Presentation Challenges and Solutions

Flexible Communication with Team – A Microsoft Productivity Application

By Kristy Shangpliang
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Work collaboration software had been around for some time before the Microsoft productivity application, Teams came into the picture.

Before using Teams, Chillibreeze used IP Messaging, an instant messaging app, to communicate internally. Apart from Skype for Business, IP was the best mode of communication for the team. It was fast and easy to use.

We all loved it! It was convenient. And then Microsoft Teams came along. Chillibreeze migrated to it and it did not take long us to adapt to it. In fact, we now wonder how we functioned without it!

The only drawback is that it comes as a package with Office 365, limiting its usage to O365 subscribers.

Communication with Team

Microsoft Teams is a great collaborative tool. It provides a true chat-based hub for teamwork and collaboration.

Since we were already using Skype For Business, Microsoft Teams adaption came easy.

See what Pynskhem [Creative designer at Chillibreeze] has to say.

Microsoft Teams helps us to engage more as a team. We can see a lot of interaction, and that is really encouraging and productive. It lets everyone express their feelings and practice their English. We make it a point to not write in Khasi so that non-Khasi staff are included in every conversation. Using Microsoft Teams has really helped us improve our communication skills. Microsoft Teams also saves us time as we can easily reach out to everyone in the team without having to select multiple names like in IP. With the availability of many functions like the wiki, file transferring and saving, it has helped us to standardize our process and way of working.

What are you missing?

Microsoft Teams has four core features:

1. Modern Chat conversation

We can start the conversation by searching for people within the organization, or we can add a guest user as the member of the team. Teams chat has plenty of great features such as emoji, sticker, gifs, customizing memes and a few other interesting options. Conversations are available as threads hence easy to locate. We can:

  • Like peoples’ messages
  • Mark as unread
  • Edit our own messages
  • Save messages
  • Delete our messages from a chat or thread
  • Use the integrated Skype voice and video conference option.

Microsoft Team Chat

2. A workplace for team work

MS Teams is integrated with several MS applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI, Stream and other third-party applications. Whenever we create a team on MS Teams, it automatically becomes an Office 365 group.

A workplace for team work

3. Customization

We can create short cuts to Microsoft documents such as Excel, PowerPoint, Word to provide fast access to frequently used documents.

MS Team Customization

4. Privacy and Security

Microsoft Teams can be categorized as Private or Public.

Private – only team owners can add members.

Public – Anyone in the organization can join.

Privacy and Security

Here is a view of how Teams works and team members can make use of its various offerings:

What happens in Teams stays in Teams.

What I love about Teams is that I can start a conversation anytime anywhere in Teams and no one is going to miss it. When you close the app and come back the next day, all your communication is intact, and you can always go back and refer to your chats at any time.

Let us take a tour of the tool.

Activity

The activity tab gives you notifications of conversations or activities in Teams that you were a part of or included in. Your notifications cover your recent activity, private chats, teams, meetings, files, and apps.

MS Team Activity

Chat

This feature helps you start a conversation with colleagues. You can search for your colleagues on the search panel to engage in conversation with them. If three or more people are involved with the subject, you can add them to the conversation. You can also name the group according to the topic.

MS Team Chat

Teams

You can create your own team based on departments or projects.

E.g., Sales, Public Relations, Event Planning, etc.

Within a team, you can create multiple channels to organize your work by topic or project.

E.g., Annual Sales Meeting, Quarterly Business Review for Sales Team, Press Releases, News and Updates, Fact Checking for Public Relations and Marketing, Logistics and Scheduling, Venue, Budget for Event Planning.

Team members can jump into the conversation at any time. Threaded chat makes it easy to scan the stream and keep track of the conversations relevant to you.

You can embed images, files, gifs, stickers, emojis, and even third-party connectors or bots for a truly integrated experience.

Your Teams files, notes, and frequently accessed tools can appear as Tabs. You can even pin your favorite Office 365 and third-party apps for easy access.

Meetings

We can schedule meetings through Teams. Meetings are synchronized with Exchange online. When we schedule a meeting via Outlook or AWL, we will also be able to view the meeting schedule on Teams.

MS Team Meetings

Files

Under files, you will be able to view all recent documents accessed, shared in Teams or any other files accessed from cloud storage such OneDrive and SharePoint.

MS Team Files

Apps

Apps in Microsoft Teams can be integrated mostly in the form of a Bots, Tabs, and Connectors.

Conclusion

Microsoft Teams is used extensively across the company to communicate with team members and across departments with increased flexibility. With Microsoft Teams it is much easier to refer to old communication. It saves users time by making it easy to reach out to everyone through Teams without having to select multiple names and adding them to a new conversation every time.

Microsoft Teams’ fantastic features can really help us work closely with our customers. We can create a team and give access to our customers and vice versa.

Teams has increased engagement and improved productivity by moving us from silos to collaborative teams with members who are always in sync with the rest of the team.

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