Since its initial release in 2017, Microsoft Teams has become one of the most important collaboration tools businesses of all sizes have at their disposal. Windows 11 even integrates the personal version of Teams directly into the taskbar, making it accessible with a simple click.
But despite its essential status, Microsoft Teams is mired in misconceptions, with many employees not completely understanding the tool’s purpose and features. In this article, we want to clear up five common misconceptions about Microsoft Teams to help its users use it to the full extent of its potential.
1. Teams Is Just for Meetings
Perhaps the most common misconception about Microsoft Teams is that the software is just for meetings. In reality, voice or video meetings are one of many different ways how Teams users can share ideas and make things happen.
Users can also post messages within Teams Channels or create one-on-one and group chats with users that are not part of the same team (useful for cross-department communication).
Thanks to its deep integration with Microsoft’s suite of office applications, automatic sync, and version history tracking. Teams is also a great place for real-time co-authoring and whiteboarding. Users can easily share files, see everyone’s changes, and instantly turn ideas into actionable to-do items.
2. Distractions Can’t Be Avoided
There are many employees who have had Teams forced on them, only to hate it for being a source of endless distractions.
Most employees who find Teams to be distracting, have never learned how to indicate to their colleagues if they are available and how to change their notification settings.
The good news is that both of these actions can be accomplished with a few simple clicks or taps, and Teams offers several other useful options that can be used to avoid distractions while still being connected.
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3. Initial Deployment Takes a Lot of Time
Even though the version of Teams that is labeled work or school doesn’t come with Windows 10 or 11, deploying it doesn’t take much time at all.
Organizations can deploy Teams across all computers connected to their networks using Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, Group Policy, or a third-party distribution mechanism.
Teams is also available as a web app and included in Microsoft 365. The web version of Teams can be accessed from anywhere and any computer using most desktop browsers, eliminating the need to install the client application on every device.
To ensure successful deployment, organizations have to get Teams licenses for everybody and prepare their networks by, among other things, configuring their Microsoft 365 or Office 365 domain, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and OneDrive for Business.
4. Skype and Teams Are the Same Thing
We’ve been asked if Microsoft Teams and Skype are the same software?
No. They are different software, with an overlap of functionality, both owned by Microsoft. Microsoft has never been great with branding and making it clear how its products are supposed to be used and by whom. Sadly, Teams is no exception in this regard, largely because Skype exists and creates a great overlap in functionality:
- Skype: A software application for instant messaging and videotelephony that allows up to 50 people to participate in online meetings. Skype users can also purchase credits to make calls to landlines and mobiles.
- Skype for Business: Designed for use with the on-premises Skype for Business Server software and offered as part of Office 365, the business version of Skype supported online meetings with up to 250 participants. In 2017, it was phased out in favor of Microsoft Teams.
- Microsoft Teams: A business communication platform that allows up to 1,000 people to participate in a virtual meeting. Microsoft Teams directly replaces the business version of Skype, which is no longer available, but it also includes features from Microsoft Classroom.
The good news is that Skype users can search for and start a one-on-one text-only conversation or an audio/video call with Teams users, and vice versa, as explained by Microsoft on the Teams and Skype interoperability page.
5. Cybersecurity Risks and Teams Go Hand in Hand
Every additional part of an organization’s IT infrastructure represents a potential attack vector. The good news is that Microsoft Teams is built on the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 hyper-scale, enterprise-grade cloud, so all organizations that already rely on it know what to expect.
Organizations that have no previous experience with Microsoft’s ecosystem can use Teams to collaborate without worry, knowing their sensitive information is protected with data encryption at rest and in transit.
Because Teams enforces team-wide and organization-wide two-factor authentication, the likelihood of a password-related data breach resulting in the exposure of sensitive private conversations is very low.
To stop users from accidentally sharing infected files, Teams supports Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) feature, which automatically determines if Teams content is malicious in nature and blocks it from user access.
Conclusion on Microsoft Teams Myths and Misconceptions
Microsoft Teams has been around for five years now, but many misconceptions about this popular collaboration tool are still floating around. In this article, we’ve addressed several such misconceptions to help you better use Microsoft Teams features in your business
If you would like to learn even more information about Teams or are looking for someone to help you deploy it across your organization, schedule a meeting with us at OSIbeyond.