What is Microsoft Teams? With 145 million active users, it IS difficult not to notice it, especially with the rise and continuation of work from home. Teams is unique, and unlike most other digital workplace tools on the market in that it provides many features that specific applications provide, but in an all in one experience tied to the Microsoft 365 suite. Today, let us explain Microsoft Teams so that we can set the record straight on what it is.
As mentioned, and as you have undoubtedly read or heard, Microsoft Teams is compared to many different applications. To help explain how teams is different we will review two applications as examples: Zoom and Slack.
One product you will often hear compared to Teams is Zoom. Zoom is a video conferencing service that, while always strong, had it’s usage and adoption increase exponentially due to the pandemic. As Hollywood relied heavily on Zoom to keep the industry going through podcasts and new YouTube shows popping up every week, many businesses worldwide leveraged a different product, Microsoft Teams.
Zoom is a great video conferencing tool, and if your only function for the application is webinars, then Zoom is a great option and better, at the moment. However, Microsoft has already provided many updates that improve it’s use for webinars with many more announced and coming soon.
Regardless, using Teams for video conferencing or webinars alone is like only using your smart phone to take pictures; you can be doing a lot more with it.
Unlike Zoom, Slack is a lot more similar, and comparisons to the two make sense. Slack, a communication and collaboration tool that has been doing great things for years, can do many the same things Microsoft Teams can do.
Unlike Teams, Slack is an independent application void of an integrated ecosystem of services like Microsoft 365. One of Microsoft Teams’ most significant advantages is that it’s a part of Microsoft 365 and connected to all the services and applications offered therein. Also, you can guarantee superior security and compliance with Teams. For most organizations this also results in significant cost savings since most organizations leverage Microsoft 365 and Teams is incorporated into almost every plan resulting in no additional spend.
With both applications suffering from Sprawl issues, a lot can be said about the clean ascetics of Slacks Microsoft counterpart.
The application can be broken down into three categories: video conferencing, communication and collaboration, and as a workstation.
Microsoft Teams is a phenomenal application for regular internal and external video conferencing. Invite up to 250 internal or external people and benefit from a slew of features designed to create the perfect remote meeting.
As mentioned previously, the only kink in Microsoft Team’s video conferencing armor is the webinar feature or lack of proper webinar features and structure.
Many leverage regular meetings in Microsoft Teams and get away with it. However, proper webinar functionality is still missing in Microsoft Teams without relying on other applications from the Microsoft stack.
Microsoft Teams shines as a communication and collaboration tool. From meetings to group work, Teams has created an environment like none other. All of the basic features like the ability to store relevant files in specified locations, and all the basic chat features you would need for professional and coffee chat-style conversations, to name a couple, are all there.
Like all Microsoft 365 applications, it is designed for businesses to succeed, and now that the basics are taken care of, they have begun innovating. One of their earlier innovations was the background effect, which has evolved into virtual conference rooms where employees can feel like they are sitting at a table with their colleagues.
The real differentiator that Microsoft Teams offers is that it is ideal for bringing your office to the digital. Whether your office is still in your organization’s DNA is irrelevant. Having a healthy and connected digital workplace is crucial in both cases.
The application marries video conferencing, communication and collaboration features, a strong UI/UX, and the ability to easily connect and leverage other applications, Microsoft 365 or not, directly into one defined location (Sales, for example), known as Teams or Channels. With all it offers, you have created a great and useful workstation that connects users to everything they need to use and do.
Since Microsoft Teams has become the choice communication and collaboration tool for millions worldwide, it makes sense that the latest trend is to bring your Intranet into Teams. For many, SharePoint is the home of their Intranet and is integrated seamlessly with Microsoft Teams.
There is no doubt that you can find substantial use for Microsoft Teams, and if you are already leveraging Microsoft 365 in your organization, it is a no brainer. There has never been a better time to get in on Teams, especially since this year is marked as the year of Microsoft Teams.
To make sure your organization is getting the most out of Microsoft Teams and their digital workplace, trust the team with the award-winning industry experts and influencers at 2toLead.
We promise you will love the way we work. Together.
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