Microsoft Teams: team collaboration tools your business needs

Team collaboration tools bring an organisation’s people together wherever they are in the world, enabling them to connect and communicate as easily as if they were working in the same office. This has traditionally been done through SharePoint, but Microsoft Teams is the next-generation platform for businesses looking to drive digital transformation. If your business is using Office 365, then you already have access to Microsoft Teams. However, many companies haven’t begun to use the new technology to its full capacity, while others haven’t started using it at all.

At Centrality, we use our expertise and knowledge of Microsoft solutions to help businesses deploy the right tools for their business. We can get you up and running with the best team collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, so your business can modernise collaboration and digitally transform.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at Microsoft Teams: why it’s been receiving a lot of recent attention, the benefits of the platform, and how Centrality can help you make it a resounding success.

What is Microsoft Teams and what makes it unique? 

Microsoft Teams is one of many team collaboration tools included in the Office 365 productivity suite. Teams is dedicated to both communication and collaboration, and it now boasts a growing list of capabilities which make it the stand-out team collaboration platform available to businesses.

Although it’s only been around for a year, there’s a genuine sense of excitement about Microsoft Teams and the direction it’s heading – the platform recently won the Best of Enterprise Connect award for making significant technological advancements within the enterprise communications and collaboration industry. It will also be the eventual successor to Skype for Business, making it the go-to communications tool for businesses working in Office 365.

What makes Microsoft Teams different?

In recent years, Slack – a team collaboration tool built around instant messaging – has been the key disruptor in workplace communication technology. Slack has been incredibly successful, yet the platform is not without its drawbacks.

  • Slack is limited to instant chat, without the same capabilities for conference calls, email and document collaboration that are present in Microsoft Teams. Instant chat can only go so far – it’s great for brainstorming ideas and for getting quick answers to a problem – but email is still required for long, formal or external communications, and video conference call technology is needed for ‘virtual’ meetings.
  • With an ever-increasing list of new apps being introduced to the workplace, the productivity app space is becoming increasingly saturated. Slack is great for instant chat; Evernote for note-taking; Basecamp for managing tasks – the list goes on. But should we really expect employees to juggle all these different tools simultaneously? Is it productive? Lots of people are now used to this way of working and think it’s the only option, but there is, in fact, a better way.

With Teams, Microsoft offers something different. It offers a comprehensive communication and collaboration hub that gives you access to everything you need in one window—integrating with other Office 365 apps like SharePoint, Outlook, and OneNote, as well as a host of third-party applications.

Unlock the potential of team collaboration tools

So, what kind of benefits can your business expect from Microsoft Teams?

  • Real-time communication
    With instant chat in Teams you can message colleagues with questions and queries and receive an instant response.
  • Meetings in the cloud
    With Teams and Skype, you can hold meetings in the cloud that bring your teams together, face-to-face, wherever they are. Take collaboration to the next level with screen sharing in Teams meetings.
  • Centralised sharing space
    Create dedicated Teams specific to any of your business needs—projects, people, products, or even hobbies. Post links, attachments, and more for all followers to see.

The future of communication and collaboration

Microsoft has been releasing new updates to Teams on a monthly basis. In recent months, this has included greater app integration with the most popular enterprise tools, as well as better mobile and in-chat functionality.

But the reason that Microsoft Teams has been making headlines in technology circles is because of its bright future. Microsoft has made a few big moves in this regard:

1. Giving Skype for Business a new home. The popular video conference call technology will soon be incorporated into Microsoft Teams. Nothing will change in terms of how users make calls and set up meetings, but they will be able to access this functionality through Teams. This effectively makes Teams an all-in-one communication hub within Office 365.

2. Introducing intelligent communications. Microsoft announced plans recently to take Teams integration much further, into the physical spaces of our workplaces and devices. Microsoft plans to integrate Teams with desk phone devices, smart meeting rooms, and artificial intelligence. Microsoft is only one year into the Teams project, but they promise a new era of intelligent communication and collaboration for its users.

Another addition to the list

Microsoft Teams is set to become Microsoft’s beacon of communication and collaboration in Office 365. One of the latest additions to the productivity platform, it’s another addition to the long list of reasons to adopt Office 365 if you haven’t already.

The caveat is that, with such a variety of applications available to Office 365 users, Microsoft offers a variety of payment plans with various options available. Before moving to the modern way of working, you need to understand which elements of Office 365 will actually use to avoid over-paying for the software.

Getting the secure, reliable, and flexible infrastructure you need – without breaking the budget – requires help from the experts. At Centrality, our 20 years’ experience with Microsoft technologies has given us an unparalleled understanding of the Microsoft landscape, so we can match your business needs to the right technology to help you drive digital transformation and maximise worker productivity.

We also offer bespoke training and support services to help ensure real and continued adoption of new applications like Microsoft Teams as and when they arrive.

Find out more about how to create a seamless transition to Office 365.

To find out more about team collaboration tools and how Microsoft Teams can bring your business success in the modern workplace, contact us at Centrality today. We are Microsoft experts and are dedicated to providing client-focused IT services. We leverage the right Microsoft solutions in the right combination to drive digital transformation at your organisation.