Let’s face it, pretty much every brand you can think of in the communications space is trying to roll out their very own app for teamwork and collaboration. There’s competition out there from Google, Cisco, and a host of other companies, all desperate to give you the best workplace apps. While there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of marketplace competition, it’s important for you to know that some solutions are simply better than others.
While I’m not willing to crown Microsoft Teams with my “ultimate team collaboration app of the year” trophy just yet, I’ve got to say that Microsoft has delivered some pretty great functions for the modern business owner. Here, I’ll share five reasons why right now, I’m using Microsoft Teams.
Let’s get started.
1. The Central Communication Hub
Besides being super-stylish, the Microsoft Teams central hub ticks off a lot of my boxes when it comes to a great unified communications app. Designed to make your conversations far more efficient, the communication hub allows you to hold conversations with your team members in a more organised fashion, without having to worry about keeping track of who said what, why, and when. Teams has integrated voice and video calling between users, so no need to open up Skype for Business when you need to make a real-time call.
Chat conversations are persistent (allows users to chat even when they are offline and all messages are recorded and archived). All your conversations are totally searchable, so you can track down something that was mentioned last week, or last month if you want to. That means that nothing gets misplaced, and everything keeps chugging along at the right pace.
2. File-Sharing Solutions
Need to share a brief you just wrote in Microsoft Word with the rest of the team? No problem. Want to share a spreadsheet on Excel with your sales team? Go for it. With Microsoft Teams, you can launch collaboration from your Microsoft apps, and attach files directly to ongoing threads, so you don’t have to constantly jump from one application to another.
Since many of us are familiar with the Microsoft framework, it’s useful to have everything conveniently located in the same place. You can even switch for files that your team members uploaded by checking for keywords.
Another simple but effective tool is the ability to be able to copy and paste text, a URL or an image directly into the chat window. This makes for super fast communication and collaboration with my team members – love it!
3. Productivity Suite Integration
Speaking of having everything you need in one handy location, most companies I know of today are big fans of the Microsoft Office productivity Suite or Office 365. You know what I’m talking about – OneNote, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Skype for Business – all these apps can do wonders for your business, regardless of which industry you’re in. Since Microsoft knows the value of a central hub, they’ve made it possible to work on those apps from within Teams.
All your favourite programs show up as small tabs at the top of your channels, so you just have to switch seamlessly from one tab to the next, whether you want to make notes on OneNote, or start a new spreadsheet.
4. Access Anytime, Anywhere
Let’s face it, great collaboration and productivity solutions should never be restricted to a single device or location. These are the things that we want to be mobile, fluid, and easy to access on the go. Just like all the other productivity solutions within Office 365, companies can easily access Microsoft Teams from any connected devices, no matter where you might be.
This is perfect for the modern world, where remote working and mobile connectivity is more important than ever. I have the Teams app on my iPhone, Mac Book, PC, iPad and even in a browser if I need it – perfect!
5. Third-Party Integration
Finally, while there’s a lot of different things that help to differentiate Microsoft Teams from its competitors like Slack and Teamwork, there’s one thing that’s similar for all of the right reasons – and that’s the ability to take advantage of third-party integrations.
With Microsoft Teams, you can integrate new apps, bots, and various dashboard features into your experience however you like – meaning that doing more, becomes easier. Finally, a solution that gives you everything you need for collaboration.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.