As we grapple with the challenges of ongoing restrictions, thousands of local business owners and managers are now more confidently getting through, embracing the rich and enabling the resources on offer from Microsoft Teams and Office 365.
However, as managers know, it’s not enough to simply get through. Every business still wants to grow, increase profits and win new opportunities. Ensuring that you’re getting the best from your MS environment, and managing it well, will go a long way to ensure you’re on the right path.
Though many of us are familiar with all the basics, there’s plenty more you can do to manage this incredible resource. By adopting usage and security policies you can increase focus, collaborate better and be more organised.
Use MS Teams for making calls
Little known and a big win for local business, MS Team users can make cheap or free internal and external digital calls using the cloud, enabling them to make, receive and even transfer calls to and from landlines or mobile phones anywhere in the world from your desktop or mobile phone and more easily from their contacts.
Better manage integrated applications
MS Teams has an unrivalled range of third party apps across a range of business functions from accounting to project management and by default any user can install them. However, you might want to consider only allowing approved apps or a specific list to keep your systems in check or limit a range to specific team members.
Manage your files and data
Storage is finite and many users often wonder how much they have left, so it’s important to have a plan in place. Office 365 enables you to decide where you want things stored using a folder stricture that can be shared with a team or group at the beginning of a project. Regular housekeeping, cleaning and deleting files and chats you no longer need, should also help.
External & guest access
Usefully, MS Teams allows users to communicate with users outside your organisation. However, you should configure it to block or limit certain features. Be careful about who can access your system. While usually anyone with a business or regular email account can join in, there are obvious security concerns about exposing sensitive data or sharing files. For maximum security, you can leave guest access disabled by default, or turn it on but disable certain privileges like screen sharing.
Securing your data
As an MS Teams or Office 365 user, you own your data. It’s protected from malware in attachments, accidental sharing via chat or files, and suspicious user activity as long as you configure it correctly. Information is secure with encryption, good authentication process and device management. It is also important to continuously review these through good management procedures.
Call history, monitoring and usage
From managing workloads, busy periods and downtime, you can easily monitor your team’s monthly call history, activity and device usage, in addition to network quality, so you know you’re always using the technology to its best. This will allow you to spot any issues, whether technical or otherwise. Monitoring chats and team channels is easy through the Analytics and Reports tab in the MS Teams admin centre.
Fuelled by the ongoing pandemic, MS Teams and Office 365 is transforming business in Northern Ireland and when ‘normal’ business resumes, few will be leaving behind the benefits it has brought, particularly around flexibility, productivity and work/life balance.
Having the right technology is vital but knowing how to use it well is the key to success. Easier collaboration means better communication and efficiency, which is essential for the future of every local business. For everything which this provides, the investment and cost savings gained make it a compelling proposition for powerful transformational change.
2021 starts now.