How to Use Microsoft Teams to Its Full Potential in Your Business’s Microsoft 365 Platform

In our last blog we introduced a checklist of some of the key features of Microsoft Teams that your business may or may not be using to create a more productive and streamlined operation. This includes more common features like the chat and channel functionality, as well as third-party app integrations and integrating your SharePoint files with your Teams channels.

In this blog, we give you some step-by-step instructions for using more of these features, let’s get into it!


1. Mastering Team Chats: More Than Just Messaging

Alongside sending messages on Teams, you can also tag other people, pin posts onto a chat, and share files directly within the chat too. Here’s how to do each.

Tagging: Tagging is as easy as opening a chat and typing '@' followed by the name of the colleague you’d like to tag a colleague. This ensures that they are notified of your message, which can be very handy for announcements or more critical communications.

Posts: For more structured discussions, you can use the 'Posts' tab which will display towards the top of each team channel. Here, you can make announcements or start discussions, and everyone in the channel will be notified. This can give a more laser-focused and on-topic style of messaging that doesn’t get lost in a wider sea of noise.

File Sharing: To share a file, you can click on the 'Attach' icon which is located towards the bottom of each chat or post. Select your file, and then share it.

Message Pinning: Pinning enables you to keep a message within reach in a chat or channel, making sure it doesn’t get lost. To pin a message, hover over it, click the three dots, and then click ‘pin’.


2. Setting Up and Customising Channels

As discussed in our last article, you can set up channels to reflect key aspects of how your business works, like projects, departments, or topics for example.

Creating a New Channel: On your Teams app, go to the team where you want the channel and click on 'More options' (three dots). Select 'Add channel', name it, add a description (optional), and set privacy settings. You can make the channel standard for everyone in the team or private for a select few.

Customising Your Channel: Customise your channel by adding tabs at the top. Click the '+' icon to add apps, files, or websites for quick access. This way, your team has all the tools and information that they need at their fingertips!


3. Integrating SharePoint with Teams

By integrating SharePoint with Teams, you can bridge document management, collaboration and communication more closely than before. Here’s how to do it:

· Uploading Documents to SharePoint: Firstly, navigate to the SharePoint site that is linked to your Teams channel. You can find this under the 'Files' tab in your Teams channel. To upload files, either drag and drop them into the SharePoint folder or use the 'Upload' button. This will then make them available on Teams.

· Accessing SharePoint Files in Teams: Once uploaded, these files are instantly available in Teams under the 'Files' tab of your channel. This seamless integration means that document collaboration becomes a breeze, with real-time editing and sharing capabilities from within the Teams apps.


4. Integrating Third-Party Apps with Teams Channels

Elevating productivity is about to get easier with third-party integrations. There will either be direct third-party integrations between Microsoft and other popular software providers, or, you could use an API software like Zapier to connect them together, using Zapier as the medium (although this will take some configuration with Zapier first to make this work).

Here’s how to add third-party apps to your Teams channels:

· Adding an App to a Channel: Click on the 'Apps' icon on the left-hand side of your Teams interface, search for the app that you want to add, and select it. You can then choose a specific team and channel to add the app to.

· Using the App in a Channel: Once added, this app will appear as a tab at the top of your channel. Click on it to interact with the app without having to leave Teams. This integration can be a game-changer, especially for apps like Trello, Asana, or even a CRM tool, bringing all your tools into one platform. Handy is an understatement!


5. Using Teams with Outlook for Meetings

Teams and Outlook are rather like a dynamic duo, they are already integrated with each other for Microsoft 365 users, but here are some pointers on how to use them even better:

· Viewing Your Outlook Calendar Via Teams: To do this, simply open the Calendar tab in Teams, and it will automatically display your Outlook calendar. Any meetings scheduled in Teams will appear in Outlook and any appointments made in Outlook will show in Teams.

· Scheduling Meetings through Outlook: You can also schedule Teams meetings directly from Outlook. When creating a new meeting in Outlook, click on the 'Teams Meeting' button, and it will add a Teams link to the meeting invite. Invitees can then join the meeting through Teams with just one click!

· Managing Meeting Invites and Notifications: When you receive a Teams meeting invite in Outlook, it will come with all the information you need to join the meeting.

You can RSVP, just like any other meeting, and you’ll receive reminders both in Outlook and Teams. A pro-tip is to double click the meeting in your Calendar to see more details that might be missed.


Final Thoughts

Using Microsoft Teams to its full potential can be a great way to boost productivity and streamline work in your organisation. By integrating Teams with SharePoint, setting up channels, connecting them to other applications, and using its chat features and Outlook in combination with it, you can unify your collaboration, communications and operations together. We hope that you found this guide useful, stay tuned for more blogs on how to get the best from technology in your business!


Want Help with Making Teams Work at Its Best for Your Business? Get in touch!

Get in touch with us today to discover how Teams can help your business meet its unique goals. We’d be glad to listen, answer questions, and offer insights and guidance for your business that can help you to take the next steps with clarity and confiden

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