When Microsoft Teams was born, Slack was already ruling the regime. Rumors say that Microsoft prepared a bid of $8billion for Slack, but Bill Gates suggested building a competitor rather than buying it. Thus, Microsoft collaborated most of its business software in Teams, like Classroom and Skype for Business, and presented the all-in-one business communication platform – Microsoft Teams.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Teams was developed as a challenge in an internal hackathon event at Microsoft and was then launched worldwide in 2017. Later, Microsoft developed ‘Teams’ as a proprietary business communication platform, offered as a part of the Microsoft Office 365 family. Teams was introduced as a replacement for Skype for Business and Classroom and dominate the competition with three appealing characters – chat, project management, and extensive integration with Office 365.
Simply Microsoft Teams is a messaging or chat-based workspace combining instant messaging, file-sharing, and voice/video calls. Teams help users in being more productive by allowing them to use Office Apps and its products like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, One Note, Share point, and much more.
Top Ten Microsoft Teams Features
Although it has a chat-based collaborative interface, it makes regular office activities like document sharing, online meetings, video calls, and all such stuff, a lot easier.
Here is a list of features that makes Microsoft Teams stand out from the crowd.
- Full Office 365 Integration: Microsoft Teams seamlessly integrates with Office 365, providing a huge relief and an outstanding benefit to the organizations already using it. Now every user can easily access Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, and Outlook.
- Dedicated Channels: You can create teams in a group, bring back deleted groups, edit group email alias, and use labels to distinctive or sensitive chats. Moreover, a team admin or a team member can create and dedicate a channel to a specific topic, conversation, or task. It helps in getting a faster resolution to problems discussed in each dedicated channel.
- Minimize Email: As maximum problems get resolved on Teams, there is no need to send lengthy emails. In Microsoft Teams all the team members in a group or a channel can see, react, and reply to the ongoing conversation. The best thing is you can send an email to the team channel so that email content can appear as a threaded conversation for all team members.
- Access Productive Application: Office 365 integration empowers users by offering easy access to Skype OneNote, SharePoint, and OneDrive. You can make calls, conduct conferences, arrange webinars, and do much more using a single application – Teams.
- Real-Time Collaboration: Real-time updates to everything available, shared, and changed gives a cutting edge to Microsoft Teams. Especially when you are working with a team from remote locations, you can chat and at the same time work on shared files together. Each change made by any team member is updated in real-time to complete work in real-time. Hence, no need to share the same file again and again after each minute change.
- One Account – Multi-Device Access: The major USP of Microsoft Teams is its dual productivity. You can use it as a web interface, and you can also use it as a mobile app. Furthermore, you can use a single Microsoft Teams account to login into multiple devices with the same credentials. As of now, the Microsoft Teams app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows.
- Secure Environment: Cutting-edge security and compliance protocols make Microsoft Teams a secure and comprehensive platform. The same security protocol then advances to the Office 365 integrated with Teams. The advanced security controls covering data-loss prevention, information barriers, retention policies, eDiscovery, legal hold, and more makes it the most secure and advanced. It does not matter if a message is exiting or entering; every conversation taking place in Teams is thoroughly encrypted and meets all major compliance standards; as if ISO 27001, HIPPA. SOC 2, and EU Model Clauses.
- Third–Party Applications: Microsoft Teams is developed to integrate with third-party applications like Zendesk to double the efficiency and productivity. By integrating Teams with other business areas, you streamline processes and communication. When you want to find a relevant business app suitable and easily integrates with Teams, then your business type is irrelevant. For every business, there happen to be useful and most relevant business apps.
- Intelligent Bots: Along with chatting and sharing platforms, you also get a set of 24 highly intelligent bots. Each bot has a set of unique functionalities for increasing productivity. The bot answers all the frequently or commonly asked questions about Teams, Polly Bot for polling users, Statsbot for sending scheduled reports, and Growbots that exchanges congratulatory messages with co-workers.
- Enriching Experience: Users can record their audio, video calls, and screen sharing status for various purposes. The power BI tab for Microsoft Teams helps users in finding and tracking the data throughout the channel. It also supports reports – the new employee experience reports and the pagination report. Do you know, if you have any personal apps, you can pin them to the Teams App Bar? These and some more interesting features offer an enriching and productive experience to the users.
How Microsoft Teams Helped Businesses Connect Remotely
When the CORONA pandemic was in full swing showing no signs of a slowdown, more and more companies started sending their employees home and hastily provided a work from home model.
As an increasing number of employees started working from home during the pandemic, organizations started looking for technology solutions that would keep their employees productive, connected, and motivated.
Responding to the increasing necessity of such a tool, Microsoft responded by introducing Teams. A chat-based workspace that brings all the employees together creates a virtual workspace where they can collaborate, communicate, and share content.
Microsoft Teams and Pandemic
Microsoft Teams played a dominating role in connecting and collaborating with the worldwide workforce forced to work remotely. In November 2019, Microsoft teams had 20 million users. However, in March 2020, their user base increased to 44 million, reached 75 million by April, and surpassed Zoom from February to June 2020.
Microsoft Teams Key Achievements in 2020
- 95 million people started using Microsoft Teams in 2020, making it the single largest popular app during the Pandemic.
- From March to June 2020, Microsoft Teams achieved a growth of 894%, it was more than any of the Teams competitor.
- More than 500,000 organizations are now using Microsoft Teams as their default communication and collaboration app.
- In 2020, Microsoft teams generated an estimated $6.8 billion revenue, with a record CAGR of 700%.
- As of now, Microsoft Teams is being used in 144 countries and is available in more than 4 languages.
- Over 138,000 educational instructions scattered globally conducted online classes using Microsoft teams.
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