How Microsoft Teams is the Best of Office 365 in One Place
Welcome to Day 2 of PixelMill’s ’12 Days of Microsoft Teams’ series! Much like your favorite shape-shifting vehicular heroes, Microsoft Teams is more than meets the eye. Enjoy!
Microsoft Teams (Teams) brings increased efficiency to your organization in many ways, offering a collaborative space for private chats, project-specific team conversations, voice, video, meetings, file storage, scheduling and planning, time tracking…the list goes on. While Teams also offers many third-party integrations, the beauty of Teams is that it hosts the best of the native resources you’ve already invested in through your Office 365 license. Teams pulls the best of the Office 365 productivity suite onto one canvas, empowering your Team to make use of your investment in a highly efficient way.
On the surface, Teams seems fairly simple as a chat-based platform, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Let’s dissect this collaboration tool to better understand what is powering it.
At the root of Teams, is that the grouping of a team is powered by Office 365 Groups; a team is powered by a group. At the next level, when a channel is created it gets its own unique email address (alias), all powered by Exchange.
Calendar = Exchange (Outlook)
Exchange also powers the calendar feature in Teams and the integration with Outlook is evergreen! We’re seeing new features added to Teams almost on a daily basis at this time. This is bringing greater parity between the Calendar in Teams and the calendar in Outlook. Using the channel-unique email address, you can email a specific channel address to share emails in Teams as well.
Files = SharePoint
File sharing, both internal and external, in Teams is powered by SharePoint directly into a native collaborative environment. SharePoint alone does allow for collaboration but the context was missing. Now with Teams you can collaborate on a file as a Team and hold specific threaded conversations and meetings that directly correspond to that file.
Voice/Meetings – an “upgrade” for Skype for Business
Voice and meetings within Teams are similar to what we saw with Skype for Business. We continue to see more parity between what is offered in Skype for Business and the features in Teams. This should come as no surprise, since Microsoft has officially announced an end-of-life for Skype for Business which will be replaced by none other than Teams. If you’re currently using Skype for Business and want more information about this transition, check out our blog, Microsoft is Dropping Skype for Business, Who’s the New Apple of Their Eye?
Recordings = Stream
When you record a voice or video chat in Teams it natively records it into Stream, automatically uploads it into a Stream channel, and makes it available for replay or editing as defined by your Stream permissions.
Notes = OneNote
With Team’s direct integration with OneNote you can easily surface a OneNote into your Teams tabs. Each team automatically gets a OneNote so you can sync it to your tab. Here at PixelMill, we use OneNote so often we actually pinned the OneNote app in the left-hand nav bar for easy access.
Tabs = Team Sites and extensibility
Because your team is powered by an Office 365 group, you not only get SharePoint files, but behind the scenes you also get a Team Site, enabling you the ability to surface your lists and libraries in a Teams tabs, including adding many other apps and custom apps as tabs as well.
Project Management = Planner
Planner adds the power of Project Management in a tab bringing project management into one system.
The list goes on…
Workflows managed by Power Automate (previously called Flow) allow you to further integrate other aspects of the Office 365 suite. For example, we use Forms, Power Automate, and Teams to easily manage time-off requests without ever having to leave Teams. A user can submit a request via a Form surfaced in a Teams tab, and once the request has been approved, they receive a confirmation via a notification from a flow bot in Teams that their request has been approved.
In addition to all the impressive native integrations with Office 365, Teams integrates well with many third-party tools and is adding new functionality every day. Some current third-party integrations include Jira, Twitter, Zoom, Trello, Salesforce, GitHub, WebEx, ServiceNow, and Adobe.
Teams brings the power of many tools all into one canvas, and it only gets better with age. If you truly want to make the most of your Office 365 investment, Microsoft Teams is a surefire way to encourage adoption, enforce governance, and empower your team to collaborate in new and effective ways. It not only saves your employees time by not having to constantly move to different tools but encourages and fosters teamwork through the ease of collaboration features.
With all the deep integration, it’s important to think through how your organization will use Teams and how it may affect other aspects of your digital workspace. With its intuitive design and ease-of-use Teams seems like a deceptively simple tool, but as you can see there’s a lot going on behind the scenes powering this solution. It’s crucial that you think through and properly plan how Teams will be used before going rolling it out to your organization. Get more information in our post, Why Teams governance Matters.
Want to learn more about how Teams could help your organization take digital teamwork to the next level? Let’s chat today!