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Over the last few weeks, there has been a grand experiment with remote working. One of the problems is maintaining communication and collaboration among team members.
Email is a very cumbersome and unproductive way to communicate with team members. It is slow and hard to keep track of multiple conversations and conversation threads.
Several platforms have been created over the last few years that attempt to solve this problem.
One example is Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft has spent many resources over the last few years enhancing their Microsoft Teams collaboration platform. It is a tool your agency should consider adding. One reason is Teams are included as part of the Office 365 (recently renamed Microsoft 365) subscription.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork that allows employees to communicate and collaborate in a single and secure location. Teams is a four-in-one solution. Messaging provides a rich chat-based experience, online meetings – similar to Zoom – where you can stay visually connected, phone calling capabilities built on Microsoft’s worldwide network, and native integration with the familiar Office applications.
The Teams experience is built for the web browser as well as apps. So you can use all of your devices running Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
The tools available in the Teams platform include:
- Chat – If you are familiar with Slack, then this tool will be familiar. You can have private one-on-one chats as well as group chats. To keep organized, you can pin chats to the top. There are far too many ways to manage chat to mention here!
- External Partners – You are able to add external partners and vendors to a conversation.
- Attachments – Any type of document can be attached to a conversation and shared by all parties.
- Collaboration – If an attachment is an Office file, others can work on the document from within Teams. You no longer need to email documents to each other and determine which is the latest version.
- Third-Party Apps and Services – A variety of Microsoft applications as well as a growing library of third-party apps, services, and tools are available.
- Meetings – Microsoft Teams has a complete meeting solution that supports sharing video and audio conferencing. You can schedule a meeting from the platform, as well as create a live event. An interesting feature is a transcription. Transcription allows you to search for your name or keywords, and by clicking on the results, you will be taken to that part of the meeting recording.
There is a lot in Microsoft Teams to like. Microsoft is spending the resources to build out a full-function single platform that will help your team be much more effective – especially in a virtual world.
What tools do you use to improve collaboration and communication?