5 Top Things to Know About Microsoft Teams

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The increase in remote working and remote access to corporate systems in recent years has brought about a significant increase in importance of online collaborative applications in the general business and systems development environments. Having dispersed and remote project teams brings challenges to team communications, and this is where applications providing a common environment supporting different communications protocols and collaborative software comes in.

Some are text and graphic based, designed for specific applications such as project management,  but using collaborative online video as a part of online-meetings and general team interaction has become a major part of business today.

A leading player in this arena is Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a popular collaboration and communication platform that has gained significant popularity in the business world, supported by Microsoft Support. As the name suggests, Microsoft Teams is a collaboration and communication platform developed by Microsoft. It was initially launched in 2017 as a part of the Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) suite of productivity tools. Teams is designed to facilitate teamwork and communication within organisations, whether they are small businesses or large enterprises.

Five Top Things about Microsoft Teams

Here are five top things to know about Microsoft Teams:

  1. Integrated Communications and Collaboration Hub


    Microsoft Teams serves as a centralised hub for collaboration, bringing together chat, video conferencing, file sharing, and project management tools into a single platform. Users can create teams and channels to organise discussions and workspaces based on projects, departments, or topics. Teams allows Guest Access when external collaborators are needed to join a collaborative event. This means that clients, business partners or sub-contracted developers can join meetings without compromising security.

    It is worth noting that team membership is cross-platform. Teams supports mobile platforms, Windows, iOS and Android platforms.

    Specific team-based features include:

    • Chat and Messaging – Teams offers real-time chat and messaging capabilities, allowing users to send text messages, emojis, files, and multimedia in one-on-one conversations or group chats. Conversations can be organised into channels, which are dedicated spaces for specific topics or projects.
    • Video and Audio Conferencing – Teams provides video and audio conferencing capabilities for virtual meetings and collaboration. It supports both scheduled and ad-hoc meetings, making it easy to connect with colleagues and clients. Features include screen sharing, meeting recording, and live captions.
  2. Real-time Chat and Messaging


    Teams offers real-time chat and messaging capabilities, allowing users to send text messages, emojis, GIFs, and files to individuals or groups. It supports private one-on-one conversations and group chats within teams and channels. You can also tag specific team members using “@” mentions to get their attention.

  3. Seamless Integration with Microsoft 365


    One of the key strengths of Teams is its integration with Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). Users can access and collaborate on Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and other Microsoft 365 apps without leaving the Teams interface. This integration streamlines workflows and enhances productivity. Again, covered by Microsoft Support.

  4. Extensive App Ecosystem


    Microsoft Teams has an extensive app ecosystem that allows you to customise and extend its functionality. You can add third-party apps and services to your Teams workspace, such as project management tools, CRM software, or productivity apps, to tailor it to your organisation’s specific needs.

  5. Security and Compliance


    It is vital, especially with cloud-based environments to have secure anti-malware and hacking defences. Microsoft Teams offers features like data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and compliance with industry standards and regulations, making it suitable for businesses with strict security requirements.

In addition to these key points, Microsoft Teams also offers features like file storage, search capabilities, comprehensive support from Microsoft Support, and security measures to protect sensitive data. It has both free and paid versions, making it accessible to a wide range of users, from small businesses to large enterprises. Microsoft Teams continuously evolves with regular updates and improvements on all supported platforms, so it’s essential to stay informed about the latest features and changes as they may have evolved since the last time you looked.

In summary, Microsoft Teams has become an essential tool for remote work, team collaboration, and communication within organisations. It competes with other communication platforms like Slack and Zoom and has gained significant popularity, particularly in the context of the remote and hybrid work environments.

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