Sometimes we come across an app or online tool that’s so awesome we can’t stop talking about it. Microsoft Teams is one of the best collaboration tools for remote businesses in 2020, and right now, it should be your go-to tool for getting things done.

Hot take, right? Hear us out.

It’s 11:39 AM on a Monday morning. Since 9:00, the GTS team has jumped on two video calls, made collaborative edits to three different documents at the same time, screen-shared twice, and kept a constant flow of communication going through our online group chat.

The kicker? We did ALL OF THAT in Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams is the best remote collaboration tool for small businesses, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Here’s why:

  • Online Communication. Teams offers free instant messaging, online audio and video calls, and screen sharing. You can stay in touch all day long through the same platform, and have records of your chat conversations, emails, and file shares whenever you need. Plus, you can switch from a group chat to a video call with a single button click!
  • Teams allows you to share files, attach files to chat messages, and collaborate on Office documents at the same time. In its business plans, Teams also offers integrations with OneDrive and SharePoint for file storage, so you can keep everything in one place.
  • Even the free plans of Teams offer high-quality encryption services for chat messages and emails. At higher levels of service, Teams includes multi-factor authentication, auditing and reporting processes, and single sign-on options for Microsoft 365 apps and services.
  • Device Integration. Like the rest of the Office 365 suite, you can access Teams from practically any device, anywhere in the world. So, send an IM from your cell phone, join a video call from your work laptop, and update a spreadsheet from your tablet – all at the same time, and all from within the Teams platform. (Yeah, it’s that cool!)
  • App Integration. One bonus feature not many people know about with Teams is the ability to integrate a huge variety of third-party apps available in the Microsoft store. Many are free, and all offer unique collaboration, project management, or morale-boosting capabilities. (For starters, check out Roby, a smart helpdesk bot who can collect notes on employee satisfaction, or Kahoot!, a clever little app that turns work assignments into collaborative, team-based challenges and games.)

And the best part? You probably already have access to Teams!

Teams comes automatically with Office 365, so if you did a mass install for all your Office products when you set up your computer, the app might already be waiting for you.

If you didn’t install Teams with your Office 365 subscription (or if you don’t have Office 365), fret not. Teams offers a free basic plan so long as you sign up with or create a new Microsoft account. It’s worth noting that some of the bells and whistles (meeting recordings, scheduling tools, and file storage/sharing through OneDrive) only come with the paid versions of the platform.

However, if your team just needs a temporary online solution until you can get back in your physical office, the free version offers plenty of collaboration and communication tools to keep your business running smoothly.

Interested in giving Teams a try? Give us a call at (904) 606-6011 or email info@helpgts.com to learn more about Office 365 integrations and everything our team can do to support yours. We’re here to help!

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