Teams and Productivity, A Vision Achieved

by Jeff Mihalich, President

You might be unsure of Microsoft’s Vision statement, "to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more." 

I suggest you are not using Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Office has been the standard for office productivity for nearly 30 years. Starting in 2011, Office 365 was launched as a cloud offering with an ever-expanding number of apps and services. One of the key additions outside of the standards of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint has been the addition of Teams

If your team members are communicating and sharing files over email, then you need to look at Teams. It is the collaborative hub your business might be missing. The concept of Teams is simple. The process begins by creating Team “channels” and adding team members to these channels. For example, Codesummit is set up with a channel for each client, then set up with sub-channels for specific projects.    

When communicating through Teams, you can choose text-based chat, voice calls and video conferences. You can also screen-share. You can do this with any team members, in any channel, or across the entire organization. You can also set up meetings across organizations who have Office 365

File sharing is also simple within the application, as you can drop a single file in a chat, or use the Files tab. Teams does limit you to uploading 10 files at a time, but you can link to files stored in OneDrive and SharePoint. This makes sharing files specific to a client or project a breeze. 

Teams allows you to add any number of functional Tabs within each channel. Each channel in Teams gives you chat and file sharing as tabs. You can also add other tabs in any channel; we generally include the Chat tab, Files tab, a Wiki and a tab for Microsoft OneNote. The Wiki is used for general information about the client or projects, while OneNote is for storing meeting notes and other more detailed content. Teams give you the ability to add tabs for many applications based on your specific business needs. You can add other Microsoft applications like Word or Excel, Power BI — there are dozens of third party applications that can also be added, which cover all kinds of functionality.

Using Teams is easy and powerful for your business, but keeping channels organized requires some internal processes. If you have a Business Premium Subscription, you can download the Teams App on both iOS and Android devices, which gives you most of the features of the desktop — but some tab functions will take you to a separate application, such as editing a OneNote document. Teams also has a free version with a lot of features so you can try it out before committing to an Office 365 subscription. 

From my iPhone, I can call team members via the App, message them, view and share files, which covers most of what I need to do while mobile. I even have message alerts pushed to my phone when someone has directly messaged or tagged me in a chat. 

Using Teams for external meetings is problematic and needs some improvement, but overall our company's use of Teams has led to increased collaboration, better project organization, and as Microsoft suggested at the Inspire conference, improved productivity. 

This means working on your website, website marketing, or IT projects can be more efficient if you have Teams as part of your technology stack. It can also help with a lot of other work. Chances are you might only be using the Office 365 apps you're most familiar with like Word, Excel and Outlook. If this is the case, you need to look closer at the other Applications in Office 365, especially Teams. 

Want to learn more about Teams, or how Codesummit has partnered with Microsoft "to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more”? Contact us.

Contact Codesummit

To learn what's new in Teams from this year's Microsoft Ignite conference, click here.