The latest app from Microsoft improves communication within companies by adding secure chat to the software. With more people working remotely (and finding themselves more productive outside the office), the ability to collaborate in real time when they can’t stop by a coworker’s desk makes everything easier.
How Teams Works with Office 365
Unlike standalone chat platforms, Teams creates a hub for sharing any file and collaborating on a project within your group. Users can access and edit any OneDrive file without leaving the app, making it an obvious choice for companies built on Microsoft tools.
Teams also connects with OneNote online, building a Notes tab without leaving the app so users can work all in one place.
Not only does Teams work seamlessly with everything Office 365, but it also provides higher level security and customizable third-party services to integrate with each aspect of your business.
Why Businesses Need Chat-Based Solutions
Companies need better solutions for meetings, especially when expanding to multiple offices or through remote workers. Video conferences combined with document sharing makes it easy to plan a presentation or project and keep everyone on the same page, no matter their location.
When companies start using chat, they also discover the benefit of fewer emails. Unread emails pile up quickly, but a short conversation can be moved to their chat channel for a quick answer without clogging the inbox.
Teams also provides to send GIFs, emojis, and customized memes… but that may not be as necessary to productivity.
Teams Compared with Skype for Business and Slack
When you think of company chat services, you probably think of Slack. Skype for Business is another popular option for chat and conference calling and is already owned by Microsoft. So what makes Teams different?
Skype for Business
While the plan may be for Teams to absorb Skype for Business by 2021, the platform continues to grow each year as companies look for the VoIP elements missing from other chat services.
Unlike Teams, Skype does not have threaded “persistent” conversations. Meaning, when you close a chat window, the chat history is closed with it. Users also prefer the sleek chat box and the ability to work with the many users already on Skype, who haven’t transferred over to Teams.
Fortunately, voice phone calls and video calls have all been included in Teams, and Microsoft is committed to maintaining the Skype servers to manage that side of the software. Users can also access Skype for Business through their web scheduler, so they can have meetings with companies still on the Skype platform.
If your company is just starting out with chat, the best option would be to start with Teams instead of Skype since you will need to migrate over eventually.
While Slack is popular with small businesses that don’t rely on Microsoft products, it can’t offer the same security. If you work in a regulated industry such as healthcare, Teams launched with HIPPA compliance and other security features, although IT professionals onsite will need to ensure protection from data leaks and account compromise.
For companies already using Office 365, Microsoft includes Teams in their membership. Slack has a popular free version, but only allows 1:1 conferencing with an upgrade required to video conference with more teammates. The free version of Slack also does not include screen-sharing, which comes with every level of Teams.
IT professionals find that many companies are using Teams and Slack simultaneously, sometimes just because a team adopted for their own specific group. But using multiple apps creates too much maintenance for the IT team, and companies want to streamline down to one chat option.
Combining Teams with Viirtue
Whether your clients work across the country or across the office, Microsoft Teams adds a valuable collaboration opportunity to everyday tasks. Combine the functionality of Teams with the power of Viirtue’s network (we’ve never had an outage yet!) for unmatched productivity.