30/10/2020

5 Things You Ought To Know About Microsoft Teams

The Internet is awash with ‘Things you ought to know about’ articles – far too many to list here. But if you’ve ever stumbled across one that relates to ‘your thing’, then you have probably either enjoyed testing your knowledge against the guru who has poured over the fine details for everyone else’s benefit, or realised that you are hardly scratching the surface in its use.

September saw Microsoft host the last of its ‘big three’ conferences, all held online this year. Microsoft Ignite, for IT pros, had a jam–packed line–up of announcements right across its cloud services and none more so than for its flagship communication and productivity Hub – Microsoft Teams.

From custom meeting layouts and breakout rooms to meeting recaps and a new relevant search results experience, Microsoft are piling on the value to the fastest growing application in its history. Many of the new features are contained here in this Microsoft Ignite 2020 blog.

However, before you go poking around for the latest bells and whistles (many of these features will be rolled out gradually over the next few months), let me ask you: how are you getting on with what’s already in there?

And so, in keeping with the introduction, here are Nitec’s top five tips you definitely ought to know about straight out of the gate.

1. Upgrading from Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams is the enhanced replacement for Skype for Business, which is due to be retired in 9 months’ time. If you’re still using Skype for Business or running Teams in ‘Islands’ mode, you need to do something about that NOW. Apart from the obvious need to avoid taking this migration down to the wire, moving to Teams Only mode will give you the richest video calling experience and much more besides. You will, of course, still be able to join SfB meetings from third parties, so there is no reason not to upgrade immediately.

2. Simplified internal and external communications

Are you using Teams for the occasional IM? Great! But why don’t you insist that your organisation only ever communicates internally using Teams? The advantages over email are numerous; but never having a chain of emails in your inbox as long as your arm again about the same subject, as well as freeing up your inbox for external communication only, will revolutionise your day.

3. Enhanced storage security

Whilst Teams usage has really taken off during the pandemic for comprehensive communication and collaboration between colleagues and customers, one of its most powerful features is its ability to tidy up those messy old file shares with easy to manage permissions, whilst simultaneously moving your files to the Cloud to be accessed securely at any time, in any place and on any device.

4. Streamlined business processes

Microsoft Teams has a wealth of built–in connectors that can take almost any business process and ‘Teamify’ it so that the workflow can be executed and reported on right within Teams itself. So, for example, when Nitec eventually opened up its offices in Antrim and Coleraine for Covid–friendly use, we were able to produce a simple but automated check–in process that allowed staff to book into the office, self–declare they were free from Covid symptoms and subsequently see who was in the office on any given day, all by just using Teams’ Connectors for Microsoft Forms, Power Automate and Power BI and without any need for complex code.

5. Unified communications for better productivity

Finally, as the government exhorts us once again to work from home if we can, there has never been a timelier opportunity to unify all your communication requirements by extending Microsoft Teams to be your phone system. There is simply no need to run two communication systems side by side anymore. Microsoft Business Voice will accelerate your productivity, whilst maintaining the enterprise security we have all come to rely on within Microsoft 365. What’s more, it’s available from 1st November at a 25% discount for a year.

For more of our security and productivity blogs, please visit www.nitec.com/blog.

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