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Regular-article-logo Friday, 12 July 2024

Microsoft Teams is the collaborative platform organisations are looking at while employees work from home

People look at Teams as a chat tool, a tool for collaboration, or one for online conferencing. Teams is, in fact, all of that.

Mathures Paul Published 10.04.20, 03:02 PM
More and more offices around the world are using Microsoft Teams

More and more offices around the world are using Microsoft Teams Shutterstock

As the coronavirus pandemic makes more and more people work from home, the power of big tech companies is coming to the forefront. One of them is Microsoft. And we are impressed by one of its tools at the time of crisis — Microsoft Teams.

Even a few weeks ago, we saw this as a collaborative platform only business groups would be interested in. The change has been huge. On March 19, the company said the number of users on Teams had grown 37 per cent in a week to more than 44 million daily users. “We believe that this sudden, globe-spanning move to remote work will be a turning point in how we work and learn,” wrote Jared Spataro, corporate vice-president for Microsoft 365, on the company’s blog. Lets find out what it offers.

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Access to a range of packages

Some look at Teams as a chat tool. For some, it’s a tool for collaboration. To many, it’s for online conferencing. Teams is, in fact, all of that. At its heart is the entire Office 365 (April 22 onwards, it will be called Microsoft 365), which includes apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher and Access. Beyond it, there is OneDrive, Exchange and much more.

Real-life scenario

The Ardee School in New Friends Colony, New Delhi, had started with remote learning using Teams even before schools were shut because of Covid-19. At first the school had invested in a video conferencing solution but then decided to get an Office 365 subscription for the entire school because it has several tools for teaching and learning. It was the unprecedented rise in pollution levels that had made the school look at digital solutions. “We had already mapped every student and teacher to their Office 365 accounts. Moving them to Teams according to classes and subjects was very intuitive from the Office 365 administration panel. That enabled us to move very quickly,” says Amit Gupta, head of IT at The Ardee School, NFC. With the collaborative tool, things can go well beyond interactions with students. Parent-teacher meetings can also be conducted on Teams.

The pandemic will one day — and hopefully soon — be behind us and students will go back to school. But technology like Microsoft Teams has made it clear that we need to be ready for something as unpredictable as the coronavirus.

The British School in New Delhi is also using Microsoft Teams.

Always with you

Say you don’t have a printer at home or physical files containing important documents. You can pull up digital information directly in Teams, securely store files where the right people can access them and quickly jump into calls and meetings.

With video-conferencing app Zoom facing a lot of flak over security issues, why don’t you schedule meetings with Teams. If your meeting has 250 or fewer people, Microsoft Teams Meeting is a great interactive tool. You can meet from anywhere, screen-share and collaborate on documents in real time while making use of accessibility features like live captions. For brainstorm sessions, you can even fire up the Whiteboard app within Teams to bring ideas to life. In case a member misses a meeting, he or she can ask other attendees to record it, then catch up later.

We are not hesitant to consider Teams as a worthy alternative to Google’s collaborative apps.

t2 also likes

Canva: There is a team feature on the graphic design platform using which the entire team can work on creatives that can be used across social media and much more.

Workplace by Facebook: View updates from people and projects that you care about in a scrolling stream of posts or broadcast announcements, training sessions or meetings across your organisation. There is a lot more to this on this collaborative tool.

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