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Teams Overview:

The Collaborative and Secure Communication Solution

Microsoft Teams Cover

Microsoft Teams has been around for many years. But since the recent pandemic, it has grown exponentially. More and more IT departments in companies feel that they need a reliable and secure communication tool. Moreover, companies want their IM (instant messaging) tool to be a lot more than just sending a quick note to each other.

They want the tool almost to replace email if it could. Many internal emails can be a quick instant message on a platform like Microsoft Teams. You can quickly tend to messages and use channels to keep your team informed without interrupting their workflow.

There are many other features that Microsoft Teams has to offer, which we’ll discuss in further detail later in this article. First, let’s start with the basics of understanding exactly what Microsoft Teams offers and how it can help your organization.

Microsoft Teams Features

  1. Chat

You can use one-on-one or group chats in Teams. Chats include modern features like GIFs, emojis, and text formatting. You can also use priority flagging for specific messages and share files directly in a chat without having to email them.

Files can also be downloaded from chats and saved to a computer.

  1. Channels

This is where the power of collaboration really comes into Teams. Set up public or private channels for specific topics.

Some businesses also create social channels for people to share their “Pets” or “Food”, while others use channels for specific teams or projects they’re working on.

  1. Meetings

You can set up meetings for up to 250 users per meeting session. Video meetings are available, and users can share their screen, raise their hands, and record meetings. These features can be limited to external guest users.

Your calendar tab on Teams lets you view upcoming meetings and syncs directly with your Outlook mail.

  1. Calls

Use Teams to make outbound calls from your PC, laptop, or mobile device.

This way, you’re connected no matter where you’re working from.

  1. Document Sharing

Use SharePoint with Teams to share files and see edits in real-time. Files can be uploaded to chats or channels not to be lost on servers and, instead, can be accessed, viewed, and downloaded via a browser.

Teams icon on cell phone

The Benefits of using Microsoft Teams

  1. Impressive integration with other Microsoft software

As Teams forms part of the Office 365 suite from Microsoft, your business can reap the rewards of all the software.

This includes Outlook for mail, SharePoint, which allows your team to share files internally and externally safely, and much more.

  1. Controlled identity & access management

Your team should always be sure that their content and data is managed effectively and never misused. Teams use Azure Active Directory (AD), a built-in solution that manages identities for Office 365. It uses agile risk assessment and smart protection policies to block any threats.

This helps secure your work environment and lets your team do their job worry-free.

  1. Safeguarded collaboration, internally and externally

Office 365 thrives on using two-factor authentication for all users. This ensures all data is protected in the cloud and retrieved by only those who have access.

Teams can be provisioned to meet stringent data security standards too.

An example in the healthcare industry would be the protection of HIPAA patient data according to specific restrictions.

Ensuring that Microsoft Teams is Safeguarded for Your Business

  1. Information protection for all team members

Group of people communicating using TeamsProtecting your users’ information is one of the most vital steps when using communication software like Teams. You want to find the right balance between your employee’s needs and your organization’s needs. Here are three ways that Microsoft Teams equips your peers with information protection:

  • Protects your chat and file data by saving it in the user’s Microsoft Exchange mailbox.
  • Detects and blocks malicious files in Teams and SharePoint sites using Advanced Threat Protection (ATP).
  • Collects meeting summaries and recordings and stores it in the user’s Exchange mailbox.
  1. Professional threat protection

Having an expert threat protection system for your Teams’ software is absolutely crucial. It is designed to keep your organization safe from any malicious viruses.

Next Horizon offers a threat protection solution that prevents phishing through files and messages, as well as any possible spread of viruses in Teams.

  1. Effective security management

As many companies moved to work remotely for the first time ever in 2020, collaborative tools were needed. But with collaboration and information sharing came the opportunity for threats to businesses. The makers of Microsoft Teams boosted their efforts to make platforms much more secure for organizations. Security management includes:

  • Controlling guests and anonymous users in Teams calls or meetings:

    • Guest users from outside your business can be set to have limited Teams permissions. They will still be able to chat, call, and meet. But their ability to screen share or record will be limited. If a guest is invited to a meeting, you also have the option to let them into the lobby and only allow them into the meeting once your team is ready. You can edit these settings to grant guests less strict access, but having the security embedded upfront is very advantageous.
  • Accessing accounts using multi-factor authentication:

    • This is a feature that many tech giants use today. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is used when you want to log into your Office 365 account. If MFA is enabled, a user must log in with their username and password, and then verify their identity by entering another authentication code. This code can be received via phone call, text, or via an app notification on a mobile device. Two-step verification is vital for ensuring all files are secure and only accessed by your authorized employees.
  1. Compliance management using the Compliance Center

Many companies using Microsoft Teams don’t know about the Microsoft 365 Compliance Center. Microsoft Compliance Manager acts as a service to businesses for their compliance requirements with ease. Messages, chats, and shared files can be audited so that you and your IT department have peace of mind that all files are virus-free and safe for any employee to access.

Organizations are able to supervise content being shared through Microsoft Teams using keywords.

  1. Collaborate with Confidence

In a world of virtual work, communication is the key to your organization’s success. It’s time to use the right messaging tools to save your team time, keep your business compliant, and protect everyone from any potential cyber threats.

Learn more about Next Horizon and how our team can help advance your communication and file sharing with Microsoft Teams.

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