Today with the help of technology we can easily communicate with each other and exchange pieces of information. That’s why Microsoft has created Microsoft Teams for us, especially for school and work projects.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app that helps your team stay organized and have conversations, all in one place. This app gives you one step ahead of functionality over the traditional video conferencing apps where you can easily create teams based on your preferences and communicate between them in real-time or schedule a meeting for a specific date or time.
So Microsoft Terms provide you with software as a service means you have used their services with the help of a specific software i.e Teams.
This service allows users to communicate via text chat, voice, or video call and users also access various other Microsoft 365 services, such alone Onedrive, and PowerPoint within Teams.
Although Microsoft Teams initially debuted as a business application, Teams now has its default messaging and video calling app added to its new operating system Windows 11.
You can also use Microsoft Teams for free for your personal use or small business and most importantly you can use all the features, while a paid version is available for larger organizations and offers a more comprehensive solution.
Microsoft Teams client applications are available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android, and iOS where you can access all the features of Teams through one App.
What are the benefits of using Microsoft Teams?
First of all, let me say that Microsoft Teams is not like any other video calling app. Here you can create one or more teams and do video calling, chatting, sharing files or screens between the team or a specific person.
This is most effective when you use teams for your business, education, and training purposes. In this case, you can create different teams in the same organization according to your needs.
For example, according to a particular class or department, you have created teams where you can add and communicate with those members and share data with them, or if necessary, you can schedule a meeting in advance.
Microsoft Teams offers all the core collaboration features, from high-quality video conferencing to phone calls, text chat, and group messaging. And if you are already a subscriber of Microsoft 365 or Office 365 for your business then you can use all the professional features of Teams for free.
In Microsoft Teams you can meet, chat, call and collaborate with everyone for your personal and professional purpose. Here a team is a collection of people, content, and tools based on a specific project or group. You can create a team for your working group, project team, or interest group based on your preference.
You can build a team from scratch or use an existing office 365 group. Teams templates make it quick and easy to create teams by providing predefined templates like Northwind traders, sales and marketing, business development, Contoso IT, and Mark 8 project team.
Whether you want to manage a project or an event, onboard employees, organize a helpdesk, or collaborate on patient care in a hospital there are predefined templates that are ready from the word to go. And the benefit of using them is they prebuild the structure for you means you get additional resources according to your templates selections.
What are the features of Microsoft Teams?
Teams offer all the core collaboration features, from high-quality video conferencing to phone calls, text chat, and group or one-to-one messaging. The service provides you with a variety of tools like custom and blurred backgrounds, different viewing modes, breakout rooms, and text chat.
Users can also share their screens during presentations, making it easier for audience members to follow along. Shared workspace software makes it much easier for the large company to manage their huge workloads, remote employees, or a significant amount of team members.
You can record your meetings using teams, which means people unable to attend a meeting can catch up on anything they missed. Microsoft continuously upgraded the features and recently they add live captions and transcription which boosts the overall usability.
Some unique features of teams are…
- Teams are made up of channels and You can build them by topic, department, or just for fun. Channels are conversations boards between your team members.
- Using Channels you can hold meetings, have team conversations, and share files between all or someone specific. At the top of each channel, you’ll find tabs. They’re like links to your favorite files, apps, and services.
- All team members can view and add to different conversations in the General channel and can use an @ function to invite other members to different conversations, not unlike Slack.
- Chat is used for communicating and sharing in smaller groups. chats can be one-on-one or a group conversations with multiple participants. Group chat is also available to connect with smaller groups of people to communicate quickly without creating a team.
- Team members can share documents by attaching files to their messages. When someone shares a file in a channel it goes into your shared files space.
- By default all team members have the access to their Onedrive storage and files and all edited or created files are automatically attached to your Onedrive so everything is backed up.
- SharePoint Online will contain a default document library folder and all files shared across all conversations will automatically save to this folder. Permissions and security options also are customized for sensitive information.
- You can schedule online meetings using teams and In a meeting, you can show content from your computer, or record your meeting. When you share a file in a channel conversation, you and your team can edit it at the same time, and share thoughts alongside it.
- According to Microsoft, an online meetings function can host up to 10,000 users if you have a business-level subscription to Microsoft 365. Online meetings can include anyone outside or inside a business. This feature also includes a scheduling aid, a note-taking app, file uploading, and in-meeting chat messaging.
- The Audio Conferencing feature is unique and very effective when your teammates are traveling and may not have a reliable internet connection. Here anyone can join via phone with a dial-in number that spans hundreds of cities but require additional licensing.
- The Calendar feature helps you to add all details for your upcoming meetings and reminders. When you schedule a meeting immediately all your selected members would be notified with an email. Additionally, this calendar sync with your outlook calendar means you never miss anything.
