Here at Tolar Systems, we think Microsoft’s recent announcement that they’re integrating Microsoft Teams – the company’s chat-based workspace application – with Skype for Business and phasing out Skype for Business by the end of this year is a good change. Why are we excited about Teams? Read on.
In life, there are a couple things you can count on with absolute certainty: taxes and change are two of them. And sometimes, a change comes along that is truly change for the better. We think the move to Teams is a positive change for businesses that use Microsoft Office 365. Here’s why.
5 Reasons Teams is Good News for Your Business
Why is Microsoft’s replacement of Skype for Business with Teams is good news for small and medium businesses? Here are five reasons:
- Collaboration and productivity. Businesses need to collaborate with teams, customers and vendors on a daily basis. Teams gives you a streamlined platform for storing, managing and collaborating on work through a single, easy to use platform. That helps boost productivity.
- It’s easy and included. If you’re already using Microsoft Office 365, then using Teams is a natural next step—as it’s included as part of your subscription.
- One app to rule them all. Microsoft credits the move to Teams with offering users a single place for conversations, contacts and content in a modern cloud infrastructure to deliver intelligent communications. Teams improves the experience of preparing for meetings, calling and conferencing, delivering assignments, and following up on each conversation.
- You’re in charge. Businesses can determine their own timing for moving from Skype for Business to Teams, but there are a few reasons you might want to make the change sooner rather than later. Teams is designed for efficient bandwidth consumption and easily enables maintenance and upgrades. Users will experience faster connections to meetings and won’t have to download plug-ins.
- A worthy competitor for Slack. Microsoft has been struggling to compete against upstart collaboration app, Slack. It so happens that Teams looks and feels a lot like Slack, even including nifty little features like flagging users whenever they’re mentioned in a conversation. Businesses can get many of the same benefits of Slack, like streamlined and archived messaging, and channels for different teams within your organization – without having to add another technology vendor to your IT stack.
Slack or Teams?
A recent article stated that Slack claims 4 million active daily users, with a quarter of those as paying customers. Slack best integrates with Google Drive, so businesses that use Google Apps for their productivity applications may prefer Slack. However, for the 83% of organizations that use Microsoft Office or Office 365 products, Teams is likely a better choice.
Slack offers both desktop and mobile versions, for on-the-go communication, as does Teams. Slack also offers a free version, and two paid subscription levels. Teams is part of each Office 365 subscription, so if that’s the productivity suite you’re using, it’s essentially free as well.
Slack has typically been easy to integrate with third-party apps and boasted a user-friendly layout. Microsoft Teams is integrated with the many different applications within the Office 365 productivity suite. Once the integration with Skype for Business is complete, it should be a more intuitive tool for communication than even its toughest rival, Slack.
Why We’re on Board with Microsoft Teams
At Tolar Systems, we’ve already moved over to Teams and really enjoy it. Why do we like it?
- Teams integrates with Asana, which we use to manage our marketing and some operational tasks;
- The chat functionality is located near product files, so you don’t have two different applications open simultaneously;
- Teams has a “persistent chat” feature that means your chat history is permanent. With Skype for Business, chat histories would be lost after a while, so you couldn’t reference old conversations;
- Teams tracks communications across any device—a feature that Skype for Business did not have;
- In Teams, you can add documents for the team to edit/comment/collaborate on at the same time.
We also find that video and audio calls on Teams experience great call quality; chats with remote teams both locally and abroad are also issue free.
For more information on moving your team over to Microsoft Teams, contact Tolar Systems today. We look forward to helping you with all your business IT needs.