Moving to Microsoft Teams: Is It Time?
It’s never easy to move away from something familiar, even if it is a tool that isn’t working for your business. Or maybe the tool is performing, just not as well as it could be. So how do you know that the time is right to make a move to Microsoft Teams? As a managed service provider, we get this question a lot.
Teams is a product of the Microsoft 365 group that makes everything accessible and available across applications. It has recently become free for Microsoft 365 users and will soon be integrated into Windows. Here are some things to consider if you are considering moving to Microsoft Teams.
Benefits of Microsoft Teams For Business
If you don’t know the benefits of Microsoft Teams, here are a few key points:
- It’s an app that can run on desktop and mobile devices.
- It allows teams to collaborate and communicate from different locations.
- It uses chat instead of emails and channels instead of file folders. This streamlines the number of places you need to go to find the information or files you need to get things done as well as saving time looping people into endless email strings.
- The files within it are secure and you can work on them with others on the team simultaneously in real time.
- You can customize it to suit the way your business works.
When you are a Microsoft 365 customer, you own and control your data. It is not used for anything other than the service for which you subscribe and Microsoft doesn’t have access to uploaded content. Your email, documents or teams are not scanned for any purpose (e.g., advertising) that is not service-related.
Users usually add “it’s fun” to the list of pros for Teams because it stimulates creativity with bots, emojis and other features on hand with a single tap.
Recent Changes to Microsoft Teams
If you already have a Microsoft Office 365 account, MS Teams no longer costs extra. All your tools to communicate with team members are in one place even when the team members themselves are not.
Recent improvements in the Teams hub include the ability to:
- Share your computer’s sound in a meeting
- Share a PowerPoint slide deck
- Share a window or one specific screen on your device
- Record calls organization-wide, to satisfy compliance needs
- Collaborate on Microsoft Whiteboard
- Mute and unmute meeting participants (presenters only)
- Remove attendee’s ability to mute or unmute
The Fine Print of Moving to Microsoft Teams
While there are plenty of benefits, it is important to keep in mind that the Microsoft Teams environment is only as secure and redundant as you set it up to be. Like many cloud systems, the real value is in the configuration of your MS Teams environment.
Teams comes with some cyber security features built in, including:
- Data center security
- Data storage, replication and redundancy
- Privacy controls
- Uptime guarantees
- Protection from hardware and software failures, natural disasters, power outages and other major events
As the user, your business is responsible for:
- Application security
- End-user and network backup solutions
- Privacy configuration
That means you still need to protect your business from cybersecurity threats that include:
- Ransomware and other malware
- External hackers
- Internal malicious acts
- Programmatic errors
- Human errors
Expert Tips for Making the Most of Microsoft Teams
At SWAT Systems, we don’t just help businesses to make the most of Teams. We also use it ourselves. Here are some of our favorite ways to use Teams:
- Record audio and video calls for later reference, for those who were unable to attend or for compliance reasons. Make sure this is in keeping with your organization’s policies first.
- Leverage Do Not Disturb (DND). This feature lets you set times when you are not available to meet to ensure your personal time is respected when people schedule or start impromptu meetings.
- Integrate with other applications directly. With Microsoft Teams, it’s easy to connect MailChimp, Webex, HubSpot and more.
- Mute channels when you don’t want to be distracted with conversations and notifications. Teams allows you to mute and return later.
- Exit the channel when the project has been completed or your role in the project is done. It’s a great way to avoid unnecessary notifications.
In today’s mobile work society, Microsoft Teams fills a need for collaboration, continuity, improved security and even social interfacing at a distance.