS – MICROSOFT OFFICE 365

Regardless of where you are, and what you’ve been told, you CAN have it all! Microsoft Team’s integration with Microsoft Office 365 allows you to access all of the regular applications such as Excel, PowerPoint, Word and many more from wherever you are. As a Microsoft application, it shares the security standards and compliance offered by Office 365, so, as mentioned, your IT team can maintain control over access and devices and permit alerts for and report on audit data – just like other Microsoft services.

STREAMLINED PROCESSES

To make things even easier, Microsoft Teams has employed the use of slash commands, so you can complete your tasks at lightning speed. Slash commands are often one or two-word commands that begin with a slash (‘/’) and are used as basic shortcuts to the most common activities on Teams. For instance, the command ‘/files’ will display the most recent files while ‘/whatsnew’ will allow you to see all new messages/files that have been added to Teams, meaning you spend less time navigating and more time on the important things.

KEEPS MONEY IN YOUR POCKET 

Microsoft Teams boasts NO upfront costs, so you get ALL of the benefits without having to outlay anything as it is included in Office 365’s monthly subscription, and this also means that you can be assured you will always have the newest version on account of Microsoft’s automatic and regularly updates.   

DON’T WAIT ANY LONGER

Over the last year, the true benefits of Microsoft Teams for business have been realised, and they are unmatched. Whether working on-site or remotely, Microsoft Teams combines everything you need to keep your business and teams happy and working effectively – we know because we use it too! 

So, contact the experts at Lindentech today to discuss how Microsoft Teams can enhance your business.  

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