During the Circuit Breaker measures here in Singapore and stay-at-home orders throughout the world, cloud software that keeps remote employees connected has moved to the top of the IT necessity list. Without cloud services, this pandemic would’ve looked much different. It has shown organizations of all types just how important the cloud has become to business continuity and resiliency. Video conferencing has become the new norm for meetings, classrooms, and events that used to be done face-to-face. This has caused this type of software to skyrocket in new users over the last two months. 

During just a single week in March, Microsoft Teams saw a 12 million user increase in daily active users. During the pandemic, Microsoft estimates that people are using video twice as much in Microsoft Teams. Roughly 26% of all Teams online meetings in Singapore use video. While many small, mid-sized, and large businesses have adopted MS Teams specifically for video conferencing, it has multiple other uses that many haven’t fully tapped into. Are you making the most of your Microsoft Teams account?

Other Ways Teams Can Power Your Business Beyond Just Video

While video conferencing is important and Teams allows it to be fully integrated with other Microsoft 365 programs, that’s just one part of the platform’s capabilities. Teams was designed to be a central work, information, and communication hub and using it to its fullest may mean you can reduce cloud subscription costs by dropping unnecessary apps. It can also lead to better productivity and data security. Here are some of the other ways you can use Microsoft Teams beyond the video meeting capabilities.

Document & Communication Security

How do you ensure that sensitive information used by your accounting department isn’t able to be accessed by staff in other departments? What happens to your communications when they’re being created and sent from the personal devices of telecommuting employees and not saved centrally? Document security can be a big concern when your staff is working from different locations. Using Teams as a central communication hub can resolve problems with security and data loss. The platform allows you to create specific “Teams,” or groups, and have those kept private. So, your Accounting group could securely share files with each other and chat in their Team channel without worrying about information being compromised. By having your employees keep all communication in Teams – chat, email, video/audio calls, files, etc. – you won’t run the risk of them being inaccessible and can apply security policies as needed.

Enterprise-class VoIP Phone System

Teams has just added the ability to use the platform as a full-fledged VoIP phone system through the addition of Microsoft Business Voice. This allows businesses to have their office phone lines answered from anywhere and with any device. Just a few of the enterprise-class phone features include:

  • Call transfers and handling
  • Cloud auto attendants
  • Custom ring tones
  • Cloud voicemail with transcription
  • Group call pick up
  • Simultaneous ringing
  • Three-way PSTN calls

Facilitate Customer/Vendor Communications

Say your architecture firm is working with a client and several contractors on a large project. How do you ensure everyone is kept in the loop on important updates and communications? If a contractor directly texts with your customer about a change, you could miss that important data. Microsoft Teams allows you to invite guest users to the platform, which allows you to create dynamic communication channels that capture all important communications and facilitate clarity. For the above scenario, you could create a project channel in Teams, invite your client and contractors as guest users, and have everyone communicate in one place.

Improve Daily Productivity with Tabs

Each channel in Teams has a Tabs area at the top of the window. By adding commonly used apps, documents, and websites, you can reduce the time it takes to search these out throughout the workday. Tabs allows you to use Teams as a launchpad for all your other business process needs, including:

  • Microsoft & non-Microsoft applications
  • Files
  • PDF documents
  • Wikis
  • SharePoint document libraries
  • Websites

Keep Track of Availability

When everyone is working in one office, you can easily walk over to their desk to see if they’re available or on a break. When employees are working from home remotely, you need to come up with alternate ways to keep track of availability. The status messages in Teams can keep everyone aware of when one team member is in a video meeting and when another may be back from lunch. They can be customized for any status needed and employees can also call out a colleague or supervisor using an @mention in their status, to report their status change. This reduces confusion, misunderstandings about what someone may be doing, and helps bridge the connectivity gap with remote workers.

Have Us Customize Your Teams Application to Power Your Staff

There are plenty of powerful customizations that can be made to Microsoft Teams to power your staff and improve both security and productivity. Let Managed IT Asia help you make the most of Teams! Contact us today for a free consultation. Call +65 6748 8776 or reach us online.

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MANAGED IT ASIA, we are an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses across Asia. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!