Why It’s Time to Take a Second Look at Microsoft Teams
When’s the last time you checked out Microsoft Teams? For some organizations we work with, it’s been a while. When Microsoft’s unified communication platform launched just over two years ago, some of these businesses saw it almost as the Wild West. End users had the reins and they could spin up teams and share files with minimal oversight. However, Microsoft Teams has undergone significant changes since those early day and so, if you haven’t checked it out lately, now’s a good time to give it another look.
Not convinced that Teams will work for your organization? Let’s consider three ways in which it has evolved since its debut back in 2017. Once we finish going over these changes, ask yourself whether Teams still sounds like such a lawless frontier.
Teams’ Admin Center is the big one as far as many IT pros are concerned. As mentioned above, when Teams first launched, users had a tremendous amount of freedom. Some would even argue, too much freedom. This left many organizations’ Teams environments overrun with unnecessary or directionless team units. Instead of promoting more efficient, intelligent collaboration, some early experiences were just the opposite.
Roughly a year ago, however, Microsoft introduced the Teams Admin Center. Built on a base of PowerShell’s pre-existing Teams management commands, this more-fully realized feature put administrative control of Teams back in the hands of IT. Admins have a single spot from which to create new teams, add or remove members, or perform any other necessary management tasks. Should they choose to give more freedom to users, they can do so from the Teams Admin Center, defining permissions accordingly.
Teams Admin Center isn’t the only change to Teams liable to catch IT’s eye. One of the newest additions to Teams is Direct Routing. This new addition allows calls to be routed from an on-premises phone system directly into Teams. So, for example, if User A dialed User B’s office phone, User B could answer the call through his or her Teams client.
The inclusion of direct routing is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it centralizes Teams as a communication hub. Chat, video, meetings, collaboration and now calls – all of it nestled within the same app. It’s a simplified and streamlined approach to communication. However, Teams doesn’t have to fully replace traditional communication hardware. Instead, it integrates with them, allowing organizations to continue to realize ROI from hardware investments.
Data Loss Prevention
The last big addition to Microsoft Teams that we want to focus on in this post is one that Microsoft environment admins may already know well. Very recently, Microsoft brought its Data Loss Prevention (DLP) capabilities to Teams. If you have yet to work closely with these features, let’s do a quick overview. Essentially, they allow admins to define a set of rules governing the data end users can share with each other. For example, intelligence can be used to recognize credit card numbers or social security numbers that pop up on Teams. From there, DLP can either prevent that information from being shared or simply raise a red flag, alerting the appropriate resource.
With the help of DLP, admins can gain greater control over the kinds of information users pass back and forth on Teams. This ensures that sensitive data doesn’t end up either in the wrong hands or as public knowledge.
Next steps: Explore the present and future of Microsoft Teams
These are just some of the steps that Teams has taken to rid itself of its “Wild West” reputation. Want to learn more about these features as well as what the future holds for Microsoft’s all-in-one collaboration platform? Reach out to us anytime by visiting: https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/. From there, you’ll be put in touch with our in-house Microsoft Teams experts who can answer any questions you might have and help you plot a course forward.
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