Teams

Microsoft Teams is the successor to Skype for Business and the future of Microsoft IM, presence, and VoIP. It is also Microsoft’s answer to the wildly popular Slack.

We are really excited about Teams and use it extensively. If we are on a conference call with you it is likely a Teams meeting!

On this page:

What is Teams?

What if Skype, Outlook, and a web browser with add-ins had a baby? The result would be Teams. Teams is the ultimate collaboration.

Teams

…Is teams… They are groups of users focused on a common theme or objective. A single user can be a member of multiple teams. And there are public (anyone can search for and join public teams) and private teams (these are invite only and invisible to non-members). Teams also have channels.

Channels

This is where users actually get work done. Every channel has a conversation tab, which is a persistent chat. And there are also tabs for files and a wiki. But the best part is that you can add additional tabs with different apps and third-party add-ins.

Cross-platform

Teams is available on almost every operating system an organization could want. There are desktop clients for Windows, macOS, and soon to be Linux (yes, Linux). In addition to mobile applications for iPad, iPhone, Android, and Window Phone.

The web app version of Teams is fully supported on Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome, with limited support on Internet Explorer 11, Firefox, and Safari. So as you can see it is available just about everywhere, and by the time we get around to updating this page again it probably will be!

Add-ins

Out of the box and at the time of writing, there are add-ins for all of the Office apps, Planner, PDF, Flow, and hundreds of third-party apps. Third-party apps include Trello, GitHub, Zendesk, and YouTube. And for everything else there is the option to add a web page as a tab.

Add-ins can be added to Teams in two places: on the right-hand menu, and the tabs of channels. Each location has it’s own benefits. For example you can add Exchange Online to the menu bar, completely integrating email with Teams.

Chat bots

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could just type a common question into the chat windows and get the answer? That is the promise of chat bots. At the time of this writing there are not many fully developed chat bots but they look very promising.

For example, Teams chips with a chat bot called ‘Who’ which allows you to type in questions about users and get answers such as: who knows about [a topic]? Who works with [a specific user]? Who was in the meeting about [topic]? Who have I messaged about [topic]?

Search

Since all of your teams and direct messages are in one place search is very powerful in Teams. The search bar also has features similar to the Windows 10 start menu or macOS Spotlight where you can launch commands and app.

If you type @ in the search bar and start typing someone’s name you can send them a direct message, or launch an app. Typing / gives you access to a list of commands such as setting your status, looking up a users activity, or starting a phone call.

Voice & video calls

Similar to Skype for Business, Teams has voice and video conferencing capabilities. There is also the ability to present Office documents and edit them in real time on the call. Also like Skype there is the option to share your screen and give control to another user on the call. And you can record calls for viewing later. One of our favorite new features is the ability to blur your background during video calls.

Persistent chat

Most chat platforms these days have persistent chat, so it is easy to look past this feature, but in comparison with Skype for Business it is a huge improvement. Conversation channels and direct messages are both persistent so you can scroll through your old messages. Combined with search this really helps organizations maintain and share organizational knowledge.

The benefits of Teams

Teams is a huge improvement from it’s predecessor, Skype for Business. So if your organization is getting any mileage out of Skype you will almost certainly see a jump in productivity from Teams.

Everything is in one place

Outlook is frequently described as the worlds most popular CRM because it holds a users email and calendar, but Teams takes things to the next level. Teams is a user’s phone, chat, email, actual CRM, calendar, and intranet in one application.

Breaks down silos

Because Teams allows users to search for and join (public) teams allowing users to take initiative and work together. They also have the ability to send direct messages to other employees throughout the organization. There is also the ability to federate with other organizations for even greater communication.

Information is easier to find

The Teams search bar puts your communication and team members at your finger tips. Rather than shuffling through different applications copy and pasting your search query into each one you simply type your query into the Teams chat bar.

What Giga-Green offers

Office 365 & Teams deployments

Whether you are looking for a Teams deployment or deploying all of Office 365 to your organization, Giga-Green has the expertise to do it. All of our technicians are Office 365 certified by Microsoft. We have deployed or migrated thousands of users to Office 365.

Security & best practices

The out-of-the-box configuration of Teams will work for many companies, but if you value security there are probably at least a few tweaks that you will want to make to ensure that your organizations data is secure.

Integration

One of the key features of Teams is the ability to integrate third-party add-ins. We can help you bring your key applications into to Teams giving members of your organization a singular workspace to work and communicate effectively.

VoIP

One of the more difficult to implements features of Teams is VoIP. But our technicians have extensive experience planning and deploying Teams VoIP. Planning is an important part of deploying VoIP because you want a pleasant experience for clients calling in to your organization. No one likes to navigate a bad call tree!

Migrations

Migrating IM and VoIP is difficult and requires substantial planning to pull off without down time. We will help you plan out your migration to Teams so that down time is reduced as much as possible. Our goal is to limit down time to a cutover night.

Organizational structuring

How your structure your Teams and Channels will have a big impact on how much your organization can take advantage of Teams. We will help you plan out and build the structure of your Teams so that operational and security goals are met.

Demo Teams

We are IT nerds, not writers. So if you really want to see what Teams is capable of we should schedule a demo. We can demo Teams for you remotely or in person if you are in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Let’s talk!

Are you ready to get started on your next project? Submit your information below and a member of our team with follow up with you. Pre-sales consulting and project estimates are all free!

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