Microsoft place emphasis on empowering users and businesses to make the most out of their software. The Microsoft 365 Technical Series offers anyone the chance to go along to a venue for a day and learn in-depth, all about their solutions from the experts!

Marketing Engagement Assistant, Hannah Goodwin, was lucky enough to venture to Manchester to participate in the Technical Series that focussed on ‘Optimising your Teamwork’ with Microsoft Teams, here’s her summary of the day!

 

I had been awaiting the 12th with enthusiasm, not only because it was my first official solo event since I joined 848, but because I am a big, BIG fan of Microsoft Teams. (Why am I such a fan? Read on, you’ll find out!) So, this was a great opportunity for me to gain insight into latest feature updates, see how Teams is applied in other industries, and of course, give the professionals a good grilling.

Boost Communication & Teamwork

 

Our focus began on how Teams promotes intelligent communications and teamwork. Before I continue, I have a couple of questions for you; do you ever find yourself wishing your meetings were more productive? Or that people communicated better in your workplace? Be honest now.

 

You wouldn’t be alone if you do. In a commissioned report, Microsoft discovered that 57% of leaders, find meetings unproductive. Stresses were summarised as; hard to schedule with everyone, late attendees, multi-tasking, and overrunning.

 

There is already a lot of evidence to suggest that hosting meetings online, can be more effective in streamlining communication and boosting inclusion. This was realised with the introduction of Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, and of course now Microsoft Teams.

 

Teams can assist in overcoming, if not combatting common meeting stresses, equipping users with intellectual, advanced tools. For example, when you select a date and attendees to organise a meeting within Teams, you will be presented with their schedule. For days in which attendees’ availability is mixed, the Scheduling Assistant can help ensure your meeting takes place at a time which suit everyone.

 

(Organising a meeting within Teams)

This is a great feature, and one that we use in 848 on a daily basis. Since we have adopted this method of hosting meetings, we have noticed a significant reduction in unutilised time, increased productivity, and heightened quality in communication.

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Fab Features Exploration

Collaboration

Our attention then fell to exploring new features or areas of recent development within Teams. Microsoft’s main aim is to offer a robust, secure, cloud solution that you can complete ALL virtual work activities within. Document creation, file sharing, communication, meetings, team briefs, social media. Everything.
Trust me, if you are after a feature rich user experience, then look no further!

 

One of the reasons I applaud Teams, is the ease of collaboration. At the event Microsoft announced that Teams can now comfortably support up to 99 individuals working in real-time, on one document, no matter where they are. Train, passenger seat, park, coffee shop, all that is required is an internet connection! This was tried and tested by UK Microsoft employees themselves. You’d think that such a large quantity of input would affect the effectiveness of co-authoring, but it doesn’t. A tab indicates where an individual is within the document, which allows transparency in editing.

 

The cloud collaboration within Teams is a feature we use a lot at 848. The majority, if not all of us, work remotely at least once a week, be it between client meetings, from home, or the road. Having a solution which allowed us to communicate and work on projects together, as if we were sitting next to each other, is vital to how we now, work. We aren’t alone in this either, Teams is used by over 500,000 organisations worldwide. Which is up a massive 371,000 from 2017. In fact, Teams has become the fastest-growing business app in Microsoft’s history.

 

Capture Meetings

I’ve mentioned already about organising meetings within Teams, but what about capturing them? This is an area that has received a wealth of development recently, Microsoft are constantly implementing improvements based on user feedback.
We have always been able to record meetings, yet now the capabilities of this feature are more advanced. Click the ellipses to control the recording, users will see a notification that the host is recording. Teams will also automatically insert the recording into the channel that the meeting was held on. This ensures that everyone has the opportunity to focus on the content, rather than capturing the content.

As discussed on the day, the scope in application for this feature is so broad. We are already seeing this feature be used as a main meeting format in Enterprises and SMBs, as video appointments in Private Healthcare sectors, and as onboarding materials for new starters!

 

Integrations

Finally, we focussed our attention on Integration. Teams already has rather impressive integration competencies. Accommodating all Office 365 applications (Word, PowerPoint, etc), Social Media resources (Hootsuite, Twitter, etc), and Analytics tools (PowerBI, Polly, Empsense etc).

However, one of the most powerful integrations, is that with Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement which is currently in preview mode. The Dynamics app for Teams provides a fully functional page in which you can edit information and navigate to related records. You can also work together with customers and any colleague across functions, even if they aren’t a Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps user. To find which apps Teams supports, visit the Store.

(Store dispays all supported apps)

So, there you have it, my day at the Microsoft 365 Technical Series. I should probably have mentioned the venue (which was stunning), the food (which was delicious), and the coffee (on second thoughts, we’ll forget the coffee, sorry Microsoft). But if I had, that would take the spotlight away from the star of the show, Teams! Optimising communication and teamwork with Microsoft Teams continues to impress me.

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