Get Answers to Some of the Most Common Microsoft Teams Questions
If you’re in a company that already uses Office 365, or in a company who’s been considering using Office 365, I’m guessing that Microsoft Teams is a topic that has come up often.
And no matter what your industry or company size, we know you likely have all sorts of questions about Microsoft Teams and some of the underlying technologies found in Office 365.
The good news: We have answers. Below are some of the most common Teams questions our experts get from our clients and Microsoft Teams workshop attendees.
1. What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a workspace, or a “collaboration hub” as many refer to these workspaces, found within Office 365 that provides real-time collaboration, communication, virtual meetings using audio and video functionality, and file sharing, all within a single application.
It enables cross-organization groups to easily create and use these workspaces in an intuitive manner, placing the most common collaboration and communication functions at everyone’s fingertips.
2. Why should you care are about it?
I have a confession to make: I was a pessimist about the claims Microsoft made when first announcing Teams in 2017. Well, I was completely wrong!
Over the past year I’ve concluded that Microsoft Teams is a game-changer for companies wanting to increase their collaboration and employee engagement in order to increase their productivity across the board.
Microsoft Teams is now approaching its two-year anniversary from when Microsoft originally announced its release and the increase in usage over that time has been simply astonishing. So what are the reasons for this growth?
- Current Office 365 users get Teams at no additional cost and its wide array of capabilities such as: 1:1 or 1:Many conversations and video; team-specific configurations via tabs and channels; in-context co-authoring of documents; tight integration with SharePoint, OneDrive, and OneNote; and enterprise voice and calling capabilities.
- It’s a game-changer for companies wanting to increase their collaboration and employee engagement and its fairly simple to do. A Team or workspace can be quickly created for different groups who want to communicate and collaborate in a secure, protected, mobile-friendly, and intuitive manner, with little IT overhead. In conjunction with the other Office 365 applications, Teams has proven to truly change the way companies and organizations work – finally we have an application that is transforming the digital workspace by giving the average employee a way to engage with others as they and the organization as a whole dramatically increases their productivity and effectiveness.
3. Is it that simple?
No, sorry. Teams does come with its challenges.
The caveat is that Microsoft Teams is far from perfect and if turned on and simply left to grow organically, many people and organizations will gradually become frustrated due to the rapid growth in the number of teams being created across the organization, lack of understanding of its use, and a high level of risk to company information.
The good news is, most of these challenges can be overcome through implementing best practices, a well-defined governance structure, designing and implementing user adoption plans that are aligned to the organization’s culture and business objectives, and providing high-quality end user education on a recurring basis.
4. Who needs to be part of the Teams adoption discussion?
First, let’s define the term Adoption by using Microsoft’s definition of “Service Adoption:” the ability of an organization to drive healthy usage of the business and technical capabilities that are delivered to employees.
Healthy usage refers to the ability for employees to use these capabilities to deliver business outcomes in their organization. Essential to this goal is the focus on the employee experience and their digital literacy with the relevant tools and processes that are delivered in combination by business and IT leaders.
Teams has the potential for broad organizational impact which is why adoption of Teams should be deliberate and involve many stakeholders. This often includes IT staff, senior business leaders, HR, and end users who are all eager to learn how to best use Teams in the organization but probably have different levels of knowledge and perspectives on its capabilities.
In fact, an exploration of Teams is one of the first things we do in our Teams Adoption workshops.
5. How does Skype fit in now that we have Teams?
Microsoft Teams is replacing Skype for Business. If your organization uses Skype for Business you should begin planning right away.
Skype and Teams can coexist for some time however some customers are set to automatically be upgraded by Microsoft. The technical side of the upgrade is only one part of the equation.
The second part? This upgrade will impact your business users significantly and with all the features that come along with Teams it will change the way they work – change management, governance and training should be addressed before you upgrade. We are happy to guide you through this process.
Also check out the resources Microsoft has published on this subject here.
6. Why do I need to worry about Teams Governance?
Others have told me to just turn it on and let it grow organically.
Based on our experience and advice from other experts in this field, without governance, we can almost guarantee a combination of several negative consequences that your organization will face, to include:
- Confusion and frustration – rapid and uncontrolled growth in teams resulting in difficulty in finding information, difficulty in finding teams relevant to different users, Teams that have duplicate purposes, conflicting guidance to users of when to use Teams vs. Groups vs. Email vs. SharePoint, etc.
- Risk to sensitive information – Unintended information leaks to external guests, storing information that violates company compliance requirements, retaining / removing information that violates company record retention policies, and potential threats that gain access to the entire platform through phishing and malware attacks.
- Low user adoption – Without a training plan for administrators, managers, and end users hasn’t been designed and resourced, user adoption decreases, the organization’s ROI will be significantly lower since people won’t know how to use a platform that they’ve invested in. Users will also not trust the environment, thus decreasing their overall acceptance and usage.
Ultimately, every organization needs a governance plan that is provides a balanced approach to operations that supports healthy growth of its usage that maximizes adoption and minimizes risks.
Those are just some of the questions we hear often, but we know there’s more on your mind. If you don’t see the answer you’re looking for, let us know.
We are committed to continue to update this blog with common questions and answers to help organizations get the most value from Teams.