These past months have tested the mettle of governments around the world, both in response to COVID-19 and keeping their economies afloat. A major challenge was and still is keeping various government institutions working together while keeping workers safe. Government functions such as health, finance, law enforcement and military, among others, found itself stretched to the limit with keeping to their mandate of serving their people. There is unified command, but what was lacking was a unified communications platform.
The Importance of Unified Communication in the Time of Pandemic
Some 18 months on, we are still in the grips of the pandemic, but we are adjusting. Businesses are open again and so is school. We have adapted by leveraging technology to its maximum potential, and at the top of the technological food chain is Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app developed to enable a company or team stay connected, organized, and productive—all within one place. To the uninitiated, utilising Microsoft Teams may seem daunting, and that is why we came up with the top Microsoft Teams features that would be beneficial to government workers and teams. With this article, we will highlight the best features that would drive your government office’s productivity, and serve your fellowmen to the utmost.
These Are the Top Microsoft Teams Features That’s Perfect for Government Use:
Adopting Microsoft Teams
A major concern for new users is the learning curve required to get acquainted with the features-rich environment of Microsoft Teams. Realistically, using Microsoft Teams is as simple as logging in to your email server. Once your organization has subscribed to the features it needs, Microsoft Teams can be deployed immediately to all authorized users. All the user needs to do is familiarize themselves with the dashboard as it is where all basic functionalities are found. From that point forward, exploration is key to learning all there is to know about the other features of Microsoft Teams. SwitchConnect provides you with full-service features of Microsoft Teams, as well as advise on which additional features would be best for your organization.
As government projects, data, and processes are strictly classified, Microsoft Teams are replete with features that give control to the government organizations’ IT unit. This unit can determine how much access a team member has or whether they can create teams, among other things. Tip: these may be configured in the Groups management section of Azure Active Directory (AAD). If your government office needs to enforce tighter security by limiting the number of teams that may be created or allowing only a subset of users to create groups and teams, AAD is where you go to configure these.
One other feature of Microsoft Teams is its team channel messages and chat retention. With this ability, government organizations and its subsets can configure the number of days channel messages and chat messages can be kept before deletion. This also allows independent configuration for both chat and channel messages, and policies can be applied either enterprise wide, per team, or user.
Government projects don’t just rely on organic government workers as sometimes they need to collaborate with external stakeholders. This is possible with Microsoft Teams External access as it allows users from other domains to participate in 1:1 chats or calls. Configuring External Access is easy—simply go to Microsoft Teams Admin Center, select Org wide settings, and tap External Access. With this enabled, only 1:1 federated chat and calling is granted to external users.
Guest Access, on the other hand, is different from External Access. By enabling Guest Access, the administrator can add individual users from outside their organization to their teams and channels. This effectively allows a guest to access resources, channel discussions, and shared files as well as chat with team members in the team they’ve been invited to.
High-Security Exclusive Features
Government security hierarchies are in place to safeguard national security. If your government function is ranked on a top-security level, contact your defense department Microsoft 365 provider for the appropriate Microsoft product for exclusive use within your unit. And yes, Microsoft Teams has a version exclusively for your use.
Government teams deploying Microsoft Teams will have access to a default document library folder in SharePoint Online where files and data are stored and shared. All new documents started within Microsoft Teams will automatically be saved to this folder, and access may be given to team members by the administrator or creator of the document.
Videoconferencing, Screen Sharing, and Audio Conferencing
These are some of the most in-demand features in any unified communications platform, what with our remote work and distance learning setups. Microsoft Teams videoconferencing allows for seamless and clear video conferencing with your stakeholders and workers and is perfect for online presentations and collaborative work on bigger team projects.
Audio conferencing, on the other hand, is a feature not common in a lot of collaboration platforms. With this feature, users can participate in online meetings using just their phone. Even team members on the move no internet connection can participate by just using a dial-in number. Note that this requires additional licensing, though.
Microsoft Teams can enhance your government unit’s company-wide meetings and communications, and even conduct online training for up to 10,000 users. These meetings can even accommodate external stakeholders that are given access by the administrator. Other features to enhance meetings include file uploading, a note-taking app, scheduling aid and in-meeting chat messaging.
These are just some of the features that are available in Microsoft Teams. Businesses and other industries have already integrated Microsoft Teams in their daily operations and it has proven beneficial to them. With the pandemic still raging and access to government services are more crucial now more than ever, your government office and stakeholders stand to benefit greatly from what Microsoft Teams has to offer. Contact Switch Connect today to know how Microsoft Teams can help you and your government unit.