Microsoft Teams is designed to connect workgroups, increase communications and in turn enhance collaboration. In reality, this benefits pretty much every business. Take this a step further, Teams is also designed to move communications to more real-time as an alternative to email. Most people would agree, less email = JOY!
At its most basic level, Microsoft Teams is a messaging tool that enables text communications between users, whether they are in the same office or work remotely. It supports group chat rooms with threaded conversations, as well as private messages between individuals. When necessary, users can jump from instant messaging to a video call at the push of a button.
Microsoft Teams in many ways is a generational tipping point. On one side, you’ve got a generation that grew up with communications occurring primarily using phone calls and email. On the other side, you have a generation that uses text, instant messaging, and Skype, or some alternative.
Is Microsoft Teams a good small business solution?
The answer to this question, like most similar questions, is it depends on your business. Here’s a filter to help, can you answer these five questions with a strong YES?
- Is Microsoft Office critical to your business?
- Are most people in your business under 30?
- Is the leadership of your business under 40?
- Will more real-time communication benefit your business?
- Are people who need to communicate more in different locations?
Questions two and three have to do with the generational gap. Teams might be a fit for your business, but it might not get embraced if your workforce is older. Employees under 30 have been using tools like Teams their entire life. There’s a reason Microsoft includes emojis and GIFs, they understand who the power users will be. It’s second nature for them to adopt these communication methods at work. The older generation is more comfortable with phone calls and email.
Will Management Participate?
Will your CEO communicate via instant messaging or will he/she send an email? If he/she sends an email, will the millennial it’s intended for even know? Most don’t even check their email. You can see the challenge here. If you’ve got an older or mixed workforce, it might take a while before a tool like Microsoft Teams becomes the focal point of the business.
Microsoft Team is more than Communications
It appears, that Microsoft understood this challenge and made Teams more than a communication tool. Microsoft Teams integrates content collaboration and Microsoft Office. For example, OneDrive and SharePoint documents can be accessed and edited without leaving the application.
Microsoft wants Teams to be the focal point for business collaboration for the next 20 years like Outlook was for the last 20 years. Microsoft recognizes collaboration and communications are inseparable. To this end, they’ve unified text, voice, and video to create an integrated experience.
Cost is a Consideration
Microsoft Teams comes with a Business Essentials license for $5/month. Teams is also available with certain Office 365 subscriptions at no additional charge. This makes a compelling argument for existing Office 365 users – of which there are 155 million – using Teams rather than shelling out money for a separate tool.
Security is Important
Lastly, companies in highly regulated industries concerned with the handling of sensitive information like Financial and Healthcare companies use Microsoft Teams because it satisfies the requirements for compliance set by several governing agencies. Smaller companies that do business with larger ones in these industries will garner confidence by doing the same.
Is Microsoft Teams a good solution for your small business?
The answer is simply yes. Teams goes beyond the traditional paradigm of workplace communication, which included emails, office phones, and conference calls. The dominant channels of communication are shifting to a wider array, including, real-time collaboration, private chat, public conversation, audio calls, video calls, and virtual meetings, all of which are encompassed in Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft is positioning Teams to be a focal point in its Office 365 strategy, so if Office 365 is your platform, then Microsoft Teams should be your choice for a communications hub.
We’ve seen in practice that Teams works best with smaller – close-knit groups. Most small businesses consist of close-knit groups.
Finally, there are a myriad of collaboration tools out there, but the core reason small businesses will utilize Microsoft Teams is that it increases the capacity to collaborate affordably and securely.