Introducing Microsoft Teams
17th February 2020
Microsoft Teams has been built for today’s diverse workforce. Eventually replacing Skype for Business, Teams is a collaboration tool for your entire company, allowing staff to work together and share information via a common workspace.
Accessible via desktop, mobile or web, Teams is built for the 21st century.
Teams: What is it for?
Teams is for staff collaboration – conversations, sharing ideas, chats, passing on knowledge, meetings, sharing files, tasks, all in one place.
How does your business currently share information? Do you typically use email, with updates & information being sent back and forth?
Are you distracted by a constant barrage of irrelevant email updates?
Not only is email to collaborate distracting and inefficient, but you also end up generating multiple copies of the same data, with no control over who has the latest version.
With Microsoft Teams, you can easily share documents and information with staff. You can the version history of your documents, and can even see documents being updated in real time!
Teams: A quick tour
Let’s have a quick run through some of the features of Microsoft Teams:
Activity Feed – A visual display of recent activities from you and your colleagues.
Use the funnel icon to filter between different activity types [such as missed calls, mentions and unread posts].
Chat – Have one on one chats, or group based chats with your team members.
Use this to directly share ideas, links and documents in real time.
The deep integration of video conferencing into Teams allows you to have face to face conversations, live presentations and even the ability to share your screen! You’ll find these options at the top right of the chat window:
Teams – The Teams section is where you go to create new teams & channels, or join existing ones.
Microsoft describes Teams as “… a collection of people, content, and tools surrounding different projects and outcomes within an organization”
Channels - Each Team has one or more subsections called Channels [a ‘General’ Channel will automatically be created when you create you Team].
You can have multiple Channels within a Team; for example, you could have a ‘Marketing’ Team and then Channels such as ‘Social Media’, ‘Product Launch’, ‘Blogs’ etc. Whenever there is a new notification or activity, the Channel will become bold.
You can even add email addresses to Teams, useful if you need to ‘CC information when emailing external contacts.
Rather than getting side-tracked with random email or wasting hours cleaning up your inbox, create new Teams and Channels to track conversations, meetings and documents related to the topic or task specific to that Channel. This allows you to focus your attention on the items you need to work on.
Channel Tabs - Each Channel has a set of tabs along the top. Posts (group chat), Files (shared documents) and Wiki (shared Notes) are automatically created. You can add additional tabs using the + icon.
Posts – Are one of the key features of Teams, allowing each Team to have a centralised discussion that is saved and easily searchable. Posts are the central component where all teamwork is recorded – from file sharing to video calls.
The use of @mentions allows you to tag participants or even whole teams to notify others. Users that look at Conversations will easily see where they have been mentioned through the red @ symbol to highlight areas of importance to them. On top of this, your desktop app will notify you through an alert. As well as tagging, users can ‘like’ content and share emoticons or GIFs.
Files - In your Teams window, you can perform a variety of tasks directly within that window or browser, so that you avoid flicking between different applications. These tasks include the ability to delete, download, move files, open, copy, edit or get a link to share with others – giving you all the key features you would get in the native apps.
You can also start a Group chat alongside the open file, to allow team discussions while all working on the files – and this conversation will appear in your Conversation thread.
Adding Tabs - As well as Posts, Files and Wiki, you can also add your own from a selection of predefined ‘Apps’, which currently include Planner, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, Power BI dashboards and more.
Calendar - This pulls your meetings in from Outlook and allows you schedule meetings with individuals and Teams (groups). You can even schedule meetings with external users.
Calls - You can make one-on-one or group calls with anyone in your organization directly from a chat without having to host a team meeting. These calls are private and won’t appear in any team conversation. Call history will be recorded though [under calls / history].
Note: You can integrated Teams with your phone lines, then you will be able to use Teams as a traditional phone system, making external calls, conferencing etc.
Files – The Files button lets you see all your important files, which are sorted into the following categories:
Recent – This view shows you every Office 365 document you’ve viewed or edited in recent history.
Note: Another way to view your recent files is to type /files into the command box at the top of Teams.
Microsoft Teams – shows you all the documents that have been created or edited recently within your favourite channels.
Downloads – you’ll see a list of all the files you’ve downloaded to Teams.
Cloud storage – shows all the different cloud storage services you’ve connected to Teams. You should see your Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage by default, but you can also add storage from other services such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
Still need to use Skype for Business?
It is possible to still use Skype for Business up until the 31st July 2021.
If you still need to use Skype for Business and you have already been moved over to Teams, or you would like to plan your migration to Teams gives us a call.
Teams: Want to know more?
Microsoft have several web resources that you can use for your Teams deployment:
If you’d like to know more about Microsoft Teams and how it could help your business, give us a call today and we’ll happy to help.
PC Comms Ltd
Tel: 01278 458558