Microsoft Teams, a revolution in collaboration

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At the start of 2020, you most likely had a carefully considered roadmap for your business’s digital transformation. Fast forward two years and that future vision no doubt accelerated towards you at the speed of light.

Coronavirus forced the digital revolution to pick up pace more so than any other economical, technological, or cultural driver.

Collaboration in today’s world is evolving at a rapid pace and innovation is multi folding to connect people better than ever before.

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella said back in April 2020 that “we’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months”. That was two years ago, and there’s been a lot of fast and furious evolution since then.

There’s no denying that it has been a challenging couple of years globally. But despite all the uncertainty, the hurdles and the defeats encountered throughout this period, many organisations have fortunately adapted.

We’ve seen a phenomenal display of resilience, agility, and the willingness to embrace digital transformation as one of the key enablers to business continuity and success.

Software as a service

Absolutely pivotal to that rapid transformation is Software as a Service (SaaS) and specifically, Microsoft Teams.

No other product has grown as quickly in Microsoft’s history, amassing a whopping 115m daily users. Teams stepped up to the mark.

It enabled employees to use their own devices from home, connected colleagues and partners anywhere in the world, inspired creativity, and seamless collaboration. And, most importantly, it evolved to meet our needs.

Microsoft’s latest NZ work trend report found that as New Zealand settles in to the new “traffic light” setting of orange, one in three employers will ask workers to return to the office within the next year.

While the vast majority of organisations are set to embrace the flexibility of the hybrid workforce relying on collaborative software to continue to keep teams and the organisation connected, collaborating and engaged.

Whether you are an education facility, a retail outlet, a medical practice or a large corporate organisation, Teams is designed to enable our “new” way of working.

It is the only platform that brings together chat, meetings, calling, file collaboration, and apps you need, all in one place.

You can easily customise Teams with apps to fit your specific needs – whether that’s adding apps from the Teams app store, or creating custom line of business apps, workflows, or bots to use in Teams.

The potential functionality of the Teams application depends entirely on your business requirements and structure.

From the simple apps already included with Office 365 Business Essentials such as Microsoft Planner and To-Do – which enable workflow and task management within Teams – to 100s of additional applications to suit various industries and organisational requirements.

For example, many customers use Asana in Teams chat and channels to manage projects and track tasks. Asana allows you to easily create new action items within the meeting allowing attendees to see the action items in the project plan and start working through them.

Another great tool that customers can use in their meetings is Slido. You can use it to plan and conduct live polls, quizzes, and Q&As in the Teams meetings experience without having to toggle back and forth between the app and the meeting.

HR and Finance teams use market-leading apps like Workday and Adobe Sign to streamline common workflows in Teams. And customer service and support teams use ServiceNow to respond to and manage support requests in Teams.

Additionally, the many unexplored features of Teams, such as meeting transcripts generated from meeting recordings, immersive reader that reads back content from channels allowing you to multitask, activity filtering with @mentions and bookmarking, file sharing and editing, Teams whiteboard and inline message translation to mention a few, there’s no doubt that Teams has revolutionised collaboration.

For an extensive list of Teams functionality visit https://adoption.microsoft.com/microsoft-teams for a playbook on how to get the best out of Teams for your industry.

Related: Our digital dilemma – Does technology have an effect on our mental health?

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Mariette Tolmay
Mariette Tolmay
Mariette Tolmay is the marketing lead at Stratus Blue. She can be contacted at mariette@stratusblue.co.nz.

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