This post was written by Luke Bourke, Senior Systems Engineer and Finian Nally, Head of Microsoft Cloud Solutions.
It would be futile to deny that the workplace environment has changed immensely in the past 10 years. We’re no longer stuck in a cubicle, working “the 9-5 “each day. Offices are more vibrant and often referred to by employees as a ‘second home.’ With this change in mentality comes the need for a more progressive and flexible way of communicating, connecting and collaborating between employees.
Gartner US reports that by 2027, “employees will be able to work and speak with team members across languages, borders and cultures, using avatars, language software, conversational interfaces and real-time dialect translation to translate and interpret with almost no loss of context or meaning.” With 2027 slowly creeping in on us, we can’t resist mentioning that this change in communication has already commenced in quite a lot of organisations.
In modern offices, there is becoming an excessive need for fluidity when communicating amongst employees, particularly those who work remotely. According to remote.co, “68% of job seekers who are millennial’s said an option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in specific employees.” The idea of working remotely is becoming more and more enticing for employees and organisations of all magnitudes and indeed of all age groups.
When discussing this progression from the so-called 9-5 grind into a new era of round-the-clock communication, having the right tools is compulsory for businesses to succeed.
At ActionPoint, we are seeing large increases in the number of clients making the transition into a new age of teamwork and communication by using Microsoft Teams. In the last year alone, we have seen a growth rate of over 400% in the amount of Microsoft 365 subscribers we support. But what exactly is Microsoft Teams? Teams is a platform that combines workplace chat, meetings, notes, and attachments. The service integrates with the company’s Office 365 subscription, office productivity suite and features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products.
What does Microsoft Teams do?
Microsoft Teams has been referred to as the “hub for teamwork” as companies that invest in collaboration are 5x more likely to be high performing businesses. Teams is an extremely interactive platform which allows employees to work together easily. Instead of being bombarded with information, Microsoft Teams centralizes all communications and uses intuitive channel categories to allow you to easily prioritize the work that is most important to you. Furthermore, Teams promotes the following concepts:
- Central workspace
- Natural adoption
- Virtual teams across regions
- Openwork culture
- Multiple teams, locations
- Single pane of glass
- Long-term chat history
Video Source: Microsoft
What are the main features of Microsoft Teams?
Having discussed what exactly Teams is and what it can do, let’s look at key features. At ActionPoint, we communicate with a lot of staff members who are on the road, living in different parts of Ireland and the world; Therefore, being able to communicate on the go is an inevitable part of everyday working life. Listed below are some of the leading reasons why we use Teams and recommend it to our clients:
- Central Communication & Information Hub: One of the most common irritants of communicating via email is that attachments can get lost over time or become difficult to locate. With Microsoft Teams, Information about a project, team or piece of work is easily accessible, as well as searchable and retrievable.
- Third-Party Applications: A clever feature within Teams is the ability to use third-party applications such as Constant contact, JIRA, Survey Monkey, Wrike and many more. This is beneficial to companies of all natures.
- Security and data protection: Microsoft Teams is hosted in Microsoft Azure datacentres, which comply with ISO 27018, SOC2 Type I and II, EU Model Clause (“EUMC”) and many more. Furthermore, Teams incorporates multi-factor authentication, auditing, reporting and eDiscovery.
- Scale: Teams gives your organisation the ability to communicate at scale. It enables your teams, partners and clients to effectively collaborate on any piece of work large or small without the need for IT to provision dedicated resources. Teams grows as your organisation grows.
By incorporating Microsoft Teams into the workplace, it will mark a progression into modern working life. Combined with the sense of trust and security guaranteed by Microsoft, it is becoming hard to say “NO” to such easy, secure online interaction. If you would like to empower your team and drive greater productivity through Microsoft Teams, then leave us a note and we’ll kick-start your journey towards a “limitless workplace.”
Edited by Sarah Hayes, Digital Content Manager.