Many Vancouver Island businesses are moving their email to Office 365 but haven’t considered what they can do with their data and Office 365 collaboration features after the move. And while most of these same businesses have some sort of instant messaging platform in place, they are not using Microsoft Teams (that is part of Office 365) to bring their data and messaging together in one place.

Microsoft Teams solves both problems; it gives you an instant messaging platform while it integrates with Office 365 Exchange Online, so all your usual user accounts will stay on one platform. One advantage to doing this is that you will drastically cut down on your volume of email messages. The biggest advantage is that you can collaborate on documents within Teams in real-time. So, while you are chatting with your colleagues, you can reference and make changes to Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. This allows us to get our data off local servers and into the cloud.

OneDrive and SharePoint

Microsoft Teams is built on top of SharePoint, and many businesses will either have experience with SharePoint or have at least heard of it. SharePoint is essentially a document collaboration and storage platform; a benefit is that with Teams it gives you a much more user-friendly interface. OneDrive integrates with those two platforms by essentially replacing your My Documents folder (your personal file storage located on your computer). Your files are now stored on the cloud, accessible from anywhere and neatly integrated into Teams. So, not only are your shared collaborative document libraries available within Teams but your personal documents are as well, and an added benefit is that they can now be moved between those two environments.

Ty Hedden, Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) and Ross Speirs, Support Team Specialist discussing how your business can enhance collaboration with Microsoft Teams.

Workflow in the Office

Embracing Teams changes the workflow at your organization. This can be a challenge for professionals who have become accustomed to communicating officially by email. So, a question you may have is, “how do you make chat communication official?” And how does Teams replace email?

Teams at Smart Dolphins

Our own experience with Teams has been that we have almost eliminated all internal email. Now, external email is a bit of a different matter and it is going be around for a while, so there has been little change with outgoing communication. Internally, we have organized our Teams environment into teams that reflect our different departments: HR, admin, finance, growth, technical teams etc. This enables us to contain our conversations to those teams. So, you are only messaging to people that you need to be communicating with, and not spamming everybody else in the office. Additionally, you can apply security rules to ensure that your messages are only accessible to the intended audience. Teams is a big departure from email, and it reduces your email volume while enhancing internal collaboration.

If you’d like to learn more about how Smart Dolphins can bring Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive collaboration to your organization, please contact us.