As a hub for teamwork, Microsoft Teams is four things in one. With chat, meetings, collaboration and business process workflow management, Teams has become an essential tool in the modern workplace.
Adoption of Microsoft Teams which is part of the Office 365 Suite, is growing fast. Microsoft recently announced that teams has overtaken slack with more than 13 Million daily users and 500,000 organisations are using the application. It helps that Teams comes bundled with Microsoft 365, and other vendors should be worried.
Microsoft has aggressively pushed Teams; these numbers were released before Inspire 2019 held in Las Vegas. During the event, Teams was a hero of Microsoft 365, and they are focused on first-line workers for the application.
In this article, I’ll be discussing eight areas you should consider before implementing Microsoft Teams in your organisation.
1. First off, why teams?
Teams brings simplicity to teamwork by empowering employees to share, collaborate, and communicate seamlessly in one bundle. Best of all, it’s bundled with Microsoft 365.
2. Let’s talk about security
One significant area of focus is governance, compliance, and security. Teams has been built with security in mind, but it’s important to remember that Teams is not fully compliant out-of-the-box. The overall security model is evolving as new customer requirements and issues surface.
A few critical governance and security considerations:
- Malware protection – viruses and malware are a real risk; Teams out of the box requires tweaking to protect your organisation.
- What country is your data stored? – Multi-Geo is not available for all countries; Australia customers do not need to worry because data is stored locally.
- Data compliance – Teams supports eDiscovery for users in an Exchange Hybrid environment.
- How is your data being managed and protected? Before implementing Teams, you should find out.
- How files and data are stored, classified and tracked, from an Information Classification standpoint.
- Can data assets auto-expire?
- Can orphaned content be recovered?
- Can naming conventions be used to ensure that data isn’t lost?
- App management – apps and integrations give the application fantastic potential but also opens up your data to 3’rd parties.
- Who has access to your data? – external collaboration poses risks for IT teams who want more control of who has access. Take extra care to configure your guests in Azure AD, and remind your employees about sharing files.
- Actively prevent data loss and security breaches – DLP is available today, and you should consider enabling it.
3. More efficient than email
By its nature, Teams creates a dialogue, instead of a wall of text. The platform enables users to communicate in short sentences back-and-forth within a group. Questions can be answered quickly, and decisions made on the fly, without pages of emails with an increasing number of people all copied in.
4. Communicate and collaborate on the go
With seamless applications, you can connect across devices from your mobile and desktop apps, or even dial in from any phone. You can set meetings, chat, call, add and collaborate on files across all your devices.
5. Say goodbye to Slack and collaboration apps.
Slack was once the holy grail of collaboration apps, but Microsoft has invested considerably into Teams, many people would argue that Teams functionality surpasses Slack. Teams is included with Microsoft 365, so why would you want to pay Slack when Teams is included?
6. Integrate all your favourite apps
Natively integrate with over 200 apps, need more? Have no fear, Zapier is here! With Zapier, you can post data straight from your CRM into a private channel and let your sales team know about a hot lead. The uses of Zapier with Teams are almost limitless, if the application has an external API, you can integrate it with Microsoft Teams.
7. Enhance your experience with bots
Bots are great to do the work for you, here are a few bots which will enhance the way you work. Teams have many bots to choose from and you can even create your own.
Search for anyone in your organisation. Who is a simple service that lets you search, for whatever or whomever you are looking for, in the form of a simple question. Just ask the Who-bot a question like: Who am I?
Used for calendar comparison and scheduling. Stop wasting time figuring out the ideal day/time for events. When using Teams, you never have to leave the chat/channel to manage your events. Calendar bot will make sure everyone is available and book them in.
A beautiful, native poll and survey experience. Easily conduct and analyse surveys and polls. Polly delivers a simple and easy to use command interface in its bot.
8. Tips for making the most of Teams
- Leave channels – If your project has ended, you can leave a channel. Reduce your channels often to avoid the distraction of unnecessary messages; you can always join again later.
- Schedule alerts – we have all had those pesky chat notifications at 8 pm on a Friday. With Teams, you can set up a Do Not Disturb (DND) policy that ensures your personal time is respected.
- Mute channels – If you want to stay in a channel, but don’t want people to know you are not interested, you always have the option to mute the conversation and come back later.
- Connect your apps – Teams natively integrates with popular tools, including HubSpot, Write, MailChimp and more.
- Use Voice and Video calls – Record calls and meetings while complying to your organisation’s unique policies. We will be announcing our certified solutions soon.