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A Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft Teams

Getting Started With Microsoft Teams

Are you considering using Microsoft Teams to streamline operational efficiency for your remote workforce? Here's a useful guide.

Never before needs to find ways of getting work done remotely been greater. Over the past few months, most of us have been forced to work from our homes’ safety due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The emphasis on limiting physical interaction means businesses now have to find new ways to collaborate and communicate internally and externally. As a leading IT services company in Coppell, TX, we have witnessed many businesses struggle with linking their remote teams.

So what's the solution? One tool that will help is Microsoft Teams.

Enough talk. Let's begin!

What Is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a tool designed for businesses, learning institutions, and organizations to facilitate efficient remote work. Teams allow you to:

  • Form virtual teams and add users to them
  • Exchange instant messages with other team members individually or as a group
  • Place video or audio calls with users either individually or as a group.
  • Create individual channels for a team to organize chats and calls better
  • Share, edit, and collaborate on files collectively.
  • Integrate data from a range of other Microsoft and third-party applications into your meetings or chats

Teams are available on various platforms, including the web, macOS, iOS, iPad OS, Windows, and Android. Teams' features vary depending on the platform you are using. If you wish to use most or all the features, we recommend installing the desktop app specific to your operating system.

How Can You Access Microsoft Teams?

If your organization has a Microsoft 365 (previously known as Microsoft Office 365) educational or business subscription, Teams are part of the package. That means you can access it free of charge.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Microsoft has been offering a free six month Teams trial from March 2020. This is due to the greater number of people now having to work from home.

However, if your organization doesn't use Teams officially, you can still access it for free by creating teams on your own. That's because the free version of Teams doesn't require you to have an MS 365 subscription. A Gmail address or any other third-party email address can serve as a Microsoft account.

What's the Difference Between Using an Account and Your Own Created Team?

A Microsoft 365 account allows you to:

  • Add as many users as you want.
  • Access services such as SharePoint and OneDrive for cloud storage and synchronization or Exchange for custom email domains and email hosting.
  • Schedule and record meetings.
  • Hold audio conferences.
  • Manage users, applications, and features.

On the other hand, the free version you can set up by yourself restricts your organization to 300 users. Also, you would not be able to schedule or record meetings. And it does not integrate with OneDrive for Businesses, SharePoint, or any other Microsoft 365 services.

How Do You Create Teams and Invite People?

  1. Click the link in the lower part of the left sidebar to invite people.
  2. Choose among: Copy Link, Invite Your Contacts, or Invite by Email.
  3. If you choose, Invite by Email, input the email addresses, and names of the users you want to invite to your organization.
  4. For larger organizations, we recommend setting up several teams for various projects rather than having a company-wide team.

If you are using a Microsoft 365 account, you can create teams from scratch or existing groups. You can choose from among three privacy options:

  • Public: Anyone can join the group any time
  • Private: You need permission to join
  • Org-Wide: All employees automatically become members

How Do You Create Channels?

It may be convenient to further divide your team's work into individual channels (sections). Let's say you are handling a multi-staged project; you need to keep track of the individual stages. To create channels:

  1. Click the More Options icon beside your team name.
  2. Select Add Channel.
  3. Create and add channel details.
  4. Follow the same steps for any other channels.
  5. Click a channel name and use the Teams interface to speak, chat, or share files to a channel.

Ready to Leverage Microsoft Teams for Your Dallas/Fort Worth Remote Team?

Our experienced IT experts at Data Magic Computer Services are eager to help you exploit Microsoft Teams to connect and optimize your remote workforce.

Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation.

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