A Guide to using Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams, part of the Office 365 suite, is an application that allows workers to communicate and share information, even though they are not located on the same site. It lets them create threaded conversations, live stream and collaborate with Office apps including Word, Outlook and Excel, all in real-time.

It combines business with social media-type features which make it easy for people to use and feel comfortable with. The advantage of Teams is that it’s fully integrated with Office 365 so there are no extra costs to implementing it, it can also be customised to meet the needs of your business.

Getting Started

If you are thinking of adopting Microsoft Teams for your business, then it’s important to do some advanced planning. First of all, you need to decide who is going to be using it. Different parts of the organisation are going to want different things from the application, but Teams is flexible enough to accommodate this.

Once you have a handle on who your users are and how they will use the software, you can then start setting up teams and channels. Teams simply requires a name and a brief description to create, then you can begin adding users.

Each team has subsections called channels. A General Channel is created automatically when you set up a new team. You can have multiple channels in each team, depending on the size of your organisation. For example, you could have a team for the entire company and a channel for each department. Alternatively, larger companies could have teams for each department and sub-divide these according to function.

Once this basic structure is set up, users can access Teams either by installing a desktop application or by opening it in a browser. Make sure that your network is going to cope with the traffic that Teams will generate and ensure that your firewall and security software aren’t going to block it.

Talking Teams

When you open a new team you’ll see that there are three tabs at the top. These are Conversation, Files and Notes. You can add extra tabs of your own – we’ll talk about these later.

The main feature of Teams is the conversation. Conversations are central to the way in which the application works. They allow each team that you have set up to have a centralised conversation, all teamwork, including sharing of documents, is included in the conversation. Conversations are saved and can be easily searched to locate information.

There’s a tagging feature called @mentions that allows you to alert an individual user or an entire team that there is something which needs their attention. This is one of many social media-style features of Teams which also include the ability to ‘like’ content and use emoticons and GIFs.

Teams isn’t just a chat tool, however. It’s also possible to perform many other functions directly within the Teams window. The File tab includes the ability to carry out the full range of file functions including editing, copying, deleting and sharing. You can also have chats alongside files, making it easy for team members to collaborate on projects.

Using the Notes tab you can view and edit files created in the One Note app. This can be done within the Teams window or you can open the One Note application from Teams.

Navigating Teams

As we mentioned above, each new Team has three default tabs showing at the top of the screen. You can add to these with tabs of your own. These can be used to allow direct access to other Office applications such as Excel or Word and there are a growing number of links to third-party applications available too, allowing you to access them within Teams.

Down the left-hand edge of the Teams screen are a series of menu buttons. These help you to navigate quickly around the app.

Activities shows you what’s happening in the teams you’re part of. Chat shows your Skype for Business conversations with a complete chat history. Teams enables you to access existing teams or create new ones. Meetings links to Outlook and also allows you schedule meetings that are then sent to a team – note that this only works in Teams you still need to open the Outlook app to set up an external meeting.

Next, there’s Files where you can quickly find and view files across OneNote, OneDrive and within Teams.

Finally, within Files there’s a Recent tab so you can quickly access the latest documents you were working on, as well as see a shortcut to your downloads.
















Sources: [for internal use only]






Login/Register access is temporary disabled