Microsoft Teams is a popular collaboration and conferencing program that forms part of the Office 365 suite of programs, alongside Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, and many more. Although it was released in 2017, it only became well-known and useful in 2020 after the pandemic started.
Microsoft Teams is available on Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, and web apps. This makes it very useful to connect cross-platform and share files. Teams has a limited version that offers the basics for free with your Office 365 subscription. More advanced plans are available that give you more options and features for an additional fee.
What Is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based collaboration and conferencing platform. The platform was designed as a way for people to communicate in the easiest ways possible. The program has features that let users host business meetings, calls, video conferences, and file sharing.
Teams allows users from remote locations to collaborate on different projects, which is why it became so popular during the pandemic as more people started working from home. While Teams was originally aimed at businesses, many other industries have found the platform useful and have started incorporating it into their daily activities. Some of these include schools and universities, freelance specialists, and even individuals.
How Does Microsoft Teams Work?
Microsoft Teams works by connecting groups of people and allowing these groups to interact, communicate and collaborate on projects. Members of the group can share files, have meetings and communicate using the program.
There are two types of teams or groups available on the platform. The standard team is public and visible to all, whereas a private team is only visible to members of that particular team. All teams are gathered around a topic or project, known as the channel. Channels are where you host meetings, communicate, collaborate and share files on the project you’re working on.
Getting Started With Microsoft Teams
When you open Teams for the first time, you’ll be asked to sign in using your Office 365 username and password. Once you’ve signed in, you can personalize your profile and add any details you wish to share with team members. This can include your business email address, etc. Next, you’ll need to start creating a team or joining other teams. The teams you create will be known as channels. Once you have a channel set up, you can interact and collaborate with the team or individual members.
Microsoft Teams Features
Teams is known as Office 365’s collaboration hub. Therefore it offers many features that can be used to communicate and work on different projects remotely.
With Teams, you get a powerful chatting platform that enables users to chat to the entire team or individuals as they need. You also have the use of emojis and GIFs to keep the team entertained and motivated. The message history is kept in the thread to revert to previous messages easily. With Teams, you can also easily call or video calls a team member directly from the chat.
The Teams app allows users to make VoIP (voice over internet protocol) calls to their team members. To make these calls, you don’t need another third-party provider; you need Teams and a stable internet connection (on your end and the receivers). There are also other calling options available that let users connect to landlines. Other calling features include audio conferencing, 911 support, voicemail, and more.
With Teams, you can also host virtual meetings, conferences, classes, and more. This feature makes it easy to connect remotely with your team and discuss projects, progress, and more. Some of the video conferencing features of MS Team include virtual backgrounds, the ability to record meetings, transcription, a whiteboard, screen sharing, and breakaway rooms.
As mentioned, screen sharing is a very useful feature offered by Teams. With this feature, users can share their desktop or mobile screens and files and folders with other users during an audio or video call. This makes demonstrating and sharing information much easier and more convenient.
The Teams’ calendar is integrated directly with your Outlook Calendar to make sure you keep on track of your workday, week, and any upcoming events.
The document management feature of Teams allows users to share, store and edit files in real-time, directly through the platform. This makes collaborating on documents easy and much faster.
With Teams, you can host interactive webinars for up to 1000 attendees. If you host a view-only webinar, you can raise the number of attendees to 10 000. Many useful features allow the webinar host to have more control over the broadcast. This includes muting participants, disabling video or audio, recording the broadcast, and more.
The Guest-Access feature and the Teams Connect feature (being released in 2022) enable users to invite other individuals outside their usual team to work and collaborate on specific projects. This facilitates business-to-business (B2B) project management.
Who Uses Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is the ideal communication software for large businesses with many individuals working together. It also works well for businesses with employees who work remotely. Recently, Teams has also been used by schools and other educational institutions as a way for teachers to present classes, connect with their students, share assignments and work in virtual teams with other students. It is easy to use and intuitive, making it a breeze to set up and get everyone started.
Microsoft Teams Tips and Tricks
We’ve covered most of the basics of what Teams is and how it works in this handy Teams guide. However, if you’re looking for some more Teams tips and tricks, here are more articles related to Teams and getting started with the platform.