April 14, 2021
It’s great news for some and continues to be an adjustment for others: remote work isn’t expected to end any time soon. Predictions from numerous sources claim that the explosive demand for cloud-based collaboration, communication and videoconferencing tools will continue even when the pandemic crisis is long behind us. The main competitors in this space — Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom — have made it their job to prove that your business operations can propel forward, powered by your workforce’s teamwork, no matter where in the world the work is happening.
So, the question has switched from, “Can we work together just as effectively if we’re not all in the same place?” to, “What is the best solution to empower us?”
“Why Microsoft Teams Is So Much Better Than Zoom and Slack for Collaboration” by Forbes contributor John Brandon touched on some of the reasons some may -initially- reject Microsoft Teams. Perceptions like, there’s too many features, and it’s not as user friendly as Zoom or Slack.
But as the saying goes, “don’t knock it 'till you try it.”
After some trial within his own workflows, Brandon’s opinion was swayed, and he found he strongly preferred Microsoft Teams – even liked it.
The Main Reason? Integration.
The less your teams have to leave the platform to complete their work, the more productive they become. Providing a one-stop-shop for communication and collaboration through integrated cloud services makes it easier to focus, save time and avoid the burnout of hopping around from system to system. It’s in the ability to promote productivity that Microsoft Teams delivers in a big way.
The Microsoft Teams platform has native integrations with Microsoft Office 365 tools. There’s no need to leave the platform to collaborate in SharePoint on a Word doc, PowerPoint slides, or upload or download video or document files to access for your work.
You are within reach of all the powerful Office 365 apps that you already use in your daily work. But to top it off, there are also over 500 Microsoft Teams-related apps and integrations in the AppSource Store.
Also consider this: Zoom specializes in teleconferencing. Slack has teleconferencing capabilities, but its main function centers more on collaboration. Microsoft Teams excels in both areas. No need to use separate platforms. Back that up with top-tier security and it’s obvious why Microsoft Teams is the smartest choice.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the communication, collaboration and security benefits of Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams offers a full breadth of communication channels, all unified to connect everyone in the same place. Beyond workspace chat-based collaboration, Teams offers robust video conferencing features including support for video conferences up to 250 users (100 in the free version). Combining Microsoft Stream, Teams and Yammer, Microsoft 365 Live Events offers meeting and streaming video capabilities with support for to up an audience of 10,000 people, inside or outside your organization, for your next big meeting, company-wide event or virtual conference. Let’s not forget Microsoft 365’s ability to capture data like the post-event insights. This can help you measure the overall effectiveness of your live events.
Other communication features include scheduled meetings, meeting recordings, breakout rooms, searchable message history, background blur and screen sharing.
Microsoft has also made steady improvements to Teams to specifically address pandemic-driven demands. One such feature is “Together Mode,” virtual meetings that presents participants as sitting next to each other in a virtual space, which bring a whole new experience to videoconferencing.
Communication and collaboration features in Microsoft Teams, like public and private team messaging, video conference calls, screen sharing and file sharing, go hand in hand.
Similar to a how you can create user groups and channels in Slack, Microsoft Teams allows you to create groups and channels to target communications to a subset of users in Office 365. Permission controls in the Office 365 Suite, such as in SharePoint, ensure that if you are file-sharing that only approved users gain access. Groups can be created in Teams for departments, projects, or anything else, and integrate with other applications across the Office 365 Suite. For example, groups can take advantage of related services including their own SharePoint site, OneNote, group calendar, distribution email address and channel.
Channels can be used for announcements and any other information that needs to be broadcasted to the whole team.
While the integration, communication and collaboration capabilities are strong enough selling points, it is just as important to ensure organization-wide security so that your information doesn’t land in the wrong hands. Teams is built on the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 enterprise-grade cloud with Tier D compliance – the highest level of compliance commitment — and support of Cloud Security Alliance compliance. Microsoft’s Administrative Controls are more extensive than any other platform and offer you the ability to make granular modifications to permissions as needed.
A Proven Solution That Exceeds Expectations (…and Squashes the Competition)
Microsoft Teams may not always be the first communication platform you hear about. But there’s proof in the numbers that crushes the misconception that Teams is just some forgettable tool in the Microsoft App Launcher. The daily active users in Teams are greatly accelerating. As of the second half of 2020, Microsoft reported 115+ million daily users strong, a 50% rise from the 75 million reported just six months prior!
While often touted as the best option compared to Slack or Zoom specifically for larger enterprises that leverage the full Office 365 Suite, the feature flexibility and tiered pricing (including a free version!) can benefit organizations of any size.
If you’re interested in learning more about Microsoft Teams, check out our blog “How to Create a Resilient, Inclusive and Hybrid Workplace with Microsoft Teams.”
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