Microsoft Office was first released at the end of 1990 and originally consisted of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. That was almost thirty years ago, and the suite of office tools is now used by over a billion people around the world.
As new applications join the Microsoft family, businesses of all sizes are profiting from better communication software, word processing capabilities and data management systems. Office 365 is a subscription service that includes all the features of the Office desktop appliance along with enhanced communications and file management tools, online storage, tech support and ongoing product updates. Within this service, you will find Microsoft Teams, an application that is revolutionizing the way people collaborate in the workplace.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams was launched in March 2017 and is available worldwide in 29 different languages. It will replace Skype for Business in the Office suite’s arsenal of communication tools, allowing users within a group to chat, send messages, conduct meetings, exchange documents, engage in video conferencing and connect with third-party services, like, MailChimp, Facebook and Twitter. Workers in remote locations can communicate in real time across an array of fixed and mobile devices, improving workflow while organizing a myriad of diverse messages and exchanges.
Teams moves beyond similar applications, such as Slack and Google Hangouts by integrating seamlessly with other Microsoft Office tools. For example, users can edit PowerPoint presentations while the messaging threads provide an ongoing record of a project’s development. It’s a chat-based platform that allows both private exchanges and group discussions over a series of shared channels organized by topic.
How Does Microsoft Teams Work?
Imagine that six people in six separate work locations are creating a menu for a new restaurant. Some are interested in profit margins while others are more concerned with creating a truly exceptional list of offerings. One person would create a Channel named “menu” and invite the other five to join. Each person would then have access to the other team members individually for private conversations, while group chats would take place on open channels labelled according to the topic. Perhaps only three of the team members would chat on the “organic options” feed while all six would contribute to the “quality control” conversation. On each channel, team members can post documents, edit drafts, share files and upload videos.
The six team members can communicate in real time and schedule audio and/or video conferences. In essence, Microsoft Teams combines instant messaging and Skype with the functionality of the other Office 365 apps for the ultimate in barrier-free collaboration.
What’s the Impact on Productivity?
In one short year, over 120 million Teams users in 181 markets have seen their productivity soar. The single greatest deterrent to moving ahead with a project is poor communications. Team members who feel left out of the loop become frustrated and demotivated, ultimately scaling down their best efforts. With Microsoft Teams, everyone is included in the conversation with the ability to trace every action, change, and innovative idea. Work isn’t duplicated because someone wasn’t up to speed or missed a meeting. No more forgetting to copy the right people on an email or losing track of which document version you are working with. Everything happens right in the app and stays there – permanently.
Employees working collaboratively love Teams because it allows them to stay fully engaged. They can check on how other parts of the project are progressing or work one-on-one with a colleague in real time. As collaborative efforts continue to evolve from static offices to geographically diverse workplaces, employees need to feel connected. This flexible platform allows all team members to exchange ideas, co-author documents, video-conference and consult both privately and in groups without the need for multiple software applications. Everyone is onboard, in one place and motivated to give it their absolute best.
Microsoft Teams is only one component of the Office 365 suite, and all the other proven productivity-boosting applications are also included. PowerPoint, Word, OneNote, Excel, Outlook, Skype, OneDrive and more share the full spectrum of features that make Microsoft the world leader in business software. And with a subscription service, you will always be on the leading edge of with instant updates.