Microsoft Teams is a teamwork hub that enables users to invite everyone they work with to chat, meet, call, and collaborate all in one place, no matter where they are.
Chat from anywhere
Share your opinion, and your personality. Send gifs, stickers, and emojis in a group chat or in one-to-one messages.
Meet from anywhere
Instantly go from group chat to video conference with the touch of a button. Teams of 10 or 10,000 can meet in one place, no matter how many places they’re in.
Call from anywhere
Never yell “who just joined?!” ever again. Use Teams calling, Phone System, Calling Plan1, or Direct Routing to take the stress out of conference calls.
Collaborate from anywhere
Never do that frantic, searching-for-files thing ever again. In Teams you can access, share, and edit Word docs, PowerPoint, and Excel files in real time.
Editors' Review by the Internal Communications Software Review Team
Microsoft Teams is a chat-based software solution available to subscribers of the Office 365 Enterprise and Business plans. It is primarily intended for workplace chat, video meetings as well as file storage and sharing. Microsoft Teams is a platform for more streamlined communications for business groups that allow for real-time collaboration among devices, including laptops and mobile phones.
The software can be downloaded on mobile and desktop devices through application store and can likewise be accessed via a web browser. If you access via the web browser, you will see a primary navigation bar on the left housing the tabs Activity, Chat, Teams, Calls and Files.
Activity is where all conversations with mentions and tags are stored. Chat is for one-on-one or private messaging. Teams is an organized hub where the correspondences between team members occur, including the team files, posts and minutes from team meetings are posted. Another navigation bar provides a summary of the chosen tab from the first navigation bar.
At the center of the monitor is the application’s interaction center where the conversations are shown. Calls can either be audio only or with video. During video calls, you can allow your team members to view your presentations or notes via the screen-sharing option.
The three-dot ellipsis contains the applications that are installed for integration and storage.
The Microsoft Teams features integrate into a robust workplace communication center. The incorporation of the video conferencing software with Microsoft 365 created a comprehensive user experience that is unique to the application.
This feature enables users to host online meetings such as video conferences, streaming for live events and audio conferences covering all aspects from pre- to post-meeting requirements. Teams can supply each attendee with the meeting agenda and provide everyone with meeting minutes after the session. Meetings can even be recorded and an automatic transcription can be played back for reference when creating the meeting minutes. The meeting minutes can be uploaded in the appropriate category in the Teams tab.
This Teams feature allows for making and receiving calls within the application. Users can conduct VoIP calls and video conferences, although most conversations are done through instant messaging. Maximum limit of participants is 10,000, an increase from the 5,000 limit before April 2020.
There are options for putting calls on hold, and blind and safe transfers. Microsoft Teams voice and video calling requires a phone system. Calls made via the Teams application has 35 functions for a seamless business call, such as call escalation to switch from a one on one call to a group call without hanging up.
Direct dialing and Microsoft calling plans via Microsoft 365 are available for Teams-compatible phone systems.
Message exchanges in Chat are stored and made accessible within the feature, as opposed to the chats in Skype for Business where messages are instead stored in Conversation History, a folder that is separate from the chat room. Mentions and tags appear in the conversation, but those particular messages can be found in the Activity tab for quick reference and storage. You can attach the available GIFs, stickers and emoticons to your messages for personalization.
Your team will have access to shared documents under the Files tab including images and videos that were uploaded in the channels. There are also options to create shared folders as well as Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, among others, within the OneDrive feature.
This feature presents a number of options for maximizing Microsoft Teams capabilities through automation of workflows. The company partnered with video conferencing brands, so live video can be efficiently shared from mobile phones during meetings and projected into the Teams application.
In addition, it launched the Microsoft Teams app store, where you can search for third-party apps to use with your workflows. The App Studio was launched in January 2018 so developers and businesses can create apps using Teams.
Microsoft recently launched Teams for Education, where students engage in virtual school activities. The 7×7 grid view can accommodate up to 49 participants on a single screen. The application can also hold virtual Breakout Rooms for activities involving small groups.
Other features are Raise Their Hands, Attendance Reports and Class Insights with data analytics that show students’ engagement and activity metrics, rate of assignments turned in and grades.
A restriction for students’ unattended use of the application is in place for security and classroom management.
This Teams feature allows for priority notification for urgent messages every two to 20 minutes until a response is received. Nurses or clinic staff can forward messages to delegated staff in case they are attending to a patient or are tied up in the ER.
The Healthcare Bot service helps an organization deploy virtual health assistants in addition to an automated symptom-checker. Secure access to patient records, note-taking, video meeting and message handling are some of the features for care coordination that can be done within the system.
Microsoft Teams is an effective communications software solution that offers several benefits to its users.
Microsoft Teams increases work efficiency through a highly organized user interface. Workflow can be managed within the application including scheduled meetings, note taking and meeting transcription. Information is distributed to and stored within the appropriate channels so important conversations, meeting schedules and documents are easy to find.
The calendar suggests schedules when all team members are available for the meeting. It even provides an option to choose if your meeting should be private or can be open for uninvited attendees. All attendees can be reminded about the schedule and notified regarding the set agenda.
Users’ data security and privacy are protected by the Microsoft Trust Center. The company provides protection through cloud security, threat and information protection and a host of other security solutions that address cyber threats and data protection.
One way to get started with Microsoft Teams is to sign up for a free account. The free version includes unlimited chat and search, online meetings and video calling, 10 GB team file storage, 2 GB personal file storage and real-time use of Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote.
Teams can also be accessed through the Business Basic and Standard packages. Business basic costs $2.50 per user per month. The package covers 50 GB host email storage and a custom email domain address, 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage for each user, hosting of online meetings and video calls for up to 250 users, access to web versions of Office applications Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher.
The Business standard package costs $10 per user per month and includes a license to fully-installed Office apps on five mobile devices, five tablets and five desktops per user, round-the-clock phone and web support from Microsoft, in addition to the same benefits Business basic users enjoy.
Microsoft Teams is a business software solution that can efficiently enable and streamline seamless virtual collaboration among remote staff, office workers and other professionals, to efficiently provide business communications and workflow management.
Product recommendations, vendor rankings, market overview and tips on how to select Internal Communications software for business. Published in October 2021.
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The sentiment map shows a snapshot of how Crozdesk users have rated Microsoft Teams over time. It shows how existing users see Microsoft Teams with regards to its usefulness, ease of use, value for money and customer service.