Watch, Read, or Listen to: The 3 Key Areas that Microsoft Teams Excels In

 

In this Podcast, The 3 Key Areas that Microsoft Teams Excels In, we discuss…

MinTopic
:12Introduction
1:10Communication – Internally and Externally
6:08Sharing Files
10:10Meetings

 

Danny:It’s Wednesday, July 22nd. And today, I talk with John Brady. He’s a client principal at ThreeWill, about how he takes advantage of Microsoft Teams in three key areas.

 

On our podcast, we usually cover real technical subjects, both on the podcast and in our blogs. Today, I wanted to talk with John Brady. Hey, John.

 

John Brady:Hey, how’s it going?

 

Danny:John is a client principal for ThreeWill, and we want to talk some about Microsoft Teams. And so, focus in one some of the core benefits. And John’s narrowed it down to three key areas that I want you to come away with from this podcast, of how you can take advantage of Microsoft Teams as an end user.

 

And so, we wanted to focus in on that today and sort of have a conversation about really, what sort of key areas does Microsoft team enable you to be able to collaborate, both inside your company and outside your company.

 

Thanks for taking the time to do this, John.

 

John Brady:Absolutely, love to. Love to.

 

Danny:So, John is a client principal for ThreeWill. And as a client principal, there’s a lot of collaboration, a lot of communication going on, both inside of ThreeWill and with perspective clients. And the clients that you work with on a daily basis. The first one that we want to start off with, the first area that you pointed out to me was about communication. Tell me more about that.

 

John Brady:Yeah, one thing I’ve noticed in teams is in using teams, my communication internally has substantially ramped up. I mean, you can reach out through chats. You can talk to folks through individual teams and channels. Kind of highlighting in different threads. And one thing it’s really done for me, especially from the sales side, is I can reach out to all aspects of the business as needed. I can bring people in the conversation by mentioning them. I can kind of keep a conversation going without going into an email and creating a huge thread, getting lost in the day to day.

 

And you know, one of the biggest things is, you just kind of want to nudge somebody. And now that we’re currently in these times, a lot of folks are working from home, and there’s no way to walk down the hall and knock on a door or tap somebody on the shoulder, and you can do that through teams. It’s a very easy, “Hey, I just wanted to check in on something.” Light touches just internally.

 

And, the communication to me, is huge. I like to talk a lot. That’s what I do.

 

Danny:Oh, no, really?

 

John Brady:Yeah, so it’s made a huge difference for me to be able to talk with coworkers, ask quick questions, something I need help on, or vice versa. If somebody needs some information from me, they’re not starting a whole email thread to do that. It’s just a quick question. They can do it through chat. They can do it through a team to highlight something we’re talking about, things like that.

 

And communication, you spoke about external. I’m able to even talk with clients that are external clients, and they can message me directly through chat. I’ve had clients that use Skype, and it links right over, and it goes into my chat inside of Teams. And it’s like, it’s the best thing to just be like, “Hey, how’s it going?”

 

You know, you never do that on email. You never send a four word email to somebody. And in Teams, you can do that. “Hey, I’m just checking in, how you doing?” And it starts that conversation. So, I think it’s something that really, not only connects me with coworkers internally and makes it feel like everybody’s there in an office, even when you’re not. But it connects me externally. Makes everyone feel closer. The world doesn’t look so huge through Teams.

 

Danny:Yeah, well, I think this brings out an excellent point that we’ve … Inside of ThreeWill, we try to take advantage of Microsoft 365 as much as we can. And just to give a little bit of background to folks, I mean, we’ve got it set up so that as we’re working together, perhaps, since we’re talking about sales today, as we’re working together on a new opportunity within a new account, inside of ThreeWill, we get a new team that’s provisioned for us to work together internally. And then, when projects start up, and once we’re working on the first project with a new client, we start setting up an external place for us to collaborate with our clients.

 

And this really is, this is just such a great way to stay in touch. And also, I think one of the key things of this, as well, is if you’re referring to a document, or you’re referring to a previous discussion thread, you can pull somebody right into context. You can sort of like, “Hey, I’m just following up on this again.” If you started a discussion a couple of weeks ago about needing this information, so it’s very easy for you to follow up, and it’s just not an email that gets flown out amongst the hundreds of emails that our clients are getting.

 

So it’s good stuff, it’s really … So, the first part of this is communication, both inside and outside. Now, let’s talk about what has been in the, what I’ll call the good ole days, or should I say the bad ole days, this dealing with files. Tell me a little bit about how Teams has transformed how you’re working with files nowadays.

