Long live Microsoft Teams!

Hello, I’m George. The newest – and second-youngest 🙂 – member of the TSG blogging team! I sit within our Microsoft Solutions Team, so I get to spend my days talking with our customers about the class suite of productivity tools Office 365 has available.

Today, I get to talk about my favourite application in the whole Office 365 productivity suite, Microsoft Teams!

On 14th March we celebrated Teams’ second birthday. Yes, the hangover is still lingering following the great features that Microsoft announced to celebrate Teams’ birthday!

As we get all sentimental and reflective on birthdays, I thought we could start by going right back to the birth of Teams. On 14th March 2017, Microsoft gave birth to this beautiful little baby, Teams. Teams was publicised a lot by Microsoft in the build up to its launch with them calling it, ‘The New Workplace Chat’ but, we soon discovered it was a lot more than that! You can read some of the blogs we wrote around the time of Teams’ launch below:

As you can see, even when it first launched, Microsoft Teams was already revolutionary. The platform has continued to develop significantly over the past 2 years, with monthly updates released by Microsoft to further expand its functionality.

At TSG we live in Teams. We communicate internally via Teams, and use it to communicate with customers and suppliers too, thanks to guest access. Teams is becoming a central hub for us to work from.

We’ve created Team Sites for the ‘Teams’ we work within. For example, I sit within our Microsoft Solutions Team, so it makes perfect sense for us to work and collaborate using Teams. Practice what you preach! We have channels within our Team dedicated to all the different Microsoft solutions we deal with so we can circulate information quickly and have a central repository for us to access this information from.

As Teams sits within the Microsoft ecosystem, it integrates seamlessly with all the other apps available within Office 365. Take Microsoft Flow, a workflow automation tool, for example. We have a Flow set up so we never miss a single update from Microsoft. The Flow pushes tweets from the various Microsoft product accounts into their dedicated channel within our Team. It’s a very useful bit of functionality that allows us to stay on top with our knowledge and updates.

Teams comes into its own with its co-authoring functionality. We use Teams as the platform to manage all our tender responses. The ability to upload files and have multiple specialists work on documents allows us to keep better control of versioning and saves us the pain of trawling through massive e-mail trails to find the correct document.

One of the features that Microsoft recently added was ‘shifts’. This tool was rolled out in March and allows businesses to manage shifts through Teams; this is a fantastic piece of functionality for restaurants, retail and even healthcare organisations like the NHS that work on shift patterns. You can assign those shift patterns to your team and request to change shifts and take time off. This is a really powerful tool for organisations who would like to manage shifts from a central environment.

Teams will continue to grow in functionality and in my opinion, continue to become the most powerful collaborative tool available to organisations.