The Microsoft Collaboration Tools Your Team Shouldn’t Ignore
Getting your team’s tech stack right is more important than ever. And with more and more of us working remotely, collaboration would be impossible without modern technology. Maybe you’re using Outlook for everything. Maybe you’re just looking to optimise your processes. Whatever your situation, these Microsoft Collaboration Tools shouldn’t be ignored.
All the tools below not only offer a huge amount of value but are included with most subscriptions to Microsoft 365. Just login to the Microsoft 365 portal through your browser and click on the app button and you will see all the apps below.
This lets you organise your team’s tasks in an intuitive and visual format. It’s a game changer for team meetings allowing you to schedule meetings and events from Planner’s in-built calendar. Notes and attachments from the meeting or after can then be captured and shared and more importantly scheduled all within Planner, keeping the meeting’s outcome clear and visible. This eliminates any risk of people missing important points discussed and ensures accountability.
The king of Microsoft collaboration tools. It facilitates instant messaging, group chats, and video calling.
It makes communication smoother by reducing emails via its chat function. Then for communication on a specific topic, a chat channel can be created on said topic.
It also integrates with apps like Microsoft Word and Excel; essentially all applications can be collaborated on by employees simultaneously from within Teams. Every document collaborated on is automatically saved within SharePoint keeping everything your team works on in one place.
When combined with Microsoft Teams Rooms, you can sync up an external camera and audio devices, to give team members’ voices and images optimum clarity when on group calls. Of all the Microsoft Collaboration tools, Microsoft Teams is the one to take full advantage of.
Microsoft To Do
The hidden gem of the Microsoft 365 app offering. The ultimate to-do list app is here to ensure you and your team never forget tasks or activities again. It keeps you organised by letting you start both every week and day with an agenda. You can set reminders for any task on your agenda.
It can also synchronise with Outlook so that you and your team remain on top of your commitments. To-dos takes tasks from your planner that have been assigned to you and list them here. This means that every task you have is easy to find and can be easily scheduled. With planned views and views by tasks type or category you no longer have any excuse for not getting things done.
Gone are the days of sending files as email attachments. SharePoint creates a link to your document that team members can simply click to edit and collaborate on. When creating documents within SharePoint you’ll be pleased to hear that they save automatically. New versions are then created as you work, leaving you free to jump to any point in the document you wish. For the security minded amongst you, SharePoint adds a whole new set of controls that mean you will finally have complete confidence of the documents you create and then share. Allowing you to limit sharing of file to read only or even a time limit.
Getting your tech stack right is just one piece of the remote work puzzle. See our remote worker checklist below.
With Delve you can discover and organise colleague’s work as you see fit. You can view a history of both your work and other team member’s work and create custom boards of work you like. Delve is also another way of accessing shared documents for easier collaboration and updating. This is perfect for when a colleague is out of the office, you can still easily find projects without having to contact team members on their time off.
If your team’s work involves a lot of videos – both production and consumption – then Stream will be your best friend. It places all your team’s videos, whichever corner of your organisation they may have appeared from, in one location. Stream is a great tool for a team to help and educate itself during the collaboration process as it encourages information sharing by fellow team members.
AKA your digital pad and note taking device. When ideas need to be quickly jotted down/scribbled/sketched etc. OneNote will allow you to record them, highlight and annotate them as a team. Or solo. Whichever works best. You can organise and tag notes however you wish, saving them in SharePoint to be collaborated on later.
Business Voice turns Microsoft Teams into the ultimate telephone system. Firstly, it lets you make and receive telephone calls from any of your co-workers, from any device. This can be ideal for when you’re out of the office, need a co-worker’s input, and only have a telephone signal to contact with.
Having your phone combined with your office’s Microsoft Teams chat also means all your conversations are combined into one space. Every business communication can be recorded and shared for your team to refer to later.
Beyond the team collaboration benefits, it’s also a much more efficient way for an employee to work. When integrated into a CRM like Salesforce, HubSpot, or Dynamics 365, it can eliminate the stress of looking up customer information, finding old tickets, and entering in data.
Each of the Microsoft collaboration tools really comes into its own when integrated with other tools. None of them are used in a vacuum. Save OneNote documents to SharePoint. Sync Microsoft Planner to Outlook. Integrate Business Voice into your CRM. This means to really optimise your workplace, it may help to think how each of these Microsoft collaboration tools can work with each other, not just on their own.
For guidance in choosing the ideal tech stack to help your business collaborate, book onto one of our 20-minute demo’s.