Several years after Microsoft Teams was launched, it continues to shake and shape the business productivity space. Borne out of a need for a more robust collaborative platform, Microsoft software engineers closely scrutinized other chat platforms at that time and not just improved on it, but, rather, created a new path for others to follow. That, however, is a losing proposition in that Microsoft Teams continues to evolve as customer needs and wants become apparent, and Microsoft continues to address them.
Method to the Madness
Microsoft Teams’ quirky history bears a quick look back. The app was actually developed on a fruit farm in Hawaii and a hotel room in Las Vegas—perhaps an accurate harbinger of what the app’s intended use would be. These interesting offsite working locations were the proof of concept that Microsoft Teams’ project head had picked to provide the impetus for its engineering team to make it work.
They brainstormed and shared ideas daily via conference calls, and the remote working setup of the two teams brought to light the features and tools that are needed to make a modern chat application adaptable to the work environment. A month after returning from the remote sessions, the team behind Microsoft Teams had a working prototype that they themselves used every day to understand what needed to be improved. And that, kiddos, is how Microsoft Teams came to be.
Over the years, features and tools have been added on to Microsoft Teams, depending on the needs of its users. This adaptability is inherent to Microsoft Teams, enabling top, Fortune 500 companies and medium to small-scale enterprises to adopt it as their collaborative tool of choice. Industries where Microsoft Teams is deployed include technology developers, healthcare, accounting services, gas utility, real estate and construction, customer support, legal services, telecommunications, airlines, and media, among others.
All these industry players find Microsoft Teams’ basic features of chat, file sharing and videoconferencing indispensable in their daily operations. However, that’s where the similarities end. Each and every industry and company have its own unique needs in order to collaborate more efficiently. This is what Microsoft Teams delivers.
Interoperability–Say it Five Times Fast!
The implementation of interoperability in Microsoft Teams is doubtlessly easier than saying it fast five times. Along with it, the ease by which end-users can fully utilise Microsoft Teams from the time of installation to learning the basic tabs function has been described as, well, easy.
“To use Microsoft Teams is an elevating experience, in the sense that, not only would you, as a user, would realize technology’s unbounded potential, but also in knowing that you can be more productive. Certain limitations such as accessibility or remote locations are completely eliminated. That’s how I see Microsoft Teams, and why I use it in my organization,” said Rohan Milne, CEO of Switch Connect. Switch Connect is a pioneer and leading provider in the information and communications technology sector.
Milne also asserts that Microsoft Teams as a productivity tool has been proving itself consistent even as new features are added to it. ‘If you’ve used email before, then you can reap the productivity benefits of Microsoft Teams. It’s that simple, it’s that useful,’ he added.
Features and Benefits
At the end of the proverbial day, the goal is to be productive. Since its inception in 2017, Microsoft Teams has added more features and more tools to increase productivity, further proof of how Microsoft Teams is shaking and shaping the way we work and do business.
- Secure internal and external collaboration. With Microsoft Teams’ ability to connect workers from within an organization to partners outside of it, data and information security is non-negotiable. Teams has a two-factor authentication protocol plus in-transit encryption as well as at rest in the cloud. ISO 27001 standards have also been met, and in terms of reporting, both SOC 1 and SOC 2 compliance have been achieved as well. If an industry requires further data security standards, such as HIPAA in healthcare, Microsoft Teams can be provisioned to attain it.
- Seamless integration options with Microsoft Suite. Full-integration into the Microsoft 365 means users can create and manage Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote files and collaboratively work with other team members’ files via SharePoint.
- Third-Party integrability. Recently, Microsoft enabled third-party app developers to integrate their apps like ZenDesk and Asana into Microsoft Teams. This allowed third-party apps to be usable in the Teams channels and even during live meetings.
- Robust audio and videoconferencing capabilities. Not being limited to chat allows Microsoft Teams end-users to collaborate real-time. With outbound calling made possible through desktop and mobile devices, true unified communication is achieved as users can transition seamlessly between the office to home, to in transit or even from overseas. It saves on cost as well as Microsoft Teams can integrate with existing on-site PBX system.
In the end…there is no end.
Microsoft Teams was developed not by following and improving what had existed before it. Instead, Microsoft carved out a new path altogether by pooling together the existing needs as well as anticipated needs for business processes to progress. It has done so successfully. Microsoft Teams will continue to shape the technology sector, and all other sectors around us, as it is continuously being developed and improved.