How Microsoft Teams has revolutionised TSG’s communication with customers and suppliers

1. Identifying a suitable communication platform

2. What Microsoft Teams has to offer

3. Teamwork is easy with the Microsoft Teams offering

4. Top 6 tips on how to communicate both internally and externally

5. A shift in the way businesses communicate

Collaboration between colleagues is quicker and easier than ever with Office 365 apps Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. But what about your suppliers or customers? Thanks to guest access in Microsoft Teams, we’re now able to communicate and collaborate more efficiently than ever with our key suppliers.

TSG has worked with creative agency SHA, formally known as StarkHartleyAtkinson, for over seven years. Each year we collaborate with SHA on exciting projects which can involve large-scale design work to well thought-out campaigns, all of which need to have a level of communication behind them.

Over the years TSG and SHA have developed a fantastic working relationship which makes it easy for us to voice both our opinions and ideas.

Identifying a suitable communication platform

Account managers, marketers and designers can often speak in very different languages, including an array of acronyms and terms. Making sure everyone is on the same page isn’t always straightforward, however with the right tools and guidance anything is possible.

TSG and SHA understand communication is key to the success of our projects. Historically we’ve used file-sharing sites like WeTransfer to transfer artwork, design ideas up to 2GB, but that’s now frowned upon in light of GDPR; in fact, our data protection policy prohibits the use of third-party storage solutions. We use our personal drives, OneDrive and SharePoint only.

With the need to share prototypes, large documents, images and communication on a regularly basis, TSG and SHA have recently turned to Microsoft Teams, a document management and communication platform to keep in touch before, during and after projects.

Nigel Hartley, MD of SHA, says: “Although we were slightly reluctant initially, Teams really does benefit the agency-client relationship, especially when there are multiple people from both sides involved in a project. Keeping track of everyone’s inputs and outputs is seamless and allows for projects to run smoothly – what’s not to like?” 

What Microsoft Teams has to offer

Branded the digital hub that brings apps, assignments, conversations and content together, Microsoft Teams is the go-to document management and communication platform for students and professionals.

This is quiet a feat considering the Microsoft Teams platform has only celebrated its 1-year anniversary. Over the past year the Microsoft Teams platform has come on leaps and bounds, adding functionalities and adapting. One of the monumental changes includes the ability to connect externally rather than internal only.

Teamwork is easy with the Microsoft Teams offering:

ChatReal-time chat for collaboration in multiple teams on one interface.

File sharing – Teams offers users the opportunity to share multiple files and storage within as many teams as you like. TSG uses this function to its full potential. SHA is able to share a number of project prototypes with us and we’re able to share our interpretations back.

Multiple teams – making it easy to differentiate between projects and selected team members.

Meetings – Microsoft Outlook calendar integration shows all team member appointments, helping to create meetings at the most appropriate time for everyone involved. We can even video chat together as a team or with certain available members.

Microsoft app integration – This functionality provides you with ease of access to popular Microsoft apps such as OneNote, Planner and more.

Microsoft Teams user activity – User activity reports provide you with the most common tasks that your colleagues perform within Teams. This insightful data provides TSG with an insight into where colleagues may need additional training.

Our SHA Account Director Hugh Medcalf sums it up by saying: “It’s got the simplicity of WhatsApp, but for work!”

Top 6 tips on how to communicate both internally and externally

  1. Organise your ideas – make sure you have a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve.
  2. Share visual examples if you have them – Teams makes sharing documentation and imagery a cinch, so if you’re working on a visual project or you’ve annotated a document on a Microsoft Surface Hub, you can easily share that
  3. Try to be as detailed as possible when communicating your ideas and expectations
  4. Make sure you are easy to reach via a communication platform such as Microsoft Teams
  5. Communicate feedback on a finished project – it is always important to feedback to your supplier when collaborating on a project, this way both parties will be able to gain an understanding as to what works, what hasn’t worked and how to improve things where necessary moving forward.       

A shift in the way businesses communicate

Customer experience is at the forefront of our minds as customer expectations grow. The way we communicate both externally and internally must develop to match the monumental shift in collaborative technology due to customer expectations, and after all we aim to practice what we preach.

Communicating and creating a personalised experience internally is just as important as it is externally.

Hopefully with our how-to tips above and Microsoft Teams, you’ll have the foundation for a successful collaboration like TSG and SHA, with your own suppliers or even customers!