What is Microsoft Teams?

Are you looking for a platform that allows you to chat amongst your staff/team members? Then perhaps look no further than, how to use Microsoft teams.

Microsoft Teams is a communication tool for business designed to keep your teams connected. With the increase in Working from home, due to Covid-19 certainly we see the need for staying connected. Therefore, why not learn how to use Microsoft teams. It’s easy to use with heaps of benefits such as;

  • many channels or chat rooms
  • video chats, with multiple participants
  • top to bottom chat threads, for easy see conversation flow
  • integrated with other Microsoft Office applications like Excel, Word,
  • cloud storage and sharing services like Sharepoint, Power BI, Oncenote, & Powerpoint
  • Onedrive and Sharepoint document synchronization, ensuring the latest version is in circulation
  • document editing in real time, easier to work remotely yet still be part of the team (physical distancing is no longer a problem, your team can still be connected)
  • the service enforces a two- factor authentication, the same security and data protection standards as Office 365, for added peace of mind
  • Microsoft is continuing to add capabilities to teams to boost collaboration and productivity

How do people use Microsoft Teams?

People in business use Microsoft teams to stay connected, for communication as well as work collaboration.

Through standard group email, there is always the possibility of missed messages and files, with inboxes in constant overflow. Microsoft teams helps to solve this with its

  • tight integration with Office
  • and the seamless and secure switch of editing documents, in real time
  • video chatting face-to-face, for weekly team meetings and catch ups
  • messaging to remind a team member about their upcoming deadline and or work collaboration
  • group chats, for team building, staying connected while working from home and work queries.
  • The ability to share dashboards, for help in staff training
  • voice calls

What are the alternatives to Microsoft Teams?

Slack and Atlassian’s HipChat are Microsoft team alternative, business chat and collaboration services.

Slack combined with Google Apps is a relatively easy to use way of connecting and collaborating with your team and was first to arrive. HipChat has a one- click video chat, similar to Microsoft teams but with the opportunity to be paired with Amazon’s voice-controlled personal assistant Alexa.

Both Slack & HipChat offer Freemium services. HipChat standard services are $3 which includes group screen sharing, unlimited file sharing and storage and unlimited message history per user. Slack is $6.67 for small to medium, $12.50 larger businesses. Slack with the release of its Enterprise Grid service are targeting the larger market of between 500-500,00 users. Take a look at the David and Goliath story, comparing Microsoft teams to the giant Slack https://www.zdnet.com/article/slack-versus-microsoft-teams-its-really-no-contest/

Teams has a limited set of features for free, but if you’re already using Office 365 business subscription at the cost of about $12.50 per month, it already includes the full suite of Office services.

As a result, this makes the Microsoft Teams a very cost- effective solution for business. Microsoft Teams as well might not have been first to market, but with its close integration with Office 365, the chat and collaboration platform can perform just as well as any other out there.

With all the benefits of Microsoft Teams done – now let’s focus on how to use Microsoft Teams!

A Guide: How to use Microsoft Teams

Visual Guide Steps
Sign In

Click Start in windows Microsoft Teams.

On a Mac, go to the Applications folder or on mobile, tap the Team icon.

Sign in with your Office 365 username and password.

Choose a team and channel

A team is a group of people, topics, files and tools – all in one spot.

A channel is a chat in a team within the department, project or topic.

Click Teams  and choose a team and then pick a channel, to view your conversations, files or other tabs

Start a chat

With the team , pick a channel and write your message. Hit Send

With a person or group. Click new Chat, type the name or group in the To field, write your message and click send

Start a meeting

 Click Meet Now   area where you type a message to start a meeting in a channel. (If you click Reply, then  the meeting is based on that conversation.) Enter a name for the meeting, then start inviting people

Make Video and Audio Calls

Click Video  or Audio   to chat with someone. To dial a number, click Calls on the left and enter a phone number. View your call history and voicemail in the same area

@mention someone

Grab someone’s attention using the @, then pick their name. Type @team to message everyone or @channel to let everyone who favorited that channel.

Reply to conversation

Find the thread you want to reply to, then click Reply. Add your thoughts and click Send.

(these are organized by date and then threaded)

Add an emoji, meme, or GIF

 Click under the box where you type your message, and search. Or pick an emoji, meme or GIF

Stay on top of things

Click  on the left. It shows you all your notifications and everything that’s happened lately in the channels you follow

Share a file

Click Attach under the box where you type messages, select the file location the file. There will be options for uploading a copy, sharing a link, or other ways to share.

Add a tab in channel

Click      by the tabs at the top of the channel, click the app you want, and then follow the prompts. Use Search if you don’t see the app you want.

Work with Files

Click Files on the left to see all files shared across all of your teams. Click Files at the top of a channel to see all files shared in that channel. Click More options … next to a file to see what you can do with it. In a channel, you can instantly turn a file into a tab at the top!

Search for stuff

Type a phrase in the command box “Search or type a command” at the top of the app and press Enter. Then select the Messages, People, or Files tab. Select an item or click Filter to refine your search results.

Add apps

Click  on the left. Here, you can select apps you want to use in Teams such as Polly, a simple poll. Choose the settings, and then Add

Find your personal apps

 Click More added apps   to see your personal apps.

You can open or uninstall them here.

Add more apps under Apps  

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