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While 2020 has given us all some definite hurdles to overcome, it has been a remarkable year for some platforms and applications which have seen a huge surge in demand as we learn to work, play, learn and socialise safely amid a global pandemic.

 

One such platform is Microsoft Teams – Microsoft’s collaboration and communication platform. We have previously covered some of its features in-depth, but it bears repeating that Teams is, at its core, a communications platform – a platform built for people to communicate, collaborate and stay productive. Since our first look into Teams, there have been a slew of updates and features added to Teams – we’ll be covering these in future posts.

For now, though, the question is: how does Teams stack up against the other options with its own communication features?

 

 

Built for Business

One of the main features of Teams is that it’s built for businesses and organisations rather than individual users (the key is in the name here – it’s built for teams!) Its video conferencing, audio conferencing and text-based chat are all designed with business and productivity in mind. Its interface is clean and professional – keeping things where you need them for quick access.

Its paid plan includes a VoIP service can host people via dial-in or dial-out, depending on preference, meaning that those without a data connection or access to Wi-Fi can still join in as long as they have a mobile signal.

 

Useful for Home and Education

While its main focus is business, Microsoft have been keen to acknowledge the other uses its Teams platform has. From keeping families connected to enabling educational staff and their students to meet in real-time, Teams is a flexible platform that can be used for many different scenarios – Host virtual lectures, lead fitness sessions or hold an online birthday party for someone special.

 

Main Features

Meetings within Teams can host up to 10,000 attendees from anywhere in the world, making the platform ideal for a large conference, or for a small group meeting. Up to 250 people can join a single video conference call at the same time.

Customised backgrounds, chat, a “raise-your-hand” button to avoid interrupting, and the ability to chat in “together mode,” a feature which shows everyone in the same place – an actual virtual meeting room.

Live captions, a whiteboard and translation and accessibility features add up to make Teams a worthwhile platform for any group of people who need to communicate or share on a regular basis.

You don’t need a desktop or laptop PC to join in either – Teams works on other devices such as tablets, smartphones and Chromebooks too.

 

Teams is available now for free on Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, Linux and in-browser as a web app. Some features such as dial-in require a paid plan.

Need help with hardware or software to help keep your team organised and productive while working remotely? We can help! Give us a call on 0121 312 1500 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk