Productivity Tools

What Is Microsoft Teams?

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform integrated with Microsoft’s Office 365. The tool combines workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, file collaboration, and integration with other apps. So, what is Microsoft Teams used for? Like many other productivity applications, benefits of Microsoft Teams include streamlined communication and file organization.

Microsoft Teams Review

Collaborating on a platform like this one allows you to essentially keep all information and communication under one room. Microsoft Teams features many integrations that allow for further communication and file sharing. As with any productivity tool, it comes with pros and cons. 

Pros of Microsoft Teams

  • Improved communication – The productivity tool allows users to communicate via channels which streamlines communication between team members. 
  • Increased productivity – Microsoft Teams helps employees get more work done faster through a platform that facilitates both sharing and communication.
  • Easy file sharing – Share files quickly and easily with teammates by uploading documents through Teams. You can then use the search feature to find them later. You can also use the tab feature to keep a file you’re working on separate from other files and conversations. 
  • Microsoft tool integration – All of your Microsoft tools, such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, are available while working inside Teams. 
  • Third-party app integration – Microsoft Teams integrates with several third-party tools. 
Microsoft Teams integrations

Cons of Microsoft Teams 

  • Too many similar tools – Microsoft is its own worst enemy in the sense that it offers too many similar tools to Microsoft Teams, making it difficult for users to know which tools to use. 
  • Limited channels – Microsoft limits the number of channels to 100. 
  • No unified search for all products – Microsoft offers no unified search feature for conversations that take place across all tools. 
  • Lack of notifications – Teams doesn’t alert users if they create a team with a name that already exists, potentially causing confusion. 
  • No choice – Organizations that use Office 365 may dictate that employees use Microsoft Teams as opposed to other tools that may be a better fit. 

Let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of Microsoft Teams. 

Microsoft Teams logo

Pros of Microsoft Team 

Improved Communication 

Microsoft Teams allows users to create channels to house communication across organizational teams. The ability to quickly message team members improves communication and helps teams work more efficiently. The Teams search function can help users go back to review old conversations as needed. 

Increased Productivity 

Employees are busy, and Teams helps streamline communication, file sharing, and collaboration. With everything centrally located, co-workers are able to quickly and easily access the people and files they need, cutting down on the time spent sending emails and searching for files. 

Easy File Sharing 

Rather than sending files back and forth via email, Teams allows users to upload files directly to the tool and share them with other team members. Thanks to the cloud, users can work on the file in a collaborative manner, even in real time, similar to the way one may work in Google Docs. Plus, sharing via Teams saves email storage space and the built in search function helps find files quickly when you need to access them. 

Microsoft Tool Integration 

Any Microsoft tool you may use such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or SharePoint can be accessed inside Teams. The company does a good job of integrating their own tools into the mix, further improving productivity and communication. 

Third Party App Integration

Got a third party tool you really love and don’t want to give up when using Microsoft Teams? Many apps, including Droplr, integrate with Teams so you can use both simultaneously.

microsoft teams pros and cons

Cons of Microsoft Teams 

Too Many Similar Tools 

One of Microsoft Teams’ biggest cons is that Microsoft offers too many similar tools, such as Skype, Microsoft Stream, Yammer, even OneNote. Many organizations find employees use several tools in similar ways, instead of keeping all of their work in one place, thereby splintering productivity. 

Limited Channels 

Teams limits the number of channels per organization to 100. While that may be enough for smaller organizations, larger corporations – which tend to use Office 365 products company-wide – may find they run out of channels for communication. 

No Unified Search for All Products 

Microsoft offers no unified search feature for conversations that take place across all tools. As already mentioned, Microsoft offers a number of tools similar to Teams and organizations may use several. For instance, Yammer is meant for company-wide distribution of information such as announcements. Although Teams is instead meant for more granular communication across departments, organizations may use them interchangeably. There’s no way to do a global search for a file or conversation that happened in a tool outside of Teams. 

Lack of Notifications 

By default, Teams allows any user to create a team name. It doesn’t alert the user that that name may aleady exist. This becomes a problem when an organization has multiple teams within Microsoft Teams named the same thing. A large corporation may have several customer service units, for example, and each one within Teams could be named “Customer Service” with no other distinguishing factor. 

Why Use Microsoft Teams?

Organizations that use Office 365 may dictate that employees use Teams as opposed to other tools that may be a better fit for the organization. This is often simply because Microsoft Teams comes as part of the Office 365 package, or because IT feels it is the best solution for their organization. 

Microsoft Teams Meeting

Microsoft Teams Review

While Microsoft Teams is a great productivity tool to use, it may not be for everyone. The application is a great choice for those working in smaller teams or organizations. However, for those working in larger companies, the tool might not offer as many channels as you need to communicate. Because the application does not have a unified search feature, it’s important that you stay organized as the tool won’t be helpful in finding lost or hidden files.

Microsoft Teams can be a good fit for an organization if you also consider the cons. Other organizations may find a tool like Slack more beneficial. If you want to compare Teams and Slack, check our article comparing the two programs. You can also read our article comparing Microsoft Teams to Discord, a free alternative.

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