When Microsoft launched Teams last year, the idea was to embed itself into the centre of workplace culture within the enterprise – something that saw more than 125,000 firms adopt it within just six months.
For those in the boardroom the need to refine the way teams communicate with one another to achieve business goals is something that’s explored on an ongoing basis. After all, any technology that increases the likelihood of desired outcomes through collaboration in as few a steps as possible at a cost that suits is certainly something likely to be considered at board level.
So, when Microsoft launched Teams in May last year, there was a clear desire to embed itself firmly in the centre of workplace culture within the enterprise.
As an addition to Office 365, those already familiar with the ecosystem would no doubt see the benefits a new real-time messaging solution could bring to the work place and inter-office communications.
The thinking behind the solution was that Teams would go some way to replacing those annoying inter-team emails we all receive when working on projects. Instead, the new system allows the various participants – or members if you prefer – to communicate and collaborate via both chronological and threaded messages and Skype calls via Office 365 Apps like OneNote, Word, Excel and Power BI. Furthermore, as a neat addition for subscribers on the Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Enterprise E1, E3 and E5 packages, Teams would offer new levels of collaboration not seen before. Even in its preview mode Microsoft confirmed that more than 50,000 organisations had signed up to the new service.
Since then, the team at Redmond has been doing its best to ensure that Teams is being constantly refined and improved upon – something that saw more than 125,000 organisations around the world buy into the solution within just six months of its launch.
Part of this has also meant opening the platform up to offer more enhanced collaboration features so that those using it can integrate more easily with Microsoft’s own applications and ecosystem, as well as other third party offerings like Trello, InVision, SurveyMonkey, Wrike or Adobe Creative Cloud.
So, what does this really mean for those within the enterprise? Well, it delivers real-time continuity whereby users of Teams now have the ability to bring information from apps into work chats and channel messages via just a simple click. Imagine the man-hours shaved across important projects as you effortlessly push information to the wider team, whilst at the same time holding direct chats, audio and video calls. With Teams this can happen. It’s something Microsoft refers to as intelligent communications with the product itself providing the hub to bring together your business conversations, meetings, files, Office apps, and third-party integrations in Office 365.
For those with experience of working in the likes of OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Power BI and SharePoint, Teams feels vey familiar and the high degree of personalisation that is now available following a recent update allows users to see apps they frequently use without having to search for them. In addition, they can also see specific collaboration apps that have been enabled by managers, as well as specifically assigned individual tasks in what is their own personal space. Of course, if there’s something you feel you’re missing and might wish to implement, a new Apps Discovery feature enables businesses to find new apps in areas such as project management, analytics and BI and simply add these in.
Another new addition from Redmond comes in the form of Who, a new app powered by Microsoft Graph that allows you to search across the enterprise for people by name and subject area or topic. Furthermore, the ability to search for information from an app and add this directly into chats and single workflows is something users will welcome as they move towards tasks of increasing complexity.
How does Microsoft think this will work in the future? Well, let’s consider what happens prior to meetings. By using Teams those taking part will be able to extract relevant documents and ‘rich’ information about those participating to help with preparations. Then, as the meeting takes place, everything can be captured, transcribed, and potentially time-coded, with the ability to use closed captioning and voice recognition for attributing remarks to specific people. Then, once the meeting is finished the actual recording and any transcript can then be added to a particular channel so that those needing information can look at any conversations, documents and notes whenever they need to follow-up, feedback or review things.
To find out more about Microsoft Teams and how Crayon can help your business with communication and collaboration, click here.