Microsoft Teams is part of the Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) suite of solutions. This one-stop shop for businesses enables people to collaborate and communicate from one central space.
Microsoft Teams replaces Skype for Business, and augments other features built into Microsoft 365, like SharePoint, OneNote and Planner. You can also incorporate other popular desktop apps into Teams. Built-in enterprise-level security protects your data from cybersecurity attacks and data breaches.
As you might expect from the name, Microsoft Teams is built around the Team concept. You can have organization-wide teams, departmental teams, and project teams that include both internal and external users (depending on your security settings.) Within each team, you can have “Channels” that inherit the security settings of the Team and can be used to focus conversations around a project, topic, or client.
The real value of Teams is how much it does within one tool. You may want to consider using Microsoft Teams for:
Microsoft Teams is possibly best known for its chat features. Chat with coworkers or clients within Teams, Channels, groups of friends or one-on-one. If your organization allows guest use, you can chat with other Microsoft Teams users outside of your organization.
If you need to add someone to a group message after it’s been created, you can. You are able to include the prior chat history, part of it, or none of it. Use an @Person tag to call someone’s attention. Attach files, stickers, gifs, or emojis to your messages. With one click you can turn a chat into a video call or schedule a future meeting.
2. Video calls / phone calls
Zoom has become wildly popular as of late, but some people still have security concerns about Zoom. Microsoft Teams replaces the functionality of Zoom, but adds more features and natively integrates with Office 365 applications. You can call your team or anyone with Microsoft Teams. To call a landline or cellphone of a non-Teams user requires a Microsoft Office 365 Calling Plan.
Because Calls are integrated with Office 365 calendar, your status will automatically move to “busy” when you’re on another phone call or in a meeting. Host video calls with up to 250 participants, where you share your webcam, share your screen, or write on a whiteboard.
You don’t have to move to Outlook to setup a meeting. Stay right in Teams to schedule a new meeting. The scheduling assistant helps you pick a time that all participants have open.
4. File Sharing
Any file in your computer can be shared through Teams. SharePoint syncs natively with Teams, giving you access to company files through your Files tab. Other files can be created, uploaded, and seen under the Files tab in any specific team. How to share files.
Teams comes with thousands of applications to help you and your team thrive. Applications can be easily added to your team with one search. They have apps for analytics, productivity, sales, human resources, and some just for fun. Keep your team organized with a to-do list and scheduling app or keep morale high with an app for appreciation or recognition.
If you’re overwhelmed with email and tired of cobbling together applications, take a look at Microsoft Teams. Microsoft is investing heavily into its development – and has even made it available free of charge for non-Microsoft 365 users. (Although, we have to say, the biggest advantages come from the Microsoft 365 integration.)
Want to learn more about Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams FAQ
What is the difference between a team and a channel?
A team is like the company as a whole, and is made up of different channels. The channels are dedicated to a specific department, project, or topic.
Can a deleted team or channel be recovered?
Yes. Your admin should have access to recover a deleted team or channel. Go to your team, click more options > manage team. Go to the channels tab, find the channel in the deleted section and click restore.
How many people can be in a conference call?
Up to 20 people can be on the same video or phone call.
How to share files on Microsoft Teams?
Share a file in any chat you’re in. You can also go to the Files tab of a channel and upload or create a new document for all on the channel to access.
Are Microsoft Teams apps free?
Microsoft Teams integrates will all Office apps and offers more free apps with a subscription to Teams.