Introduction To Microsoft Teams
With an increasing number of individuals working from home due to the pandemic, digitally collaborative software, like Microsoft Teams, is becoming more relevant and popular than ever. Teams is described by Microsoft as a chat-based workspace within the Office 365 environment, thus allowing teams of employees to collaborate within a single window. Within that window, users have access to various Office 365 tools and applications to improve productivity. These include audio and video conference calls, instant messaging and chat, calendar and meeting access, and the ability to create, edit, share and find various content types.
This article provides a broad overview of Microsoft Teams so keep reading to learn more!
Benefits of Using Teams
Microsoft has developed a variety of workspaces over the years like Teams, but none boasted the vast functionality and collaborative capabilities of this software:
- Azure Active Directory integration – Teams can be fully integrated with Azure Active Directory, a single sign-on, multi-factor security authentication.
- Centralized hub – Teams delivers a central repository for file sharing and storage, message storage, and the ability to upload and view documents during conference calls.
- Customized teams – Users can create teams based on function, content, users, etc.
- Enterprise security – With such sensitive documents being shared, Microsoft ensures the highest level of enterprise security.
- No upcharge for Office 365 subscribers – Best of all, if your company is an Office 365 owner or subscriber, Teams is available at no charge.
- Office 365 integration – All Office 365 programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) can be uploaded, viewed, and edited within the Teams workspace.
Teams and Channels
As previously mentioned, one of the greatest benefits is creating and customizing teams to act as a centralized hub of communication and information. This all begins by creating a team, which can easily be accomplished in a few clicks. Once a team is created, users can be added and start chatting about projects, uploading documents, and having conference calls. Every team has a subsection, which is called a channel. Within a single team, you can have multiple channels (i.e., Marketing, Social Media, Blogs, Product Launch, etc.). On the other hand, one company can have a team, and channels can be used for different departments.
One of the most important Teams features is for each created team to have a centralized discussion area that is easily searchable and saved to the cloud. Conversations are a critical component of where all collaborations are documented, from video calls to file sharing. You can tag other participants in a conversation using the @ symbol and even notify entire teams. When a user has been tagged, they can easily find where in the conversation they are mentioned. Additionally, the Team desktop app will provide an alert. Users can also “like” content and share GIFs or emoticons.
Another crucial aspect of the Teams collaborative workspace is file sharing. Within the Teams window, users can perform numerous tasks without having to navigate between applications. File-related tasks include moving files, deleting, downloading, opening, editing, copying, and linking for sharing with others. These are all the same features you would receive when using native Microsoft apps.
The notes feature utilizes OneNote, which can share, view, edit, and move notes within or across a team. This is incredibly helpful for tracking milestones and documenting conversations for the entire team to view.
Teams is a multi-functional and collaborative work environment that is becoming the norm within the modern workplace and is crucial for communication between coworkers while working from home. If you are familiar with Microsoft applications, then Teams will be an easy adaptation to your general work process.