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Microsoft Teams – What’s New?

Which internal communication channels do you use within your organisation? Email? Skype? IM? Slack? Tin cans and string? Maybe you’re already using Microsoft Teams but not utilising the full power of this app…

There seems to be the eternal conundrum of which channels to use for which communications, and even which people prefer which channels (unless there is strict policy in place), which can make internal comms a convoluted, over-complicated mess.

“Where did I tell Jess about the requirements for that conference? Who did I send that file to and which app did I use?”

These are problems which have already been solved thanks to Microsoft Teams.

Introducing: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is the software we recommend to many organisations to conduct all their internal communications through. It removes the complications of multiple separate communications channels, is easy to use, and supports a huge range of functions, including file sharing and collaboration, from anywhere on any device – all from the interface. It’s not a fit for every company, but we find for the majority of clients it’s a great solution.

Teams is based on chat and channels, instead of email and file folders, capturing the new way that people communicate in our personal lives, and bringing it into our professional lives – all easily searchable, easily navigated, and geared towards collaborative business use – with a full digital “paper trail.”

There’s even the option to bring in people outside of your organisation into the collaborative fold.

Microsoft Teams is continually adding new features

Microsoft is dedicated to growing the Teams product to make it a more effective solution for business communication and collaboration.

One of the ways in which it does this is by 3rd party integrations. The range of software solutions for business continues to grow, so having interoperability between apps is a must to reduce doubling up on data entry. That’s why Teams offers integrations with popular apps such as Twitter, Trello, Google Analytics, and more. For external apps without existing integrations, Teams allows you to build your own data-flows – utilising Microsoft Flow.

Conference calling in Microsoft Teams

One of the final frontiers in business communications is reliable video conference calling. Existing solutions are still often costly and heavyweight.

If you are used to using Skype for Business, Teams is the product that is replacing Skype for Business. You can learn more about the feature switchover at the Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams Capabilities Roadmap.

Microsoft Teams now offers a fully fledged enterprise meeting solution, offering business conferencing with a full set of features, including scheduling and managing a meeting, group call pick up, recording, and more.

Better understanding of how your team communicates

One of the newest features in Microsoft Teams is organisational insight via analytics and reporting. This is available via the Microsoft Teams admin center.

Via built in reporting features, you can discover:

Team usage by:

  • Active users
  • Active users in teams and channels
  • Active channels
  • Messages
  • Privacy setting of teams
  • Guests in a team

Team user activity by:

  • 1:1 calls a user participated in
  • Messages a user posted in a team chat
  • Messages a user posted in a private chat
  • Last activity date of a user

As well as reporting by device.

This allows deeper insights into how your team are using Teams, to guide further advice and policy.

New industry-based templates

Is your business in education, retail, or healthcare? One of the latest Teams rollouts is industry-based templates for setting up and management of your Teams product.

At present the templates have only been developed for these three industries, but we’re likely to see many more in the future, so watch this space!

Want to learn more about how Microsoft Teams can become the space where your organisation communicates and collaborates?

It’s our business to help your business communicate more effectively and efficiently. We can help guide you through setting up Teams across your organisation in the best configuration, provide training with administrators and end-users, and help make the cross-over from your existing solutions smoother.

If you are looking for a better way to manage your business communications then get in touch with us to find out more about Microsoft Teams and how it can work for you.

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