Wednesday Jan 19, 2022

Collaborating in Office 365: What is Microsoft Teams?

How many times do you get involved in a long email thread with a group of coworkers? Is your team’s communications difficult to document and scattered across multiple programs? How can your workgroup collaborate, chat, and share important files and resources more easily? Your solution is Microsoft Teams. Teams is a cloud-based collaboration tool that is part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of applications. The core capabilities of Microsoft Teams include:

  • Creation and management of work groups.

  • Communication via chat / instant messaging

  • Connect with audio calls

  • Launching impromptu or scheduled video meetings

  • Share files and links

  • Documentation of work and resources.

  • Simplify access to other Office applications

With Teams, workgroups within an organization can collaborate on content across different devices (laptops, tablets, and smartphones) and across multiple platforms, including Windows and Mac. Additionally, with Microsoft Teams, a team can also invite external partners, such as vendors, service providers, and consultants, to participate in collaboration and conversations, as well as to share resources. This is a great advantage for productivity and project management.

Better than Slack and Google Hangouts

At its core, Teams is a chat-based workspace that features group and private / instant messaging, with chained and persistent conversations. Although Teams competes with similar products like Slack and Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams is more robust, included with Office 365, and connects with other Office 365 applications, such as Excel, Word, OneNote, Planner, and SharePoint. This integration with other Microsoft Office programs creates a more seamless and seamless portal and experience.

Note: If your organization currently uses Skype for Business for instant messaging, you will likely see a switch to Teams as Skype for Business has an expiration (end of life) date of 2020.

Customize with channels

Teams are made up of channels that can be organized by topic, project, or department. Channels are quite flexible as they store meeting history, chat, files or shares, and other communications that can be easily searched. Additionally, each channel can be customized with tabs for applications such as SharePoint, Planner, OneNote, as well as files and other shares. Planner is an easy-to-use Office 365 application for creating to-dos or action items for members of a workgroup and then tracking the progress of each action for a project or team.

Communicating with a specific channel member or even the entire team is easy with @mentions too. Fortunately, the Activity tab in Teams makes it easy to catch up on all your unread messages, @mentions, replies, and more. Like other messaging services, Teams communications can also include emojis and GIFs, an essential part of any business communication. .

Video and voice meetings

Within a team-based message thread, you can easily schedule voice and video meetings or start a quick impromptu meeting with little effort. Teams meetings can even be scheduled from Microsoft Outlook. Regardless of the method used to schedule meetings, they are synchronized with Outlook to keep you up to date. Video meetings can be started with specific contacts or within a channel, and it is easy to create a recording of the meeting. Microsoft Teams includes a cool artificial intelligence (AI) feature called blurry background. With such a mobile and remote workforce, this tool allows you to remove a cluttered or unprofessional background from a call while still interacting with each participant on the call.

Microsoft Team Resources

To save time working with Microsoft Teams, get a brochure on Teams keyboard shortcuts at http://thesoftwarepro.com/teams.

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