Microsoft Teams has been getting more popular among enterprises, largely thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw a record number of people working from home. As of January 2022, the platform has over 270 million monthly users – rising from 75 million monthly users in April 2020.
It’s become one of the most popular and reliable remote or hybrid work solutions in the world.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace that brings together people, conversations, content, and tools. The chat platform provides features such as search, discovery, webhooks, bots, channels, and document management.
Microsoft Teams brings together familiar Office 365 tools, including SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange. It’s designed to help teams organise their conversations around specific projects or tasks. It also helps with collaboration by providing an integrated experience across all of the Microsoft products you need to get your work done.
Like other Microsoft products, Teams is becoming more popular by the day, and it’s easy to sign up for an Office 365 group. You can access most of the features from these tools individually or as a whole with various integrations. These tools will be familiar to your employees and help them quickly take on tasks for team collaboration.
Preparing your Teams deployment
Teams is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application that allows you to easily setup, manage, and scale your team in the cloud. It solves a lot of issues with hardware procurement or set-up and has an extensive list of tools and features to make everything easier.
Deploying Microsoft Teams can be quick, easy, and usually affordable. It’s not deployed on premise and there are no server maintenance or patching requirements. Your business will also have more time to focus on other important tasks as a result of Microsoft Teams’ cloud-based nature.
You’re going to need someone who is skilled in working in a cloud environment and has a good understanding of administering Office 365, and you’re going to find many users who are new to or overwhelmed by the new version.
There can be a lot of confusion and questions from your employees when first using Microsoft Teams. It will take some time to sift through this process and learn how everything in Microsoft Teams works before it will fully settle.
Network planning is essential for Teams when there are a lot of users, a complex network, or both.
Your networks must have adequate bandwidth to accommodate the number of concurrent voice calls, video conferences, meetings, screen sharing, etc. as well as hardware that supports real-time communication protocols.
Networks should allow the required ports between devices and communications with Microsoft 365. They should also provide the appropriate security measures to protect your company against external users.
Organise your teams
Before you roll out Microsoft Teams in your workplace, it is important to first have a clear plan of how to set up teams and channels.
Teams provides voice and video conferencing functionality which relies on real-time communications to provide the best experience possible.
Some best practices for team-working are to set clear goals, which should be decided on ahead of time. Establish who and what will be added to each team and develop role-based approvals as soon as possible. Instead of starting with a large group, start small and work your way up as needed.
This will help empower your entire enterprise and maximise the productivity of Teams.
Management and adoption
Adoption of new technologies takes time. With proper management, you can help your enterprise prepare for the deployment in an orderly manner and manage it throughout the change process.
Best practises checklist:
- Know your employees’ needs and how they will use Teams
- Provide training for all the basic features, and advanced functions for managers and admins
- Set regular training courses or webinars based on your enterprise needs
- Maintain oversight of channels, users, and admin accounts
Three tips for first-time Teams users:
Technical support: your employees should be able to get information and support on the issues they experience in Microsoft Teams. There are ways to improve the platform that they can do on their own, such as requesting access rights, authorising specific devices, or changing video quality settings. Also, Teams’ Help feature, found in the bottom left corner of the screen, is an evolving utility that can be quite useful.
Utilise the team: don’t forget your IT department; experienced users can offer guidance to the newbies on Microsoft Teams. It’s an invaluable service that will drive productivity in the workplace.
Compliance monitoring: having governance in place to monitor compliance is an essential part of preventing runaway growth in Microsoft Teams. Once you have these processes in place, it’s important to also make sure that everything is monitored properly, along with setting up the right teams and channels. Consistency between different groups will ensure a customer-focused experience.
Ready for roll-out
The adoption of Microsoft Teams is growing rapidly. However, with the rapid adoption comes a lot of challenges.
To avoid pitfalls and ensure a smooth, simple deployment of Microsoft Teams in your enterprise, talk to Microsoft Gold Partners INTELLIWORX. Their Microsoft specialists will make your roll-out efficient and affordable.