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Unpacking and Exploring Microsoft Teams

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It was only a matter of time before tech giant Microsoft joined in the unified collaboration platform bandwagon. Everyone was talking about Slack, where communication is centralised, and everyone has access to the available resources, provided they have been cleared to do so.

Microsoft’s platform is known as Teams, and works in more or less the same way as Slack. The basic package is included with Microsoft’s Office 365, and is designed to work seamlessly with all Office resources. To understand more, the following is a comprehensive outlook of Microsoft’s Teams, with details of how to make the most out of this new collaborative platform.

How to get started on Teams

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Getting started on Teams is easy and straightforward. Visit the Teams Microsoft products page and sign up for the convenient access plan for your business. When you complete that, you will be able to access the communication platform in your preferred browser, or download an app for your mobile device or desktop.

You’ll be required to assign yourself a Teams name and brief description before setting up your collective collaboration profile. In most cases, companies will use their official business data, but that must not derail you from picking a creative name.

Upon launching, each Team is given an Office 365 Group, OneNote account, SharePoint Site, and Plan, all of which are automatically generated. The Plan given is the based on the plan selected when signing up. The beauty of Teams is that all the elements are designed to work together in an integrated hub for simplified access across the board.

How to use Teams

As a shared platform, there are subsections known as Channels, representing each team’s site. Initially, there is a general Channel created automatically for purposes of basic collaboration, but many more channels can be added thereafter. Each Channel is assigned a unique purpose, for example, social media posts, product launch, blogs, and other departments within the company. You will be notified of new activities on any channel on your screen when a title boldens, so you can view it immediately.

Channels are further divided into other subsections known as Tabs, with Files, Conversation, and new Notes created instantly in each for supporting group chats, shared files or documents, and notes in that order. There is no limit to the number of Tabs you can add.

Conversations Tab

The Conversations Tab is the most essential part of the Teams hub. All teamwork, including shared files and video calls are recorded here, and there is a provision for mentions which allow you to tag anyone on the platform to notify them of any new developments. Ideally, Conversations facilitate an effective communication flow in a company.

How to manage Teams

The communications platform is within the Office 365 ecosystem, therefore, you can manage the settings in the Groups control panel. You can decide who is allowed to create Teams, which features are allowed or prohibited, and whether extensions are applicable or not. The management flexibility gives Teams the ability to maintain your company policy on critical issues, and since the Teams platform is easily adoptable and cost-effective, it is highly recommendable for robust company collaboration.

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Last modified: May 12, 2020