THE USE OF REMOTE BUSINESS APPLICATIONS SUCH AS MICROSOFT TEAMS, WHICH ALLOWED BUSINESSES TO MAINTAIN PRODUCTIVITY WHILST WORKING REMOTELY, HAVE GROWN SIGNIFICANTLY IN POPULARITY.
Microsoft estimates that the use of Teams rose to 75 million daily active users as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened - indeed, Microsoft claimed that Teams was the fastest growing business app in its history.
This trend has continued into 2021, with many businesses choosing to continue with home-based, or hybrid, working methods.
In today’s blog, we take you through some of the best features of Teams, and how they can be utilised effectively by your business.
1. Improving Efficiency
Teams improves efficiency across businesses of all sizes.
Video meetings can be scheduled for multiple – even hundreds – of individuals, and participants can join on a comprehensive range of devices from any location with an internet connection.
Org-wide teams allows everyone across your business to be a part of a single team - a useful tool for company news or announcements.
Furthermore, users from outside an organisation can be invited to chat as ‘guest’ users - Teams is an effective tool for communicating with external vendors or other third parties.
2. Enhanced Features
Teams features a range of useful video call features, such as screen sharing, hand raising, recording, and noise suppression using deep-learning algorithms to filter out background noise.
Teams features a dedicated whiteboard for each meeting, where participants have a space to sketch ideas - an incredibly useful tool for collaborating during meetings.
3. Real-Time Updates
Gone are the days of waiting for annotated updates via email - Teams allows users to work collaboratively on documents in real-time.
Dedicated chat channels can be set up to discuss specific topics, and a search function allows users to locate information from past conversations or files.
4. Reduced Communication Clutter
Teams reduces communication “clutter” across your business.
The real-time chat function allows users to have quick conversations with colleagues. @mention a colleague in a chat, and they will receive a notification that they have been mentioned.
Furthermore, your employees will be able to queue sent messages when offline via Teams.
5. Enhancing Infrastructure
Teams provides a flexible cloud-based phone system, with advanced features such as call transfer, call queues, DIDs per employee and multilevel auto attendants.
Calls can be made from data-enabled desktops, laptops, mobile phones or tablets, and users can access voicemails from anywhere.
6. Data Security
Security is a key consideration for businesses that are operating remotely, particularly if you are implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy.
Teams meets strict compliance standards, including EU Model Clauses, ISO 27001, HIPPA and SOC 2.
Furthermore, Teams features advanced security controls that cover retention policies, eDiscovery, legal hold and data-loss prevention, such as encrypting data in transit and at rest.
Teams can also be customised to be private or publicly available for users within your business who have an Office 365 account.
7. Seamless Compatibility
Teams is compatible with Microsoft’s suite of applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, and Outlook.
Seamless integration with Microsoft 365 means that there is no need to switch between applications - users can collaborate on Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents in Teams, and turn their apps and files into tabs at the top of the channel.
Teams can be integrated with other business applications, such as Zendesk, and can be downloaded onto a variety of devices.
An easy-to-use app is available on Android, Windows, and iOS, allowing your employees to have a video meeting, chat via text, or have a voice conversation.
9. Analytics Tools
Teams features a range of analytics tools via the Teams Admin Center, providing you with an insight into activity patterns across your business via a user-friendly dashboard.
See who is collaborating in your team, and whether the tool is being used effectively across your business.
Teams features a range of accessibility tools, to ensure everyone across your business has access to the resources they need to operate efficiently.
Users can view, translate and hear messages, as well as enlarging text to fill the entire window. Furthermore, Teams features a useful built-in translator.