Companies who work in or out of the office need a collaboration tool that lets teams work together wherever they are. They need more than just a chat function or a shared folder. Using multiple tools makes things more complicated than necessary. To keep everyone going in the same direction, many companies use collaboration platforms.
Since its launch in 2017, Microsoft Teams has helped companies collaborate with everything they need in one tool. The app is free as part of the Microsoft365 subscription. Anyone can download and use it separately free on a limited basis with a Microsoft account.
Should your company consider Microsoft Teams for collaboration and replace the tools you have now? Here we’ll examine the pros and cons so you can decide if it’s right for your company.
Pros of Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is more than just an in-house chat function. It’s a complete portal for all of your team’s discussions, file sharing, meetings, and other tools. The app utilize channels to keep all communications together instead of spreading out through different mediums.
This tool fully integrates with the entire MS Suite, including Word, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote. Members can talk, share files, schedule meetings and hold video conferences in the same chat and the same place. Discussions can begin before, during, and after the meeting, along with action items and meeting notes. Members don’t need to switch between different tools. Everything is available right at their fingertips. When the meeting is over, the recording is also available in the chat.
If you’ve ever been inundated with email on one subject, you’ll appreciate the way chat structures conversations. This structure eliminates problems (like “reply to all”) that come with endless responses, lost threads, and attachments that fill up the inbox.
Because the Microsoft365 suite is so integrated, the conversation stays in one place with all the tools you need. Additionally, the app virtually eliminates multiple versions of documents. The current version is within everyone’s reach. Gone are the confusing threads and responses buried under other emails. Everything is coherently organized and easy to find at any time.
With Teams on your PC or laptop and the smartphone app, everyone stays connected all the time. Everyone can communicate from anywhere as if they were in the office sitting at their desk. Traveling members are nearly always available at the touch of a button.
Faster File Transfer
Forget attachments. Using Teams to send documents and information to a team member is secure as well as quicker. No more files lost in the inbox, insecure email, or mistakenly sent to the wrong person.
This feature is helpful for a company with a distributed workforce and members in different parts of the world. Hosting documents on either SharePoint and OneNote lets users set access permissions for each. The app also ensures that users follow IT security protocols for file transfers.
Cons of Microsoft Teams
Team’s all-inclusive nature is also one of its drawbacks. Microsoft’s multitude of available tools can overwhelm users and make adoption more difficult. It then has the opposite effect of decreasing productivity because users aren’t always sure what tool to use.
Unlike Zoom and Google Meet, Microsoft Teams has a more complex interface. Users may have trouble finding what they need. Without a unified search tool, users must fend for themselves.
Groups who move into Microsoft Teams should migrate out of Outlook for internal communication. However, it’s not possible to eliminate Outlook.
Microsoft Teams doesn’t support group calendars, so team members are required to revert to Outlook. It’s not always possible to edit a document in Word and then send it to someone in Teams. The only available option is through an email in Outlook.
Finding A File in Teams
Team’s file structure isn’t a structure at all. Files are not in a set order as they would be on a shared network.
Some users prefer to search for a file manually. Others who are accustomed to using a file structure may have difficulty finding something they need. There’s a reason for this.
Everything loaded into a conversation is stored in the channel root folder. Moving those files into a file breaks the links in the conversation. General searching can become confusing for users who prefer a file structure.
Suboptimal Online Meetings with Teams
Unfortunately, Teams’ online meeting function doesn’t work as well as the more popular Zoom or Google Meet.
Microsoft has included Skype For Business components in the app with good results. Overall, though, the meeting experience isn’t as good as it could be.
The smartphone apps don’t have as much functionality as the standard desktop version. Users have fewer tools and features, particularly in meetings.
Channel Limits And Notifications
Each team is allowed 200 public channels and 30 private ones. Larger organizations should impose limits on creating new teams. Otherwise, anyone (and everyone) can create a team and use up all available storage space. Once used, it becomes necessary to delete excess teams to free up space.
Additionally, adding duplicate team names turns off notifications for both teams. Before setting up a new team, check for existing names to avoid duplicates.
Teams Requires Considerable Resources
Microsoft Teams requires considerable resources. Specifically, every machine requires a dedicated 4GB or more of RAM and at least a quad-core processor to support the higher video or screen sharing resolution and frame rate. Anything less leaves the user with a suboptimal experience, particularly for video conference meetings.
The app also requires a constant connection to be functional. Many users report a frequent problem of Teams reconnecting. VPNs, clearing caches, and slow network connections can affect performance and inhibit access. If needed, users can use Teams through a web browser. Deleting and reinstalling the desktop app may also work.
If you’re already using Microsoft Teams or considering switching, make sure your communications system can handle it. A VOIP-hosted PBX system can keep your company running smoothly no matter where your employees work or travel. We offer a range of products and services to help your company stay competitive and continue to give your customers good service.
Contact Press 8 Telecom today to learn more about how we can help your employees work anywhere, anytime. We’ll give you a free quote on the system that’s just right for your company.