- Lastly, the call feature enables you to Send voicemail or directly call anyone within your team or outside but to use this feature your organization must have a Microsoft 365 Business voice subscription.
How to download and install Microsoft Teams?
Here I show you how you can download and install Microsoft Teams Desktop Client software on your Windows 10 Desktop or Laptop.
To use the Teams service, you and your organization should have a Microsoft email account and if you don’t have you can create one once you go through the installation process.
- First of all, open your favorite browser and search for Microsoft teams, and in the first link here you will see something that says Group Chat Software – Free Chat for Teams | Microsoft Teams, click on this link and you will be redirected to the Microsoft official Teams page.
- Here if you want you can sign up for free or sign in for the Teams service or go to the top right corner of the page and find Download Team and click it to download the software.
- After clicking on Download Teams a page opens up where you find two options download teams for mobile or desktop. Here we choose the Desktop option and you can download it straight from here by clicking here.
- Now after choosing the Desktop options, you have two options, whether you download it for home use or work/school use.
- Choose appropriately and immediately the download begins and the Teams.setup.exe file would be downloaded.
- After successful download just click on this .exe file directly from the browser or your download folder and now you can see the Teams app is starting on the windows operating system so the first window of Microsoft Teams opens up.
- So here you need to sign in with your Microsoft account and if you don’t have a Microsoft account you can create one
by just clicking on this option which says sign up for free.
- I already have a Microsoft account so I gave my email id and click on sign in now give the password here and then click on sign in.
- Now the Microsoft teams have been started on our windows operating system.
- After opening your Teams app for the first time you may find blank menus so you need to choose your team so if you don’t have any team you can go to the Microsoft teams website once again and sign in with your Microsoft account and you will be able to see the option to create a team for you.
- Once you have created your team you just need to select your team and then click on continue and now you can see that my Microsoft teams app has been started on my Windows operating system.
- Now you can create a team for choice, schedule a Video or Audio meeting, chat or send group messages, even call within your contacts or send voicemails using teams, share files from Outlook or our device directly, or even create online, share screens and much more.
- When you close teams by defaults it minimizes and whenever you got a message it just pops up in the notification area to get you notified.
Below are the step-by-step images for better understanding…
Support and Security of Microsoft Teams:
For any service, support is a key element, and integrating many services into one needs good support from the vendor. Using teams you get all kinds of support from Microsoft including super responsive chat-based support available 24/7.
By clicking on the Help button you can directly contact support or ask Microsoft community for any help regarding Temas. Under the help section, you have all the support based on topics, training materials, newly launched features, and everything to get started.
Additionally, users can seek further help via Microsoft 365 support channels, which include an online form, phone support and a dedicated Get Help app.
The native client app is available for all platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS and you can even access Microsoft Teams from the web or mobile phone browser anytime without installing the app.
In terms of security, Microsoft offers several security features including two-factor authentication (2FA), single sign-on (SSO), and encryption of data to secure your teams. Other integrated Microsoft app like SharePoint and Onedrive also added their security feature in Teams.
According to Microsoft customers has full access to their data and conversations as they don’t have access to a customer who uploads content and scan anything. Some security features of teams are…
- Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) enables organizations to determine if content in Teams is malicious and block the content from user access.
- If you keep a conversation through a private channel then Only owners or members of the private channel can access the channel. Private channels are helpful if certain users need an area to discuss sensitive information.
- End-to-end encryption is by far the most secure way of having a conversation over live chat or using one-to-one VoIP-based calls. IT departments will control who can use E2EE in the organization and this feature is available for commercial customers.
- Safe Links help to protect businesses from malicious sites when people click links in Office apps.
- Before starting any meeting you have all the controls over a setup like disabling or enabling Audio or Video, sending invite-only requests. An invite-only feature will send participants to the meeting lobby if they were not invited directly to the meeting.
After all, Microsoft Teams is undoubtedly a great service-based application where anyone can easily create a team for themselves or by choosing members according to the needs of the company. Once the team is formed, it is very easy to exchange information, chat or video call, group conversation, file sharing, and more.
You can keep in touch with one or more people according to your needs, let them know about any important decision, share documents, provide information training, and much more.
And most importantly, you can keep all conversations of your teams private, in which case only your selected member will get the information you have selected.
Your most important thing is to pin the team or you can delete it when needed. You can access all the files of your one drive and SharePoint and new files are automatically uploaded here through the auto-sync feature.
Above all, although many of the essential features allow you to use them for free and are easily available in Teams, they are ideal for a small number of users. If you use Teams for a company’s own needs, then you have to subscribe to the Professional or Business Edition of Teams where you can communicate live with as many users as you want.
Microsoft Teams is available for free, but the free version is not part of Microsoft’s suite of business applications. To use all Teams services, you need a home or business level subscription that comes with Microsoft 365 and Office 365 brand names. Check out their Several business and enterprise plans here.