According to recent research, 60% of adults in the UK are currently working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the government’s instruction for people to begin working from home from 16th March last year, many businesses sought a means to keep in regular communication with their employees and clients.
Of all the different collaboration tools available, the one that currently stands out (and that is likely to do so for the long haul) is Microsoft Teams.
Between November 2019 and March 2020, the number of Teams users shot up from 20 million to 44 million, and then up again to an astonishing 75 million, outrunning Zoom between February and June 2020. In total, 500,000 businesses currently use Teams as their default messaging platform.
To put it into a more close-up perspective, around half of our Office 365 support services and other IT work here at Clovertec is completed within the Teams environment!
Why has Microsoft Teams become such a popular solution?
Prior to this phenomenal uptake of Microsoft Teams, Office 365 was already one of the most widely adopted productivity and cloud solutions in the world – and with Teams being an integrated part of that package, it stands to reason that many businesses would take advantage of the tool rather than purchasing a separate one.
At the same time, however, it also stands to reason that, if Teams was not seen by businesses as a valuable solution, they would have looked to other options and Teams would have been quickly left behind.
So, just what are the benefits of Microsoft Teams that these businesses are enjoying, and that could help your own organisation to thrive? Read on to find out…
Microsoft Teams is transforming businesses by:
1. Maximising internal and external collaboration opportunities
At its heart, Microsoft Teams is a collaboration tool. This goes way beyond its chat function (which, in and of itself, is a fantastic solution) to integrate files, meetings, and apps, all on one shared workspace.
For starters, this allows internal business teams to communicate quickly and effectively (got a quick-fire question for a colleague? Pop it in the chat, rather than starting up an email thread!), as well as collaborate live in real time and see changes to work in other applications (such as Word or Excel) instantly.
This also extends to collaborations outside of your organisation, allowing you to record and transcribe meetings live (a huge timesaver!) – and even translate incoming conversation if you’re working with clients in other countries.
And the collaboration possibilities don’t end there; Microsoft Teams also has a handy whiteboard integration, allowing meeting participants to literally sketch ideas out together.
2. Helping internal teams get organised
An organised team is a successful one, and this is another area where Microsoft Teams wins out. Just one of its benefits here, for example, is allowing businesses to organise work streams into different Teams Channels with permissions, keeping everything streamlined and easily accessible.
3. Offering near-unlimited accessibility
One of the beauties of Teams is that it can be accessed on numerous different devices; from desktop to smartphone to tablet and beyond. So, whether you need to pop a message to a colleague while out on lunch or make a phone call to a client, Teams will be able to facilitate that!
4. Enhancing team productivity
Whilst being able to make internal communications processes that much quicker and more streamlined, Microsoft Teams simultaneously boosts employee productivity. It also saves the time and costs associated with arranging and travelling to meetings with clients, which is a huge bonus!
On top of that, Microsoft Teams includes powerful productivity and security dashboard reporting, allowing business leaders to better understand the usage of Teams and subsequently make more productive business decisions, as well as develop any future training and communication plans.
5. Providing high-level security
As quoted on Microsoft’s website, Microsoft Teams “is built on the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 hyper-scale, enterprise-grade cloud, delivering the advanced security and compliance capabilities our customers expect” (more details are outlined on their Security Roadmap here).
There is also the capacity to integrate Advanced Threat protection (ATP) into Microsoft Teams, should you so wish.
On average, a UK business cyber security breach can cost around £1,000+ (which rises significantly with the increased size of a business). Not only that, but a breach can take up a significant amount of a business’ time to fix, as well as result in reputational damage.
… and these five benefits only scratch the surface!
Will Microsoft Teams’ popularity decrease following the end of the pandemic?
Our professional opinion and expertise says: Probably not!
For starters, a Gartner survey recently found that 80% of businesses plan to allow their employees to work remotely for at least a couple of days a week after the pandemic, with 47% prepared to offer employees the opportunity to work from home full-time – so, chances are, those businesses who currently use Teams will continue to do so for the long haul!
For those businesses who are going back to the office fully, they will also be likely to consider social distancing measures for the foreseeable future, which is where applications like Microsoft Teams will still remain useful – for example, communicating with a colleague in the next room, or keeping client meetings virtual.
… So what would happen if we were suddenly without Microsoft Teams?
With Microsoft Teams’ popularity continuing to flourish, one of the things we’ve discussed a couple of times here at Clovertec is: what would happen if we were to lose it? Especially as so many of our day-to-day tasks are made that much easier with it!
Our conclusion was that, in light of all the benefits and business dependency outlined above, this would be identified very much as a business risk – and as such, it is something that we would try and avoid at all costs as part of our Office 365 support services.
Thankfully, the likelihood of this is extremely low – so it’s probably not something we need to dwell on (at least in our lifetime)!
Thinking of implementing Microsoft Teams in your organisation?
We’re proud to be Microsoft Silver partners here at Clovertec, and can subsequently offer a variety of training programs in Microsoft Teams – all the way from introductory to advanced level.
If needs be, we can also assist with consultative-led design and implementation around data migrations from traditional server based mapped drives to Cloud storage within Teams and SharePoint.
If you would like to make the most of these opportunities with us as part of our wider Office 365 support package, be sure to get in touch with us today…