Microsoft Teams is a robust communication tool that enables multiple forms of team communication, along with channeled file sharing, webinars, and much more. This virtual work hub makes it easy for teams to do everything from co-author documents in the app to pin commonly used documents to a secure group channel.
But one drawback that customers have experienced with Microsoft Teams was that communication outside their own organisation wasn’t quite as fluid. There are many times when you need to connect with others in the same way as your internal team connects. Such as when working on projects, for vendor or customer onboarding sessions, and more.
One of the best bits of news announced at Microsoft Ignite 2021, was the launch later in 2021 of Microsoft Teams Connect. This tool is going to remove those barriers with communication between groups outside your company, so you can invite others to share the same collaborative workspace.
What Features Can You Expect from Microsoft Teams Connect?
Shared Channels With External Users
Microsoft Teams Connect will allow you to create shared channels that those outside your company can use along with you. For example, if you had a transformation project and were working with an outside marketing or consulting firm, you will be able to create a project channel inside MS Teams and then connect with your consultants to chat, facilitate video calls, and share files and other assets.
Similar to a Private Channel, But You Don’t Have to Add Users as Guests
While Teams already has the ability to add someone as a guest, Connect is going to be different. You won’t need to add those you’re collaborating with as guests or a member of your group. Teams federates connections between different tenants to allow you to share as if you were all in the same internal Teams account.
Your shared channels will show up inside your Teams application along with your other company group channels.
Easily Identify Outside Channels
You’ll easily be able to see which channels are shared with people or teams outside your own organisation because they’ll have a “link” icon next to the channel name.
Share Channels With Up to 50 Teams
You can share your Teams channels with both organisations and individuals. Share with as many as 50 teams outside your company and as many organisations as you like.
Collaborate in Multiple Ways
You will have the ability to collaborate in Microsoft apps with outside groups, just like you can now with your team. You can also schedule a shared channel meeting.
The cross-tenant access settings in Azure AD allow admins to secure shared channels differently according to your company policies.
Most capabilities with Microsoft Teams Connect are expected by the end of 2021, with some of them coming in 2022.
Teams Connect In 45 Seconds
Get a quick overview of Teams Connect here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4gL_CnHbLs
Why Choose Teams as Your Main Collaboration Tool?
There are a lot of different cloud communication tools out there, so why choose Microsoft Teams to power your business collaboration and communications?
Here are a few reasons to consider Teams over other tools like Skype, Zoom, or Slack.
Teams Is More Than One Thing
While apps like Zoom and Slack are popular for doing one thing (video or chat), they don’t provide a lot of value outside that one thing. This means you need to utilise other communication tools that aren’t integrated.
Microsoft Teams is what’s considered a Unified Communications Platform that keeps multiple forms of communications in one place. Teams provides the following communication features:
- Audio calls
- Video meetings
- Webinar registration capabilities
- VoIP phone system (with Business Voice add-on)
- File sharing
- Co-authoring of documents with embedded chat
Teams Has Enhanced Features for Better Virtual Connections
Microsoft has been adding several new features to Teams during the pandemic to enable more immersive and professional meetings. These include presenter mode that gives you an option of three different presentation visual displays. And features like the ability to connect PowerPoint so meeting participants can page through a PPT at their own pace.
Microsoft has also integrated tools like Microsoft Viva, for employee wellbeing, corporate knowledge base creation, training, and more.
It has also been on the cutting edge of trying to create a more immersive experience to bridge the IRL (in real life) and virtual divides. One feature that helps put everyone in the same visual space is Together Mode.
In 2022, Microsoft is going a step further with Mesh for Teams, which will enable 3D virtual immersive meeting environments.
Document Co-Authoring & In-App Integration
One of the other unique features of Teams is that you can access multiple apps from inside the platform without having to open another webpage or application.
This includes all the Microsoft Apps, which allow co-authoring inside Teams fluidly. Multiple 3rd party apps integrate with Teams, such as Trello, Smartsheet, Monday.com, Asana, Workday, and many more.
Learn More About Leveraging the Power of Microsoft Teams
NetCare can help your Sydney area business customise MS Teams for your needs so you can take advantage of all the cutting-edge communication features.
Contact us today to learn more. Call (02) 9114 9920 or reach out online.