Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform designed to facilitate communication and teamwork within organisations. It is part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of productivity tools and is available as a web app, desktop application, and mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
You may know of many businesses that use Microsoft Teams, which has piqued your interest in looking into it for your business. Although Microsoft Teams usage is growing each year, it really took off back in 2020 (I’m sure you can think of why).
Let’s look into the history of Microsoft Teams and why it’s so successful in providing businesses with such a seamless service.
History of Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams was first launched in March 2017 as part of the Office 365 suite of productivity tools. It was developed in response to the growing popularity of collaboration tools such as Slack and aimed to provide a similar platform for businesses to communicate and collaborate.
In its initial release, Microsoft Teams included features such as group chat, online meetings, and the ability to collaborate on files in real time. Over time, Microsoft continued to add new features and functionality to the platform, including third-party app integration, live captions, and the ability to record meetings.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the use of Microsoft Teams skyrocketed as businesses around the world adopted remote work policies and sought out tools to facilitate digital collaboration. Microsoft responded by adding new features to Teams, such as virtual backgrounds, breakout rooms, and together mode, which uses AI to create a more immersive meeting experience.
As of September 2021, Microsoft Teams had more than 145 million daily active users and was available in 181 markets and 44 languages. The platform continues to evolve, with Microsoft focusing on improving collaboration and productivity for remote and hybrid work scenarios.
The last time Microsoft updated this figure, it said over one million organisations use Teams.
What Functionality Does Microsoft Teams Have?
Microsoft Teams has had great success due to how great its software is. With Microsoft Teams, users can create teams for projects or departments, and within each team, they can create channels to organise conversations and content.
The platform includes a variety of communication tools, such as instant messaging, voice and video calling, and online meetings, allowing team members to collaborate in real time. Everything you need for a working day, without needing to be in the same room as your colleagues.
If you haven’t yet been convinced to purchase Microsoft Teams, let’s look at the top 5 benefits it will provide your business:
1. Streamlined Communication
Microsoft Teams provides a single platform for all communication needs throughout your working day. Through Teams, you can communicate via instant messaging, voice and video calling, and online meetings. This means that all team members can stay connected and up-to-date with the latest information in real time, regardless of their location.
2. Improved Collaboration
Similar to streamlined communication, Microsoft Teams has the functionality to improve collaboration across your business. You can create channels to organise conversations and content related to specific projects or topics; for example, you might have a channel specifically for marketing, finance, HR etc. This makes it easy for team members to collaborate on tasks and share files, leading to increased productivity and better results.
3. Integration with Other Tools
I’m sure you have used other Microsoft applications, such as Word, Excel, Outlook etc. Microsoft Teams also integrates with other Office 365 applications, making sharing and accessing files and scheduling meetings easy.
It also allows users to add third-party applications to their Teams workspace, enabling them to work with their preferred tools directly within Teams.
4. Third-Party App Integration
Teams also allows users to add third-party applications to their workspace. This means that teams can work with their preferred tools directly within Teams, which can improve efficiency and workflow.
Here are some examples of the types of third-party apps that can be integrated with Teams:
Teams integrates with productivity tools such as Trello, Asana, and Evernote to help teams manage tasks and projects more efficiently.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
Teams can be integrated with popular CRM systems such as Salesforce and Hubspot, enabling teams to manage customer interactions and sales processes directly from Teams.
Social Media Management Tools
Teams integrates with social media management tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer, allowing teams to monitor and manage their social media channels from within Teams.
Document Management Systems
Teams can be integrated with document management systems such as SharePoint and OneDrive, making it easy for teams to access and collaborate on documents directly within Teams.
Video Conferencing and Webinar Tools
Teams integrates with video conferencing and webinar tools such as Zoom and Webex, allowing teams to host virtual meetings and webinars directly from within Teams.
These are just a few examples of third-party apps and services that can be integrated with Microsoft Teams. In addition, Teams also supports custom integrations through its open API, enabling organisations to build their own integrations with other apps and services.
5. Security and Compliance
Cyber Security is of critical importance and something your business should make sure to have and invest in. Microsoft Teams is built with security and compliance in mind. The security features have been built to protect user data and communications’ confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Here are some of the security features of Microsoft Teams:
Microsoft Teams uses end-to-end encryption to protect data in transit. This means that only the sender and recipient of a message can see its contents.
Teams supports multi-factor authentication, which requires users to provide additional proof of identity beyond just a password, such as a code sent to a mobile device.
Secure Guest Access
Teams provides secure guest access, enabling users to collaborate with people outside their organisation without compromising security.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Teams includes data loss prevention features that allow administrators to create policies to protect sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or social security numbers.
Teams complies with many industry standards and regulations, such as HIPAA and GDPR, ensuring that organisations can use Teams to collaborate while securely meeting their legal and regulatory obligations.
Overall, Microsoft Teams can improve communication, collaboration, and productivity within organizations, while also providing a secure and compliant platform for team members to work together effectively. If you are interested in Microsoft Teams and would like to see how it would work within your business, contact our experts on 01273 806211 or email [email protected].