Microsoft Teams was originally launched in March 2017 as a planned replacement to Skype for business. By March 2020, Microsoft Teams was used daily by 44 million people. One month later, much of the world was in lockdown and the number of daily users dramatically increased to over 75 million users.
The chances are that, as your team has been working across multiple locations, you have been using Microsoft Teams in your business. We don’t need to tell you that it is predominantly used for instant chat messaging, voice and video calls between employees and customers or suppliers.
MPR and Microsoft Teams
Since March 2020, with staff working remotely initially, and now with a limited staff level physically in the office and others still remote, Teams has been a vital tool in keeping everyone connected.
Daily morning and end-of-day meetings take place to check everyone is well and to discuss the activity taking place. Whilst some members were furloughed an end-of-week meeting was put in place to have a general catch up and keep in touch with everyone. In addition to regular group chat to ask questions and the occasional ‘Dad’ joke from team members.
As someone that has worked remotely for the last 6 years with MPR IT, I can honestly say that with the regular meetings and chat I feel more connected to the company and my colleagues in other departments. Previously, I would drop an email or quick call to someone when I needed something now, I see them all daily instead of 3 or 4 times a year when I would normally visit the office.
Click here for a Quick Start Guide to Microsoft Teams or to see the full range of training videos and resources see the Microsoft Teams website. In the meantime, here are a few features we have found to be helpful.
When making a video call to your clients or colleagues you may not want your background to be on display and be looking for a more professional image. Microsoft Teams offer a couple of options to overcome this problem
Blurred background – to avoid people in your video call seeing your homework space, or other people walking around the office you can blur out the background so that only you are on screen.
Virtual Background – a step up from the blurred background is to set up a virtual screen. If you are meeting with clients on video call or in a networking event, choosing a virtual background with your company logo can be more professional than you home or office background.
This can be activated in just a few simple steps:
- Generally, you should find the option under your audio and video settings as you start or join a meeting
- Click on settings
- Check under options
- Look for an option to blur your background or choose an image and click on it
Group videos and Conferencing
Teams Live Events – Microsoft Teams can host meetings from 1-10,000 participants depending on your subscription and your IT Infrastructure. With many networking events, conferences, or seminars moving to virtual events you can still easily reach your audience. Within a meeting, you can also create individual rooms for different speakers allowing people to move around within the event.
Live Captions – Adding live captions to your meeting can be beneficial for people with different levels of language understanding or for anyone with hearing difficulties. Simply click on the 3 dots in the middle of your screen and speak slowly and clearly into your microphone and the words will appear as subtitles on the screen.
Sharing screens and content -ability to share content or PowerPoint presentations with your audience. This is a feature that has been available on many video conferencing services for many years. Simply click on the share tray and choose the application you wish to share.
Recording and transcribing video meetings – Capture audio, video, and screen-sharing activity by recording your Team’s meetings. Automatic transcription allows you to playback meetings and search for important discussion items in the transcript.
Follow up – After your event or meeting, you can easily share your recording, files, and content and chat with attendees as well as being able to reschedule the next meeting. When all linked together it is easy to review previous notes and recording all in one place.
Microsoft Teams is much more than a communication tool, it has many additional features making it an all-around collaborative tool. With many additional apps that can be incorporated to share and edit content, plan projects, connect with your CRM, social media channels, email platforms, and live chat on your website. Additional apps are easily accessed through the main Team’s page.
If you would like to discuss Office 365, SharePoint, or Microsoft Teams for your business in more detail please contact us on 0800 030 20 30
During the last few months, the majority of our team has worked remotely from home. With the minimal coverage in the office to accept deliveries, or work on hardware. Whilst some of our team have had to carry out socially distanced site visits. All this has taken place with no reduction in level to service for our customers.
Now as restrictions relax, like many businesses we must now consider the options for staff to continue remote working or a return to the office. We need to ensure that this is as flexible as possible, to suit the needs of the business and our staff.
Here are a few key questions that we are having to consider:
- Social Distancing – is there enough office space?
- Do staff feel comfortable being back in the office?
- Are some staff concerned about mixing with other people on their commute?
- What if there is a local lockdown?
- Can it be a flexible and seamless mix between the two?
As a result of using the right technology, these questions can be easily resolved.
Hosted Phone Systems
Hosted telephone systems ensure a professional first impression for your customers no matter the location of your employees or the size of your business. With a hosted phone system staying connected to your customers by telephone is seamless for remote working or the return to the office – it is very simple to switch between the two. Bringing the ultimate in flexibility, with a minimal initial capital outlay, along with an easy to manage monthly subscription.
MPR IT is highly experienced in both design and deployment of telecoms solutions for residential, commercial, and hospitality phone systems. Offering the ability to integrate with onsite services such as CRM or MS Outlook, contacts and caller details automatically pop up when they’re on the phone. Choosing an MPR IT Solutions hosted cloud-based telephone system is the ideal solution.
With the latest connected solutions, we ensure that the design meets your requirements and ensure it is correctly deployed to your organisation and end-users.
Microsoft Office 365 has changed the way that many companies work over the last few years. A cloud-based solution combining collaboration, communication, and security tools at an affordable cost for everyone. Your staff can access their email and files anywhere with an internet connection. With 2 factor authentication, you can be sure it remains secure.
MPR IT has invested time and resources into becoming an official Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Partner and Small Business Specialist. We are trained in a number of Microsoft Competencies that directly relate to implementing, migrating, and configuring your Office 365 solution. MPR IT focus on a smooth and trouble-free migration ensuring your business has minimal disruption. Followed up with seamless ongoing support our team is on hand to advise and solve any problems should they arise.
Superseding Skype for Business – Microsoft Teams was launched in March 2017. In November 2019, Microsoft announced that Teams was used by 20 million end users. Fast forward to April 2020 and 75 million people were using Teams. Integrating with Office 365, Teams is a platform combing communication such as video calls, workplace chat, and file sharing and storage.
All the staff at MPR IT have been using Teams over the last 4 months. With daily morning meetings, we can connect and be set up for the day’s task ahead, quick messages or video calls to teammates rather than emails. Having been a remote worker for a number of years, I feel more involved with my colleagues and more connected to the day-to-day activity within the business.
By using technology systems such as these, the question of enabling staff the flexibility of working either in the office or remotely is much simpler. Staff can connect to their files, email, and colleagues through Microsoft and your customer calls can be answered seamlessly.
If you would like more information on a more permanent flexible working approach for your staff that won’t affect the running of your business please contact us on 0800 030 20 30 or email us email@example.com