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Key Features and Benefits of Microsoft Teams

Posted 23 Apr 2019 in New Technology & Toys

Features and Benefits of Microsoft Teams - SIRKit - Managed IT Services Edmonton

By definition, Microsoft Teams is the hub for team collaboration in Office 365 that integrates the people, content, and tools your team needs to be more engaged and effective. 

At Microsoft's annual Ignite conference in 2017 they announced that Skype for Business would be phased out for Teams. Still, little changed in the eyes of the business consumer. Then in the summer of 2018, Microsoft reported that the year-long process of bringing Microsoft Teams up to feature parity with Skype for Business was complete. They reaffirmed their intent of making Teams the primary communications platform for organizations, replacing Skype for Business over time. That moment arrived, with Microsoft reaffirming in 2019 that the time to upgrade from Skype to Teams is now. 

Many businesses are uneasy about the transition. After all, they’ve relied upon Skype for Business to great success for years and some feel “forced” into unfamiliar territory. Fret not, because the unfamiliar in this instance is friendly, with Teams offering you an unparalleled opportunity to improve corporate communications and productivity. Allow us to review.

5 Reasons Why Your Business Will Benefit from the Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams Upgrade

Better Back-End Infrastructure

Cloud based Teams has been designed on a highly scalable micro-services architecture that offers more efficient bandwidth consumption and more powerful telemetry, while enabling maintenance and upgrades with little to no disruption. What does this mean for your organization? 

For one, staff and stakeholders will enjoy faster meeting join times, which is a huge benefit to those (everyone) who have grown tired of asking “Can you hear me now?” and “Are you there?”. You no longer have to waste time getting everyone connected.

Teams also negates the need to download plug-ins to improve browser experience. By tapping into Cognitive Services, an AI and machine learning driven program, your company will reap the benefits of advanced transcription, translation, speech recognition, and more. The end result is more efficient, effective, and enjoyable form of communication and collaboration.

Centralization

Centralization is the key benefit for most organizations. Within the Teams application, users can store documents, communicate with colleagues and stakeholders, and manage notes without having to change applications or close the client and jump into Explorer. 

In the most basic sense, it’s a communications tool that allows your organization the option to keep all other apps within it. Users can make an audio or video call while continuing to work on files, schedule meetings, and/or share a task with colleagues from another channel. Teams absolutely makes your collaborative work environment much more efficient. 

Allows Integration of Third Party Apps

Commitment to Teams doesn’t mean that you have to abandon third party applications that you know and love, whether or not they’ve been designed by Microsoft. The growing list of applications (MS and third party) can be found right here.

Security and Compliance

Since Teams has been built on the Office 365 enterprise-grade cloud, it delivers the advanced security and compliance capabilities that organizations have come to expect.

Not only is Teams Tier D-compliant, it enforces company and team wide two-factor authentication (2FA) which is essential in mitigating the risk of a breach. Further security and compliance features of Teams include the following:

  • Auditing and reporting - Allows you to use the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center to search the unified audit log to view user and administrator activity.
  • Compliance content search - Allows you to search through all Teams data to identify and export data necessary for compliance and litigation support. 
  • eDiscovery - Allows you to identify, collect and produce electronically stored information (ESI) in response to a request for production in a law suit or investigation. 
  • Legal Hold - In the event that data associated with a user or a Team may be needed as evidence in legal proceedings, Legal Hold protects against user deletion/editing by making immutable copies that are maintained and available in eDiscovery search.
  • Information protection architecture
  • Conditional access provisions
  • Privacy in Teams - Office 365 subscribers own and control data.

No Additional Cost?

We know what you’re thinking. With all of the benefits detailed above, you’re probably looking at a bigger price tag. After all, there are significant costs associated with other popular business communications tools (Slack, etc.). The good news is that if you’re already an Office 365 subscriber, you won’t have to pay an additional dime for Teams. It’s included in your Office 365 subscription! Don’t yet have one? SIRKit offers monthly subscriptions of Office 365. As a Microsoft Certified Partner, you can use our in-house Canadian team for 365 support. 

If you’re not quite ready to upgrade you can still discover the benefits of Teams by adopting it alongside your current Skype for Business platform. Microsoft has provided a guide on how to accomplish that, right here. While Microsoft has not announced an end-of-support date for Skype at this time, we encourage you to prepare for the complete adoption as soon as possible, especially if you are an Office 365 subscriber. If you do not have the dedicated IT resources to accomplish this task, we can assist with automated upgrades from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. Contact SIRKit today to learn more.

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