 

John Brady:Well, I can tell you, the ease of doing it now, your experience probably does well exceed what I’ve had. But from what I’ve experienced in the past to now, there’s been everything from trying to share a file with somebody, whether that be through an email, or even when SharePoint was allowing you to kind of go in there and ping somebody through SharePoint. It made it a little more difficult. It was very disconnected. They made the feature, let’s leave some comments inside of a document and things like that. You’re still disconnected.

 

It’s a conversation, but it’s not a true conversation. And the fact that once the document’s done and you finish it out, and those comments are gone, or something gets shifted or lost, it’s been so much better through Teams because for instance, if I’m doing a contract, or I’m working on some sort of document, and I’ve got a team that’s around that document, I can share that with them.

 

And when I share it inside of a team, so let’s say I’m working on a document with three other people, and I share that inside a team, it’s going to save that document inside of that file. And of course, behind the scenes, it has it in SharePoint and everything else. As to where if I shared it somewhere else, it just kind of gets put out there, and you got to go find it, and then start conversating.

 

And then, next time you want to look at that, you got to, “Oh, what was that? Where is it?” And it becomes more difficult. Then all of a sudden, you’re slinging, “Hey, here’s the link to this file. Here’s the link here.” And instead, you can plop that thing right inside of a channel. That’s the one you’re working on.

 

It doesn’t get mixed up of, well, was it this one? Or was it this one? If you’re having a conversation around that file, that file sits there and just chills right there at the top of your conversation, and it does not move. And I can always go back and click on that file, and I can … Teams allows you to edit it right in Teams now. So, kind of going back to being able to share stuff is the fact that I can share a file inside with my team or whoever I’m working with and have that file live there so I know where to go back to. And not only where to go back to, but it has a huge area of context.

 

I can go back and reread what we’ve discussed and familiarize myself. I can actually step into a new account that has been pre-existing where files have been shared and discussed. And I can go see those files and see those conversations around those files inside of that team. And be caught up in a few hours. There’s no knowledge transfer, nothing like that. It makes it a lot easier.

 

So you know, kind of the sharing documents and stuff like that has just been extremely easy, real intuitive inside of Teams, in my experience.

 

Danny:I’ve seen too, what’s been really nice is the capabilities of multiple people that added a single file, and knowing who else is in there and those types of things. I think that says … Especially as we work together on maybe, on a contract, a statement of work or something like that. That’s really been beneficial to have, as well.

 

John Brady:I completely agree. And it’s funny, because everybody, sometimes they’ll be like, “Hey, document’s ready to go. I’m about to send it.” And I always hop back in there, just to double check everything, make sure everything’s clean. And I’ll see, uh oh, Danny’s face is up in the corner and I can see your little icon. And then, what I’ll do is, I can go in that chat and I can be like, “Hey Danny, saw you were still in this document. Want to make sure you didn’t need any more edits before I send this.”

 

Danny:I’m probably just updating the logo and just changing thoughts. That’s all I’m doing. That’s all I do nowadays is just branding stuff. So yeah, [crosstalk 00:10:20] that.

 

John Brady:That’s right.

 

Danny:Yeah, [inaudible 00:10:23] any last minute changes, changing go rates, all that sort of stuff.

 

John Brady:And I’m just using your name as an example. But it really helps me out, being able to see that. And that’s been probably, one of the biggest advantages to me that I can, from a sales side, I can actually sit in front of a document and watch three of our team members go and edit it all at once, and I can see what’s going on. So yeah, it’s amazing.

 

Danny:Last one, we like things in threes. The number three, and this is huge. How many Teams meetings do we have in a day? We’re on a Teams meeting right now. It has really been a big deal, I think, to everybody, to have this capability of using Teams for meetings. Tell me more about that.

 

John Brady:Man, I love Teams meetings, because again, I love to talk, way more than I love to type. But I tell you, I’ve mentioned before, you’ve got all the others out there, GoToMeetings, and any other type of web meeting that you’d want to set up. The biggest thing I see in Teams is, if I need to chat with somebody. If I’m working with our director of finance, Jamie, and he’s like, “Hey, I really need to talk to you about this document,” it’s not an email, appointment, some setting up. And then, I got to set up a time in GoToMeetings, send a link with an access code. That’s gone.

 

I can simply go to my chat window, I can hit call. Boom, I’m connected to somebody. It doesn’t matter if they’re here. I’ve talked to folks over in Ireland. It makes absolutely no difference. One thing I actually noticed a lot, and I don’t know if you have, but the calling in Teams is fantastic. There seems to be no delay in the typical IP phone call. There’s usually a second or so delay in others. And there’s not in Teams.

