Microsoft Teams is a robust communication platform built on the framework of productivity tools included in Office 365. Along with other tools, it aids in building a productive team while streamlining business communication inside and outside of the office.
Managing office-based and remote teams alike is seamless with the integration of Office 365 applications and the online communication capabilities of Microsoft Teams.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a unified communication workspace that’s part of Office 365. It’s a platform dedicated to collaboration that combines workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. It allows you to work in the cloud with several team members at once editing same files in realtime, no matter the size of your office or location of your team. Teams also supports the ability for users to make voice over IP (VoIP) calls – making it the perfect hub for teams to have informal chats, iterate quickly on a project, work with team files, and collaborate on shared deliverables. Plus, you can search content and chat histories at your convenience to optimize your team’s organization and productivity.
Microsoft Teams comes built into subscriptions for Office 365 Business Essentials or Business Premium. Along with Microsoft Teams, you’ll also gain access to business email, Exchange, OneNote, and SharePoint, as well as top Microsoft Office products like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. There’s also a free version of Microsoft Teams available to download that includes chat, video calling, file sharing, storage, and more.
- Microsoft Teams vs. Yammer
Yammer, Microsoft’s platform for enterprise social networking, also comes with your Office 365 subscription. It’s an internal communication tool for your business that will keep all of your team members engaged. Yammer integrates with Teams, as well as SharePoint and Outlook.
Yammer works in tandem with Microsoft Teams. If Yammer is your company’s lunch or breakroom, Teams is a conference room. If you’re trying to wrap your mind around Yammer, think “corporate Facebook”. Yammer has the ability to host conversations with over 80,000 members, so it’s the perfect platform for company-wide announcements and communication. Microsoft Teams is best utilized for your day-to-day work—collaborating with just a few team members on a specific project or topic.
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What is Microsoft Teams Phone System?
The Microsoft Teams Phone System allows you to manage your call control and PBX capabilities within Office 365. With Phone System, you can use Microsoft Teams to place and receive calls, transfer calls, and mute or unmute calls with the click of a button. You can use your mobile device to place calls, a headset with a laptop or PC, or one of many IP phones that work with Teams.
- Microsoft Teams vs. PBX phone systems
Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is a private telephone network used within a company or organization. The PBX phone system allows users to communicate internally within their company and externally with outside businesses using different communication channels.
Traditional PBX limits businesses to a certain number of outside telephone lines and a certain number of internal telephone devices and extensions. Microsoft Teams enables PBX capabilities in the Office 365 cloud, sparing you from these limitations and having to deal with the complicated and expensive equipment typical of PBX phone systems.
How does Microsoft Teams compare?
- Microsoft Teams vs. Skype for Business
Microsoft Teams has evolved from Microsoft’s Skype for Business—they are merging to become one and the same. If you’re looking at Skype for Business, it’s best to turn to Microsoft Teams instead of having to make the switch down the road.
- Microsoft Teams vs. Slack
Both Microsoft Teams and Slack are chat-based workspaces. The main difference is that Microsoft Teams integrates Office 365 tools. If your team is already using Microsoft products, Slack is likely a redundancy your business doesn’t need.
Both Slack and Microsoft Teams offer free options. The free option of Slack only allows up to 10,000 team messages before the oldest begin being deleted. For larger teams or those who wish to maintain access to all messages, Slack’s Standard package would be required.
Slack’s free version only allows for 1:1 video calls. At the highest tier, video calls can only include a maximum of 15 participants, compared to Microsoft Teams, which can host online and video conferencing meetings for up to 250 people.
Due to scale, Slack is usually preferred by startups and small businesses, whereas larger businesses and fortune 500 companies more frequently choose Microsoft Teams.
- Microsoft Teams vs. Cisco Webex Teams
Webex Teams is Cisco’s offering in the virtual-collaboration space, and it shares several functions with Microsoft Teams, including individual and group chats, audio and video calls, online meetings with screen sharing, shared scheduling, and even the ‘Teams’ name. So what sets them apart?
Firstly, price and specifically their ‘free’ versions: Microsoft offers a more robust free version, while Cisco’s is much more limited. In addition, Microsoft is able to leverage the scale of Office 365 to offer full-featured versions of Teams on that platform for just a few dollars per user per month. The cheapest full-featured versions of Webex Teams will set you back more than twice as much.
Secondly, hardware compatibility: Webex is mated to Cisco’s long history of meeting room technology, and so integrates well with their in-house range of displays, smartboards, and AV equipment. Microsoft takes a more agnostic approach, offering more flexible pairing options and dedicated partnerships with several major players including HP, Logitech, and Yealink.
Finally, integration: Both Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams leverage their famous parent platforms. While Webex Teams leans heavily on Cisco’s hardware strengths and indeed performs very well in that ecosystem, Microsoft Teams is more focused on integrating with the productivity and collaboration tools of Office 365. For many SMBs already familiar with or invested in the Office ecosystem, this means Microsoft Teams makes more sense.
- Microsoft Teams vs. Hangouts
Designed by Google, Hangouts offers similar online collaboration across offices and business teams. It’s made to go hand in hand with other Google products, so it’s best suited for businesses and people already committed to G Suite tools.
Businesses should consider the future growth of their company and what platforms partnering businesses are currently using. Many larger, more established companies tend to already work within Office 365. If you plan to work with larger organizations, such as fortune 500 companies, Microsoft Teams and other 365 tools will allow smooth business to business integration.
Productivity with Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams can greatly improve the productivity of your team. It can replace superfluous business phone systems and other office tools, such as Slack and Skype, to streamline communication across your business.
Microsoft Teams serves as a top communication tool on its own, but when paired with the Microsoft apps you already use and the built-in security of the Office 365 platform, it’s a seamless integration that will make everyone in your office feel at home.
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Terminal B is one of only 300 Microsoft Direct Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Partners in the US and we’re one of the largest CSP Partners in the State of Texas.
In fact, we recently partnered with the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals (TORCH) to provide Office 365 services and support to all members of the organization, a monumental move affecting about 19,000 end users. Terminal B will empower TORCH to leverage their subscription towards attaining best practices in the health industry, including complying with HIPAA.
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