Practical Uses For Microsoft Teams

25th June, 2019 by

Efficient communication and collaboration are important to every business and organization. Modern technology can now help to streamline and improve that collaboration, and Microsoft Teams is a solution created exactly for this purpose. It’s a collaboration platform designed to help organizations and businesses improve their internal communications, and – in the right hands – it is highly effective.

Inevitably, such software packages only achieve their full potential if users know how to deploy them. The following real-world uses for Teams might provide some handy inspiration to budding entrepreneurs and business executives alike in terms of working towards a more unified communications structure…

Team leader

Microsoft Teams is available as part of the cloud-based Office 365 software suite. Initially launched back in 2017, it’s estimated that over 500,000 businesses have now implemented it. Teams allows users to create customized communication channels while offering integration with other Microsoft services (including the iconic Office suite) for file sharing and collaborative editing.

Microsoft’s rationale in rolling out Teams is simple: the fact that communications within organizations are often confused and ad hoc. Trying to organize a workforce or team via multiple emails or phone calls quickly gets messy. By contrast, Teams helps organize internal and external communications by grouping correspondence and documents into particular channels.

Practice makes perfect

So how do the capabilities of Microsoft Teams translate to the real world? The following three general examples illustrate where this platform really comes into its own:

  1. Reviewing performance and actioning improvements.

This is a key process in many businesses. A firm with four different regional centers might have review processes which generate a lot of email noise. There could be various spreadsheets and sales reports flying around, potentially contributing to data silos if they’re not centrally accessible.

  1. Communication threads and reports must be consolidated to identify actionable responses.

In this scenario, management would have to communicate every response to different regions and departments, whereas Teams can streamline the process.

  1. Within this platform, the business could set up a channel for all review-based communication.

A single Excel file would be enough to host all sales figures and results, with relevant parties able to edit as required.

Such processes would also support the creation of business intelligence reports from the consolidated file, making the process of devising actionable items much simpler. Items could even be assigned to relevant parties via the Planner feature baked into Teams.

A class above

Teams has already proved to be invaluable in schools and colleges, with a range of features helping teachers and students alike. The SharePoint element of Teams makes timetables easy, and instantly accessible. Teachers or tutors can produce OneNote class books, allowing students who’ve missed a lesson to catch up with ease. Specific assignment management tools are available when using Teams for educational purposes, designed to assist educators in grading and providing student feedback.

Safe as houses

Housing associations often use Microsoft Teams to ease communication and document sharing. Communication channels make it easy to contact colleagues, suppliers, partners, and contractors. VoIP calling and video-conferencing features are just as helpful, simplifying communication when certain parties are on the move or away from their desk. Housing associations must also store and manage sensitive documents, including tenancy agreements or contracts. Teams helps in this regard, too. Its SharePoint foundations ensure security and compliance, which is vital given the strict document management rules of the housing sector.

Finally, it’s worth noting Teams features version control, meaning that unwanted changes to documents can be reversed. Access to confidential documents may be limited to certain users, ensuring the safety and security of sensitive or personal data.