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How housing associations are using Office 365 and Microsoft Teams to supercharge their efficiency

Instead of using Outlook to work and collaborate, housing associations are looking further into the Office 365 suite to supercharge their investment and use collaboration tools to improve efficiency and work smarter. We’ve helped a number of our customers discover the ‘art of the possible’ with Office 365; show us what you want to improve, and we bet we could find a way to do so using the Office 365 suite.

Microsoft Teams is available as part of Office 365 and the number of businesses taking advantage of this collaboration platform is rapidly rising thanks to its innovative features; over 500,000 businesses are currently using it, with the social housing sector reaping the rewards of the collaboration platform.

Check out our housing and Office 365 expert Tony Hughes’ blog on how he reaped the benefits of replacing team emails with Teams.

Key features of Teams that housing associations are taking advantage of:

Collaboration

Naturally, the strongest function of Teams is more effective collaboration. You can work with your colleagues who work from home or different offices, using instant chat, conversation streams or call and video conferencing functionality.

This collaboration isn’t just limited to your housing colleagues; thanks to guest access, you can use it to collaborate with your suppliers, partners and contractors. Teams helps to cut out the noise of email by focusing conversations into teams and channels, streamlining the way you, your colleagues and contractors work.

Documentation

Housing associations are using Teams to store and manage documents and taking advantage of version control to reverse any unwanted changes. Thanks to its SharePoint foundations, Teams ensures security and compliance with the strict document management regulations of the housing sector.

Your people can collaborate on the same document in real-time and store confidential documents in Teams, only giving access to people that are relevant. This provides an element of control, which is essential in the social housing sector.

Who in a housing association can use Teams?

Team TSG, as you’d expect, is using Teams to its full potential and we can tell you it can be used in pretty much any department. Roll-out can be phased and can work in time with your timescales in terms of user adoption.

There’s a use case for anyone in your business to be using Teams; even those who deal with external contractors like plumbers and engineers can collaborate with those contractors in Teams thanks to guest access!

We’ve worked with social housing provider CCG to help it adopt Teams across the entire business. This involved training dedicated ‘Teams Champions’ who could share best practices across the organisation and help their colleagues understand how to use Teams to its full potential.

When and for which tasks can it be used?

Teams can be used for so many purposes, it’s hard to know where to start. Some of the standout features are the remote meeting functionalities; you can virtually meet with colleagues, contractors or suppliers all within Teams, eliminating the need for constant travel to and from offices or properties.

VoIP calling comes as a standard part of Teams, meaning you can speak to anyone who has access to your Teams setup over the internet; handy if your colleagues don’t have a desk phone or are working in a location where they don’t have access to it.

Video-conferencing is a really effective way to communicate, too; if you’re in a different location to your colleague, you can still have a face-to-face chat with them, no matter where they are! You can also video-conference or call multiple colleagues at once, allowing you all to meet virtually and significantly reducing travel costs.

We’ll be demoing some of the best features in Teams for housing associations in our webinar next month. Our Office 365 and Teams expert Tony Hughes will take you through Teams and will be joined by Geraint Vernon from CCG. The Welsh housing association identified its Office 365 investment as something the organisation could get more value out of, and found that to be on the money! Geraint will be sharing with us how the adoption of Teams and the modern workplace has positively impacted CCG and how the business will move forward with its bespoke Teams roadmap.

How are other housing associations using Teams?

CCG has used Teams to streamline a number of internal processes and is reaping the rewards. Sign up to our webinar to find out how you can put Teams to work for your housing association.

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