 

And I’ll tell you, so that’s kind of internally of how we can have quick calls. But, how things have changed externally, and kind of talking about everything we just discussed. We discussed conversations, we discussed sharing files. And now, we’re talking about meetings. Conversations and files go right into that. I can grab a … When I’m having a call with anyone, I can actually open a chat window and share a file. And now, it lives inside that conversation. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve seen to where it’s like, if you’re in any other application of a meeting, and you’ve joined, as an external user, it’s like, “Oh, let me email that file to you so you could open it.”

 

Instead, I can be like, “Hey, I dropped it in the chat window. It’s right here. Go ahead and grab it.” There’s a link, there’s a file, there’s a picture, there’s an explanation. Whatever you need to put in that chat window, you can do. The east of pulling someone in, you can simply add folks to meetings. You’re not sending another meeting invite and access code and dial in and things like that. You simple go up there, type their name in, hit enter, and it starts calling them.

 

So, one thing that it does for us is, it brings us closer together in the way that we can talk, instead of having the typed out conversation. We can bring many folks together. And then lastly, Teams has offered us so many tools. Yeah, this is my house behind me. Sure, they offer these cool features so folks can have fun. You’ll join, and people will have their favorite background on or something like that. It doesn’t look like I’m hiding in a corner in my house from my kids during this whole stay at home order. It’s one of those things that they make it fun.

 

And this kind of goes throughout all of Microsoft Teams, that they add emojis and gifs that you can add to different conversations. And they’re doing the same thing with their video calls. You can add backgrounds. They’ve added raising your hand in meetings. They have a ton of new features coming up. Like buttons, you know, you see it on social media platforms all the time where people are having videos, and you see the thumbs up and the smiley faces.

 

Danny:When you’re talking too much, like right now, I can dislike you. [crosstalk 00:15:05]

 

John Brady:Yeah, you can actually just simply click a button, and I would be exited from the meeting. So kind of bringing it all back in, it’s one of my favorite features in Teams is the fact that we can video call without setting all this external stuff up. It’s fantastic, it’s my favorite.

 

Danny:I love it. Every once in a while when you’re moving around, I can see that bottle of hot sauce in the background. It looks like it’s bottle of hot sauce back there.

 

John Brady:There’s some hot sauces back there.

 

Danny:Uh-huh.

 

John Brady:There is, let’s see here … Yep, see?

 

Danny:Oh, there it is, yep.

 

John Brady:I’m hiding it.

 

Danny:Hot sauce and UGA stuff, there we go. That makes sense. So, it’s UGA Hot Sauce.

 

John Brady:It’s UGA Hot Sauce, and it hasn’t been opened since college, so I don’t care to open it now.

 

Danny:Well, some of this is what’s nice about Teams is, we’re in the unfortunate situation right now where everybody’s dealing with the pandemic. But this is one way of pulling us and getting us a little bit closer together, which is a wonderful thing, as well. So I think, I was having a conversation with a friend about this, and his company, as well, has these little like what we do for the morning brew on Tuesday mornings where, just getting together to talk. And just getting together to see each other. And he had mentioned, “I know people within my company better. I know people’s spouses names, the name of their dog, their kids names.” Which, that’s a positive thing that you can look at that has come out of this. And it’s because we’re using video calls like this. Nothing’s better than being in person, but this, as a second best thing, has it’s own set of benefits.

 

So, the meetings part of this is awesome. Well John, thank you for taking the time to do this. You’re such a great adopter of technology yourself, and sharing it with other people inside of ThreeWill. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

 

John Brady:Absolutely, thanks for having me on. And really enjoy the power of Teams doing this as well.

 

Danny:And everybody listen to … If you’ve made it this far listening to this and you are looking at ways of taking advantage of Microsoft Teams, I know a great little Microsoft Partner named ThreeWill. Go to their website, threewill.staging.wpengine.com. Spell out the number three, and then W-I-L-L.com. Contact us page, drop by there. I get a nice … John and I get a nice little notification that someone’s interested in talking. We’d love to hear from you. We’d love to help you take advantage of Teams and making this available to all the people within your company.

 

And so, feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to talk more with you about this. That’s it. Thanks, John.

 

John Brady:Hey, thanks, Danny.

 

Danny:Have a great day everyone, thank you, bye bye.

 

Thank you for listening to the Work Together Better Podcast. We’re available on SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re looking for a partner to help you craft a modern digital workplace in the Microsoft Cloud, please come by and see us at ThreeWill.com. That’s the number three spelled out, W-I-L-L.com. Thank you, and have a great day.

 

 

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