Business Continuity using Microsoft TeamsMarch 17th, 2020 by Chris Colden
After the advice issued by the Government yesterday many businesses are beginning to advise that staff work from home, and that they only travel if essential. In many cases these companies will already have some form of solution to enable staff members to work remotely.
How to get remote access to your Office PC from home, quickly and cost effectively
Whether your business already has a remote working policy, or the idea of remote working is something entirely new, this blog will help you to understand how you can quickly configure some basic remote access when your users rely on dedicated PCs at the office.
However remote working can dent the teamwork and collaboration you have worked hard to foster within the office. This is where Microsoft Teams really comes into its own.
What is Microsoft Teams?
You may be familiar with Skype for Business already. Teams is the next logical replacement for Skype for Business, and whilst it does share some of the same features as Skype for Business, it is much more than a straight replacement.
It’s more than just chat.
You can use the chat features in Teams to have a quick conversation with your colleagues, but you can also attach files straight into that same chat. Need a bit more of a face-to-face meeting? Simply video call them straight from that chat window.
Meetings? No problem.
Schedule a Teams meeting and as soon as its created, you can start chatting with the participants about the agenda, share the files you need them to review, and keep track of the meeting notes and to-dos. Need to record the meeting? Simply hit the record button and as soon as the meeting has ended the video will be ready and waiting for it to be viewed by those who couldn’t attend.
Ever find yourself or your staff using email for a conversation? As those conversations are held in Teams you remove the vast majority of “Reply All” threads which everyone’s mailbox is plagued with.
Collaborating on documents.
Need to get an important document out to your client but your team all need to add their own sections? In Microsoft Teams, you can share that document and have your team editing the same document, at the same time. This massively reduces the amount of time and effort that would normally go into creating it.
Screen sharing, remote control and white boarding.
All Teams chats and meetings enable the ability to share a screen or application with the other participants, which means you can truly collaborate from anywhere in the world. Users even have the option to allow remote control of their desktop. While in a meeting, you may need to whiteboard out a solution to the problem you are trying to solve, which is where the whiteboard feature comes in very handy.
Microsoft Teams is not a silver bullet that is going to solve all your problems. Here are some of the limitations which you may come across:
- Access to on premise applications that aren’t published to the internet.
- Access to files which reside on traditional file shares.
- Content sharing between Skype for Business and Teams requires one of the parties to either join a Skype for Business meeting or a Teams meeting. You cannot send a file, image or share your desktop cross-platform.
- Teams works really well delivered via Citrix but you do need to be on a reasonably up to date version to get the best experience (Workspace 1911 or above is recommended)
As with any new application or platform, to get the best out of it, users need to be well educated. Giving users access to Teams and letting them find their own path is a sure way to end up with endless Teams being created and data littered all over the place, making it difficult for administrators and users alike.
If you need help with licencing, getting Team configured, or just training users on how to use it effectively, just get in touch. Our consultants are on hand to get your business rocking, and your staff collaborating, even if they aren’t in the office.