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Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft Teams in Office 365 – Learn this powerful team collaboration tool that might already be part of your O365 package. Integrate it with other apps and work more efficiently!
By Chad Gowrea, Director - Solutions and Strategy
Meet Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace that allows teams to work together within one app, or hub, to enhance collaboration and teamwork. Available at no additional cost to commercial Office 365 customers with Enterprise or Business plans, MS Teams combines people, conversations, content, files and other apps to create an open, digital environment that enables users to collaborate more effectively. It was designed as a competitor to online collaboration tools like Slack and Atlassian HipChat.
What can you actually do with Teams?
Acting as a digital hub, MS Teams gives Office 365 users a space to integrate and use a range of tools and apps when working on a specific project or job involving different departments. Within one window, groups of users can be updated and be across a specific job or project as well as engage in chat conversations, upload files and share meeting notes. Here is where a team working on a project, a department sharing information or those involved in a specific topic will collaborate and be able to work more effectively.
- View calendars and meetings from Outlook
- Create, share, edit and find content from SharePoint, OneDrive and OneNote
- Call, instant message and meet team members via Skype
- Chat via Teams and use @ to tag a specific user
- Receive notifications
- Integrate planner and have objectives, goals and checklists
Key benefits of Teams
- One centralised hub that combines people, conversations, content, files and other apps
- Integration with SharePoint, OneDrive, OneNote, Planner, Skype and Microsoft Office
- Enterprise security & compliance
- Azure Active Directory integration
- No extra cost to Office 365 users with Enterprise or Business plans
- Easy to use and fun!
Using Teams! Here’s where your groups, specific projects and members will live!
MS Teams provides a workflow hub built upon Office 365 Groups, this means that when you add a new Team, the system automatically creates an Office 365 Group and a Site Collection on SharePoint. The app offers complete integration with other applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint and Planner and makes it easy for team members to switch seamlessly between collaboration tools.
Creating your Teams
I know! By now you must be pretty excited and ready to use this, but hold your horses! Before you start collaborating, you need to create a team! Easy to do…Just click on the “+ Add team” on the left-hand corner.
Creating your Channels
Ok, now you can start! Under each Team you can have as many Channels as you want, for example, at Bremmar we have a Sales and Marketing Team and the different channels are campaigns, general, events, etc. This is to cater for groups that work together on different projects that relate back to a main topic or initiative.
Learn your Tabs
Each Channel will come with a set of default tabs: Conversation, Files and Notes. You can then add extras, such as Word, Excel, Planner, Wiki, etc. This will depend on how easy you want to access different apps and information from Teams.
Start the Conversation!
Teams supports persistent threaded chats to keep team members engaged, with Skype integration so members can easily participate in voice or video conferencing. Conversations are visible to the entire team by default or can be made private, and team members can personalise the experience using rich formatting, custom memes, GIFs, stickers and emojis. The handy Teams activity feed keeps users updated on any conversations in which they’ve been mentioned. Users can also use the “@”, same as in common social media platforms, to tag someone in a comment or post.
Manage your Files
Delete, download, move files, open, copy, edit or get a link to share with others – have access to all the key features you would get in the native apps. Want to start a group chat while working on a file? Yes, that’s also possible and you will see the conversation thread on the Conversation tab.
Share your Notes
Notes that you take within OneNote can be shared in this tab. Your team will also have a shared OneNote area, where you can view, edit and create notes.
If your business has Office 365 Enterprise or Business plans you will have Teams included in your Office 365 for free. If you don’t, it’s something that can be easily added as an extra to your package. To use Teams you can either download the desktop application, access Teams through your browser or download the mobile app. Enjoy!
Most frequently asked questions – Let’s help you out!
1- I already use Slack. What’s the difference between MS Teams and Slack?
Although MS Teams and Slack appear similar at first glance, they do address different markets. MS Teams excels in an environment where all team members are part of the same organisation (Office 365 does not currently allow external parties to participate in a team). On the other hand, Slack is perfect for freelancers and small businesses where it’s important to grant access to individuals outside the organisation. Slack’s greatest asset is its simplicity – users can sign up and start chatting very quickly with no learning curve. Teams is a more comprehensive solution, with many powerful features and full Office 365 integration, although the learning curve is steeper.
2- I already use Yammer. What’s the difference between MS Teams and Yammer?
When MS Teams was released, there were rumours that it would replace Microsoft Yammer. However while Teams does include similar features to Yammer, its usage is quite different. Yammer is aimed towards larger groups – it acts like a bulletin board or Facebook newsfeed where users can chat and post links, files and status updates. Teams is more about ad-hoc free-ranging discussions between smaller groups of people who share goals and deadlines.
3- Does Teams work with external parties and non-employees?
Unfortunately not yet. Teams is currently targeted at groups within the same organisation. However, this suggestion is already under work by Microsoft.
4- Is it safe? What’s the security measures applied to Teams?
Microsoft Teams also provides the enterprise security and compliance features we’ve come to expect from Office 365, including data encryption, multi-factor authentication, e-Discovery, and ISO 27001, SOC 2 and HIPAA support.
MS Teams is a powerful solution that helps any type of teams to work together and share information more effectively. To discover how Teams can enhance your organisation’s productivity, contact Bremmar today on 1300 991 351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.