Want to know a hot trend in communication and IT? It’s Microsoft Teams.
If you’re a Slack fan, but use Office 365, there’s a new communications tool in town that’s just as engaging and fun as Slack – Microsoft Teams. You may already have it
at your organization and don’t know it, or your IT department may be eager to start using it.
If you’re not a Slack fan, you may be wondering what exactly it does and how it might help improve communication, employee engagement, and productivity.
What is Microsoft Teams?
According to Microsoft, it’s group chat software that integrates with Office 365 and enables collaboration and communication across devices. As part of that communication, you can include text, images, and even video. In short, it’s a hub for teamwork.
Who is Teams for?
Not to be redundant, but Teams is typically used for … teams. Teams consist of departmental or project, people with the same roles across geographic locations, or those interested in a specific topic. For example, you can use Teams to communicate about your organization’s green efforts, among managers, or everyone in the company that handles DevOps.
Why IT likes Teams
Because it’s backed by the powerhouse Microsoft, it has functionality, support, guides, information and more that make it easy to love.
Ideas from Microsoft
Microsoft has some quick-start guides to ensure you’re using Teams for the right things as well as ensuring higher adoption rates. Some of the use cases it lists include:
- Continuous knowledge sharing
- Speed up issue resolution and problem-solving
- Gather requirements faster
- Share documents and resources
- Increase alignment on goals
- Get real-time feedback
- Share and announce news quickly
- Improve communication across silos
- Meet, using video for more engagement
- Get information through multiple devices
Meets IT infrastructure and security models
Microsoft has a great record on security and if you’re using Microsoft already, it’s easy to extend the footprint. It’s also well supported.
Yet, there’s flexibility that provides some customization within your environment.
Integrates with other apps
Microsoft Teams integrates with Microsoft applications, but it also has a bunch of other integrations.
The one thing you’ll see a void in is integration with your intranet. That’s where an ElevatePoint Intranet Platform comes in; it integrates with Teams. In other words, you can use Teams and still get information from your intranet, cutting down on additional messaging and re-work while enabling people to use the tools they like to get information.
Better still, our intranet has a chatbot that can answer routine questions from the intranet … as well as Microsoft Teams. For example, want to know benefits information from Microsoft Teams? No problem. Our chatbot, Hero, will provide that info as well as a link.
Stacks up against other team collaboration tools – simple, fast
According to Microsoft, it was designed as a response to Slack, which is why it’s so “Slack like.” The real advantage to Microsoft Teams is that you’re already a Microsoft house using other Microsoft applications. Computer World covered Teams, including the differences and advantages.
It’s true. Teams is simple and fast to use, getting answers when you need them.
So, what about Yammer? Yammer is a point-in-time, not real-time, communication tool. But there’s plenty of hubbub about how Yammer and Teams will integrate. According to Microsoft, they want to provide choice. That means it’s probably up to employees, IT, and Communications to determine how to use those tools separately and together. Yet again, ElevatePoint Intranet Platform integrates with Yammer as well as has its own discussion thread, providing even more flexibility.
Easy on your budget, but can extend easily. Not to scare IT professionals out there and create more shadow IT, but you can start using Microsoft Teams now and for free. Sign up, now.
Why communications professionals should like Teams
If you’re in Communications or HR, you may be thinking, “We already have a bunch of other communication vehicles. Teams, too?”
It’s for you and your IT team to decide, but … yes! It solves employee communication, productivity, and engagement problems better than other tools and possibly instead of Workplace by Facebook or Slack.
One reason communications professionals should be excited about Teams — a major improvement to communications.
Integration with other communications channels
It’s maddening thinking of how many channels you use these days to communicate, isn’t it? And that’s where Teams might help you. Through integration, you can cut down on the number of channels you have to address separately. That means perhaps you have one message across channels – Yammer, your intranet, Teams, etc.
For your intranet, that’s especially important. Employees can get information about upcoming employee meetings, benefits information, and even Help Desk assistance from either the intranet or Teams without you having to manage information in more than one location. You can even ensure your news hits the intranet and Teams. Intranets won’t have completely dynamic information, but Teams will. By linking the two, you meet both needs.
Now, you’re relying on employees to pick their favorite communication channel and getting content to them there.
More targeted communication possibilities
There are times when targeted communication is handy. With Teams you can target communications to specific teams or individuals. For example, if you have an update for the entire IT department, notorious for deleting internal emails without reading, you can contact them through Microsoft Teams.
Want to ensure managers read information, post something on the managers channel and respond to questions.
New organizational strategy impacts one project team, but not the entire company? Communicate with them there.
Another exciting challenge that Teams helps solve? Employee engagement. Enabling employees to choose their favorite communication tool, and still reach them, increases the likelihood they’ll engage. Because Teams is so easy to use and fast, employees jump in quickly.
Collaboration and feedback, real-time
When it comes to responding to feedback, you can course correct on messaging or answer – real-time – urgent questions. That’s engaging to employees who want to add their two cents, or merely like what others are saying.
Video meetings for engagement
Use Teams for video meetings to break down silos and get people engaged. And because you’re a Microsoft-supported organization, you can even take your videos and add them to your SharePoint intranet or add a link from teams.
The exciting thing is Microsoft is already planning to do more with this popular feature. Stay tuned!
Microsoft was smart, enabling Teams to go where employees are. That enables employees to answer quick questions or get problems solved wherever they are – at a baseball game, watching a dance recital, etc. It’s quick and simple to use, too, getting people faster answers.
Teams continues Microsoft’s digital workplace dominance
Microsoft was wise to find ways to integrate more of their communication products and compete against Slack. Not only does it make Microsoft more relevant, but it continues their digital workplace dominance.
It’s easy. It solves a lot of employee communication, productivity, and engagement issues. It fits within IT’s infrastructure and security models. It’s even free.
It’s all why ElevatePoint has seen more teams interested in Teams.
See Microsoft Teams and intranet integrations for yourself
Ready to see the advantages to Teams and integration with an intranet? We’d love to show you and talk through scenarios you can use at your organization.