Email is everywhere, it seems like it has been around forever. However, is it the most effective way for groups of people to collaborate on work and advance business goals? Most will answer no. We have all been through email overload. You send an email to everyone giving them an update, most reply to you, but not all. Then someone else replies to just you. Quickly the conversation breaks up into eight different conversations which was intended to be a collaboration. With Teams this doesn’t happen. Everyone knows what the status of the discussion is, keeping the productivity flowing. Teams is intended to deliver an easier way for small groups of people to communicate and collaborate. Microsoft Teams lets users effortlessly and securely switch between editing documents, share dashboards and planners, group chat, video and voice call. The simplicity of setting up a Team and having access to all these shared services is what makes Microsoft Teams an easy modern-day choice. Teams brings together people, their conversations and their projects for a more productive way of working.

Microsoft Teams is a collaborative communication tool with the ability to integrate into all of Office 365’s features, including SharePoint, OneDrive, Exchange, Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote. Furthermore, Teams is designed with the same security and data protection standards as Office 365. As businesses become progressively more mobile and global, working remotely and collaboratively is becoming a method for most businesses no matter what their size. The faster a business integrates this new way of working with technology, the better equipped businesses will be to take advantage of efficient collaboration and communicating. Teams allows for easy access to all groups or individuals, it breakdowns geographical barriers, offers better onboarding of temporary workers and freelancers, and allows for quicker delivery times for projects. When working on a cross-functional project, Teams gives everyone involved an easy and intuitive way to access relevant information. Teams allows members to have private or public chats in one easy-to-find location. All communication related to a project are stored and can be accessed with the click of a button, unlike email where valuable time is wasted digging through emails looking for needed information. Working with current versions of a document, receiving feedback, checking deadlines and seeing what the next steps should be are just a few of the perks of working in Teams. Another benefit of working in Teams is that you don’t have to waste your time duplicating information or data. With Teams, you can design, communicate, manage a live document and receive feedback simultaneously. When a task is completed everyone can see it in real time.

Another great feature of Microsoft Teams is its bot technology that digitally assists users with a multitude of tasks. Teams allows you to very easily develop a bot that can perform certain functions, for example, a company has created a project bot that would pull various sets of data and documents based on key search terms, instead having to go to separate employees for specific information needed. All you have to do is mention the specific data you are looking for in the chat and the bot pulls that information up immediately, without being formally asked to do so. Likewise, when chatting about deadlines or follow-up meetings, the bots automatically pick that information up and either set the deadline or schedule a meeting all the while knowing when the next free date for the team is. This can be extremely useful and save you a great deal of time.

Staying on topic, getting less email, and immediate access to resources in real time are just a few of the perks Microsoft Teams has to offer. Although it will be a long time before email is eliminated, there is a more productive way of collaborating and communicating right at your fingertips.

Contributor: Carrie Braun is a former Middle School Teacher with a bachelors and master’s degree from Wright State University and is currently working on her Human Resource degree at Rhodes State College. Carrie is currently a Training and Development Specialist for TTechT implementing hands on training through the Microsoft Immersion Experience.