Guide to Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams provides true unified communications for everyone from micro-businesses to global enterprises with over a million employees. It’s often compared to Slack or even to Zoom, but unlike most rivals Teams can really do it all in one place: text chat, media sharing, scheduled meetings, voice communications and video conferencing.
With Teams, you can link meeting rooms around the world into a single video conference, keep remote workers connected to their colleagues, and invite outside clients, contractors and partners to collaborate as either guests or full team members without paying for extra seat licenses.
Teams is part of Microsoft 365, your complete, always-updated office suite. Different Microsoft 365 subscription tiers are available to suit the needs of every business, and Teams comes with every one of them.
You can access Teams on Android and iOS, in your web browser, and via desktop apps for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It’s fully integrated with the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, so you can drop straight into a Teams meeting from Outlook and use Teams’ Files interface to collaborate on shared documents via web-based or desktop Office apps. You can even add Teams integration to third-party suites such as Google Workspace.
Teams’ main interface is spacious and customisable, with rich text-based chat that makes it comfortable to keep up with your colleagues. Create Teams instances for different workgroups in your company, and dedicated channels within them to keep conversation and content relevant. Everything’s archived and searchable, making it easy to find colleagues, discussions, and tags when you need them.
Up to 1000 people can participate in a Teams meeting using a combination of chat, voice and video, with spotlight features to highlight key presenters in busy meetings and view-only presentations capable of hosting an audience of up to 20,000.
Sophisticated moderation tools are built in, including roles for organisers, presenters and attendees; granular settings that allow you to enable or disable mic and camera access for all or individual meeting participants; meeting lobbies with direct access for invited participants; and the ability to remove unruly participants. Organisers and presenters can record meetings and share them like any other OneDrive or Sharepoint file.
You can directly share PowerPoint files so each meeting participant can move through them at their own pace, alongside real-time voice calls, video conferencing, virtual whiteboards, and desktop and window sharing – with full system audio if you need it.
Teams has a spectacular range of native and third-party apps, extensions and integrations designed with business in mind, so you can easily link in services such as Adobe Creative Cloud and Trello, connect tools like Twitter and GitHub, or add bots and digital assistants to your channels.
Your organisation can build its own apps using the Microsoft Graph API, while staff can create and share their own simple apps via the Microsoft Power Platform, from analysis and automation tools to virtual agent chatbots.
The Teams advantage
Teams is brilliantly capable and fantastic value compared to almost any one of its rivals, let alone the collection of services you’d need to replicate all of its features. Microsoft’s global server infrastructure means that, no matter where your meeting partners are, they’ll have the same fast, high-quality, audio-visual experience as your local team.
Microsoft 365 services have had a consistent uptime of 99.96% to 99.99% since 2017, and customer-friendly service level agreements ensure that you’ll be compensated with service credits if your Teams uptime or good call quality rate drops below 99.9%. And with help4IT’s flexible range of support packages, you can ensure that help will be on hand when you need it.
The service integrates seamlessly with Outlook for scheduling and with OneDrive to provide 1TB of storage for every user, as well as providing access to tools such as Microsoft Viva for enterprises – a collaborative intranet and knowledge management system with an emphasis on staff wellbeing – and Tasks, which integrates with Microsoft To Do to provide lightweight project management through shared and personal task lists.
Teams fully integrates with Microsoft Workplace Analytics, providing comprehensive stats on time spent on calls, meetings, and messages, overall user activity, stats on external collaboration, and insights into how much work staff do on Teams both in and after formal working hours.
As you’d expect from a Microsoft product, Teams’ security features are second to none, with options including automatic attachment scanning, communication compliance tools to help keep staff from sharing anything they shouldn’t, granular access controls to sensitive channels, and a range of data retention and loss prevention tools. The service supports a wide range of two-factor authentication tools, while highly configurable individual and group policies mean that everyone can be assigned appropriate limits and user rights
The help4IT difference: with you from roll-out to long-term support
Teams is a top-notch communications system, and help4IT’s experts are on hand to help. We’ll make sure your business gets the right Microsoft 356 subscription and we’ll configure the set-up of Teams so that it’s secure and perfectly customised for your staff. We’ll handle the roll-out and provide all the materials your staff need to get up to speed.
Whether you need PSTN conferencing for dial-in meetings, want help setting up a Microsoft Bookings calendar for team scheduling, or want to go room-scale with Microsoft Teams-compatible hardware for your office conferencing, help4IT has the expertise and experience to keep your Microsoft 365 communications crystal clear.