Oh yeah, so much easier… yeah, yeah, no… no absolutely this is the way forward now… OK… yeah we’ll catch up soon… OK bye!
OK, I’m with you. It’s so much easier when you can get everyone communicating from the same hymnsheet, isn’t it? Just get people talking at the same time, with everything written out plainly, so there are no crossed wires?
Well Microsoft seem to agree, and those of you who are presently using Office 365 may well have noticed this, as they’ve decided to move on from Skype for Business, and instead bring in an entirely new product – Microsoft Teams!
I know what the cynical amongst you are probably thinking – Teams is just SfB, but with a new name, well, from my early experimentation with it, I’d have to argue that that’s not the case!
Sure, the fundamental features which define Skype and SfB are still front and centre of Teams. After all, you’re not going to be able to escape the fact that people need an instant messaging app for around the office, or to communicate with remote staff, and equally that people need to be able to have voice meetings on a platform which is free, and reliable. And so far, Teams has done that remarkably well.
SfB had begun to link to other parts of O365 already, but Teams has taken that further. It has a calendar tab which will sync with your O365 calendar allowing you to quickly and effectively organise meetings whilst you’re talking.
One of the most impressive new features about Teams is the ability to group staff members together, and give them individual feeds, which don’t just contain discussion between those members, but can also stream other appropriate information alongside it. For instance, our marketing discussion is currently gathering all of our Social Media output, and showing it on the feed as and when it goes live. This means everyone is aware of what’s going on at all times. Neat, huh?
There are also a number of apps which work within Teams, and the majority of them are absolutely free to use. If there are pieces of kit, or online services which your business use, it’s worth looking to see whether there’s an associated app that can allow you to integrate it with Teams. I know that our development team are already making use of a couple of these.
This may feel very much like I’m trying to sell Teams to you, but the fact is that I’m simply advising you not to be scared of it. It is without doubt a big upgrade on Skype for Business, but it’s not one that we can sell in itself. Office 365 Business Premium has Teams as part of its standardised array of products though, and are slowly moving customers across from Skype for Business, to Teams – sending them notifications of the switch via email. If you’re a Business Premium customer and you haven’t yet had this – it will be coming soon.
If you like the sound of Teams and aren’t currently using Office 365, then that’s certainly something which we can discuss with you. Why not give us a call on 023 9298 8855 to speak to one of the team about how you might benefit from O365 and which package would be the most suited to your needs. Or perhaps your updates have already installed, but you’re struggling to make the best use of it, that’s also something we could help with. Use the number above, or contact us via social media, or through the use of the form on our contact page.
Until next time!