MWA Mythbusters: Microsoft Teams is a lifestyle change, not a fad diet

The Modern Workplace Alliance is out to bust the most common myths about Microsoft Teams. One misnomer frequently heard by the MWA is that Microsoft Teams is just a craze. But we are here to tell you that a) it is not and b) if you are yet to embrace Microsoft Teams then it is about time you did.

Whilst the application might be trendy, one thing it is not is a trend. How can we be so sure? Well, there is actually a myriad of evidence proving that Microsoft Teams is here for the long haul. In this article, we outline three compelling reasons why Teams is not just an application of the moment and why your organisation shouldn’t treat it like one!

  1. The Microsoft investment

Loryan Strant from Insync Technology, which is one of the five partners that form the  Modern Workplace Alliance, says one of the key indicators for Microsoft Teams’ future is the investment being made by Microsoft.

Microsoft sells a vast array of applications, products and software so for any one application to stand out is a strong sign that Microsoft sees long term value in it. At the moment, everybody is talking about Microsoft Teams – from Microsoft sellers right through to the end-user, there is a lot of buzz about it. Unlike other much-hyped products, Microsoft have made a significant investment in resources, training, training, certification and devices with Microsoft Teams. The investment alone proves that we are right to be talking about it” says Loryan.

In fact, the investment by Microsoft and belief in the application was clear when the company replaced Skype for Business with Microsoft Teams. The proactive push of customers onto one product is quite unusual in an ecosystem that offers multiple applications, many with similar functionality.

  1. The adoption

In November 2019, Microsoft reported that Microsoft Teams had more than 20 million daily active users – an increase of seven million since the previously reported statistics in July.

Even the most sceptical of the Microsoft Teams cynics will find it hard to argue with the usage stats. Aside from the sheer volume of people using the platform daily, the application gained seven million daily users in one quarter. This shows that Microsoft Teams is growing momentum and quickly – people are liking what they see,” adds Loryan.

One reason Loryan believes the adoption rates to be so high is the increased understanding of social networking functions, a lot of which are replicated in Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is, in effect, the outcome of social and business activity convergence.

When Microsoft acquired Yammer in 2012, there was a lot of hype about it being the death of email. Yammer is a great product that is also here to stay but at the time I don’t think the workforce was ready or prepared with the skills and knowledge to use it effectively. These days, social networking is so ingrained in our daily lives that the modern workforce is much better equipped to implement a new application like Microsoft Teams where conversations are threaded and we can go beyond text chat with images and reactions ”, notes Loryan.

  1. The integration

Microsoft Teams is heavily integrated with other Microsoft and third-party applications. This allows users to create their own virtual office with all the platforms they use connected. Microsoft has created a virtual workplace that provides a one-stop-shop for office IT requirements.

The integration of Microsoft Teams is ground-breaking; it has tentacles everywhere. As a workforce, we are accustomed to arriving in the office, switching on a PC and checking our emails. With the use of Microsoft Teams which allows real-time conversations, file sharing, project planning and more, people will start forgetting to check emails. They’ll keep Microsoft Teams open all day, not Outlook. This is a massive shift to the way we work,” adds Loryan.

It’s not a fad so don’t treat it like one

One of the risks in thinking that Microsoft Teams is a fad is that workplaces rush to adopt it. But Teams is a lifestyle change and much like a sensible diet, it is one that takes time to yield results.

People who previously had a bad experience with Microsoft Teams will generally be those who tried to rush the implementation. You just can’t do that. The move to a modern workplace with Microsoft Teams is too big a change to expect it to happen quickly, you need a clear roadmap, expert advice, plenty of staff training and time to really make a difference,” says Loryan.

Instead of rushing to jump on the bandwagon, Loryan recommends a strategic and well thought out approach to adopting Microsoft Teams using the following steps:

  1. Get your house in order. Focus on your workplace culture and ensure that you have the right culture to roll out the technology.
  2. Look at all the elements that Teams offers and consider how to create a complete process. Identify all existing point solutions to see what could easily be replaced or integrated.
  3. Think about who will use Teams and plan a phased approach to the deployment.
  4. Provide training to all staff involved with the deployment. MWA recommends staggered training to allow users to trial the product and ask questions as they go.

If you know someone who believes that Microsoft Teams is just a fad, be sure to send them the URL to this article to bust that myth!

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