Microsoft Teams, the collaboration and unified communications tool, is one of the most transformative products to be added to the Office 365 portfolio in recent years. And it is still developing, with new functionality being continually added. Microsoft Teams is a genuinely dynamic and hugely sophisticated platform – but are you making the most of it?
There are three key aspects to truly unlocking the power of Microsoft Teams. First, you need to ensure that it is operating on an optimal foundation – that is, you need to properly set up and configure the Microsoft elements which underpin Teams. Second, you need to operate the platform as effectively as possible on an ongoing basis – clearly a diverse and complex area, but there are some key principles to follow. And third, you need to embrace the platform’s dynamism, and keep yourself educated as to new functionality and additions.
Before you begin: Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint
Teams ties together three core ‘pillars’ to function. Exchange Online delivers the email and contact information which underpins all of the communication in Teams, from instant messaging to video calls. OneDrive delivers integrated, supported online file storage. SharePoint Online provides the structure for group working and collaboration, including Wiki lookups and file sharing.
Essentially, Teams provides a single interface for accessing all three applications – and all three therefore need to be properly set up and configured within your organisation for Teams to work optimally. Get back to basics and ensure that Exchange Online, OneDrive and SharePoint Online are all configured exactly as required.
As you operate: Optimise and enhance
Microsoft Teams is a huge and complex application, so there are clearly far more hints and tips to running it optimally than we can cover in a single blog. However, there are some common principles to follow in terms of keeping the platform as simple and efficient as possible – particularly important when its functionality is constantly expanding.
For example, keep the platform as streamlined as possible by checking whenever you set up a new Team that another doesn’t already exist doing the same thing. The software does not check for duplicate team names, so if multiple users have the ability to create teams, duplication and consequent confusion is a risk. Likewise, all users who have the ability to create Teams should follow the same naming conventions in order to optimise communication and understanding across your organisation.
Likewise, whilst some of the same groups of users will be working on multiple different projects, it still makes sense to create a new Team for each project. This makes it easier to search for and find the relevant documents for each project and will ensure greater clarity in the future when individuals from outside your organisation can join Teams.
On an ongoing basis: Check for updates
Microsoft Teams is a hugely dynamic application, with new functionality continually being added. Ensure that you are regularly checking back in with Microsoft directly, educating yourself as to new additions and amendments. Online updates regularly provide announcements regarding new functions and advising on how to make the most out of the platform, such as this one on newly created Team admin roles.
And remember that Adept4 is always on hand to provide advice, support and optimisation!
If you'd like to discuss implementing Teams then Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.