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Teamwork: New Ways To Make Your Dream Work

Digital Workplace Disruption: A Look at What Impacted 2018 and What to Expect in 2019.

When looking back at 2018 and where we have seen disruption in the digital workplace, the culture of teamwork and chat-based applications is what comes to mind. Modern workers are mobile and expect to be able to be connected with one another at all times no matter where they are.

Information, data, files, and work products need to be at their fingertips and easily consumable. The amount of work assigned to everyone has steadily increased and the number of hours in a day have not. The pressure to get things done and done right is as high as ever. Two heads are better than one, and thankfully new chat-based collaboration tools are helping us work together to get things done as a team.

Chat based collaboration applications, mainly Microsoft Teams and Slack, are now becoming common place within organizations. Those that are already using them love them and can’t imagine working without them, and those that aren’t using them yet are thinking about it and making plans to upgrade their digital workplace collaboration experience. Microsoft Teams and Slack both offer workplace chat and threaded messaging with the option to connect to third-party services. Microsoft Teams, however, comes backed with powerful Office 365 integration and robust security and compliance features. The hype surrounding Microsoft Teams cannot be ignored due to the simple fact that you really can get things done faster and more effectively when your team has one place to work, chat, and hold meetings.

So what is all the excitement about?

Everything Happens in One Place
Many of us have already come to know and accept digital collaboration as being able to share content with our co-workers, work together on documents, comment on each other’s work, instant message, hold virtual meetings, email each other, and sometimes use enterprise social such as Yammer and Chatter. The thing is that in most instances all of these acts of collaboration were done in silos. We do things such as update a document in SharePoint, then email a few team members that need to know about it, and maybe even add comments in the Word file for our teammates. We would hold meetings using Skype for Business that we scheduled with Outlook, then take our meeting notes in a Word document and email them or put them in a SharePoint document library. Navigating between all of these tools takes time and focus. Things get lost and taken out of context. The power of teamwork in the digital workplace is truly realized when you can go to one application at the start of your work day and accomplish the majority of your tasks.

Reduction of Email
The reduction of email is a big motivator for organizations adopting Microsoft Teams and other chat-based applications. The threaded conversation functionality, similar to what users are used to using in social media applications, allows for team members to stay informed and decisions to be made. How many times have important emails been lost when someone doesn’t hit “Reply All”, or when people leave an organization altogether? Also, when new team members join a department or project, how many emails and documents do you need to provide them to help them get up to speed? With Microsoft Teams you can add them to the team where content and conversations live and they can quickly read, search, and view everything people have been working on.

The Mobile App
The mobile app for Microsoft Teams just works, and works impeccably with no time needed for configuration or set up. Almost everything you can do while sitting at your desk you can do from your mobile device. You download the app, log in, and can immediately view your team activity, chat messages, participate in meetings, and more. 

Why is Microsoft Teams a disrupter?

Rapid Growth
Gartner describes digital disruption as “an effect that changes the fundamental expectations and behaviors in a culture, market, industry or process that is caused by, or expressed through, digital capabilities, channels or assets.” As far as the digital workplace market is concerned Microsoft Teams has made a huge impact, and it just continues to build momentum. It was recently announced that market research is showing that Microsoft Teams usage has surpassed Slack, which was released before Microsoft teams. Microsoft touts having 200,000 organizations worldwide using Microsoft Teams. It comes as part of Office 365 which has over 120 million business users just waiting to become Microsoft Teams fans. Also driving adoption is the fact that Microsoft has announced that Skype for Business Online will be replaced with Microsoft Teams.

Shift in Change Management
Change management is another reason Microsoft Teams can be seen as a disrupter. Fierce competition in the area of digital teamwork and collaboration has been driving innovation at a rapid rate. Since the release of Microsoft Teams, the product team has been shipping updates at an incredible rate. IT Professionals have actually been having trouble keeping up with the changes and updates. The service based model for software consumption has taken away a lot of governance control. Organizations have had to reprogram themselves to be much more reactive when it comes to change management. This is an area that many consultants have seen as an opportunity to help their customers with.

Transparency in Work Being Accomplished
No matter how many benefits are realized by a something new, change is change. One of the less talked about side effects of having a team’s work all being completed and discussed in one application is that everyone knows what you are working on daily. This is a shift for workers who are used to sharing minimal information and using private emails as a way to side step decision making as a team. This change will require a culture shift within organizations and actually is an opportunity for team members who often have their work overlooked to shine!

What to Expect
The digital workplace teamwork movement is bound to continue into 2019, with adoption of Microsoft Teams increasing more and more. There is still a huge number of organizations that are in the planning phases and a bit lost as far as what collaboration tools they should use for different business scenarios. This is a great opportunity to introduce them to Microsoft Teams, the ability to connect to third party services and other Office 365 apps, and the power of the teamwork in digital workplace. At Ignite, Microsoft’s biggest annual conference, numerous announcements were made for additional features that will be coming down the road for Microsoft Teams which will continue to attract more and more customers. The most notable being that the vision for the product is to provide digital workplace experiences that are tailored to industry-specific verticals and role-based workflows. Between these exciting new additions and the compelling features that already exist, the sky is the limit for Microsoft Teams in 2019!

Looking for Microsoft Teams integration and governance help? Reach out to us. Fill out our form online, or gives us a call at (240) 406-9960 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Teams strategy today.

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