Happy 4th Birthday Microsoft Teams!

That’s right, the 14th March will be four years since Microsoft Teams was first launched! To celebrate this, we’re taking a look back at the last 12 months of the application.

There’s no doubt that Teams has been a lifeline for many throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Its collaboration tools and in-built apps have made it invaluable for those who quickly needed to shift to working from home.

On 19 November 2019, Microsoft announced that Teams reached 20 million active users. Fast-forward just four months and this more than doubled to 44 million daily users. But it didn’t stop there. Microsoft then reported in April they had reached an impressive 75 million daily users.

In addition, for those of you who love statistics, on a single day in April 4.1 billion meeting minutes were had on the application.

Whilst this growth can be attributed to the pandemic, it’s no doubt that Teams adoption was on the rise before this. And now it’s something many businesses can’t continue without.

Why?

Teams is more than just video conferencing software. It includes chat, file storage, live broadcasts and it’s own VoIP telephone system. Additionally, let’s not forget in-built apps such as tasks/to-do lists, approvals and shifts. You can also use Power Apps to build your own custom apps and bring other Microsoft 365 programmes such as Yammer and Forms into the platform.

All these features, plus so many more contribute to Teams being a central employee hub for communicating and collaborating, wherever you are.

The last year of Teams

The fast growth of Teams was something no one could’ve planned for. This meant Teams had to roll out updates quick to keep up with the demand for remote working solutions.

In the last year, they’ve added a range of great features. Here are our favourite four:

Tasks by Planner and To Do

The Tasks by Planner and To Do is a great tool to keep track of project tasks. You can add the app to a Team, meaning everyone in the Team can add and work on the list. Tasks can be set due dates and be assigned to other Team members. You will also get email notifications for upcoming and overdue tasks to keep you on track. To find out more about the app, watch our video guide.

Lists

Another Microsoft App that sits within Teams, Lists is designed as a tracker. You can use existing templates or create from scratch. Templates include employee onboarding, issue tracking, patients, incidents and more. To find out more about the app, watch our video guide.

Custom Backgrounds

Custom background quickly became a trend of the pandemic, as well as a meme. On multiple occasions, we’ve seen Teams calls where participants are stuck as a potato or a cat. Whilst custom backgrounds can be a lot of fun, they can also help make your calls more professional. Background blur allows the focus to be on you, not on your makeshift office. A new Presenter Mode is also launching this month. This mode removes your background and places you on top of your presentation. Read more here.

Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms are the perfect way to brainstorm. If you’re in a large meeting, you can send participants into separate video calls to chat in smaller groups. You can select who goes into which group or let it be random.

Finally, we’ll leave you with a fun fact: Teams was created during an internal Microsoft hackathon at the company headquarters.

If you haven’t made the move to Teams and are interested in doing so, get in touch!

Discover how Breakwater can help your business. Call our team today on +44 (0)1603 709300 or email enquiries@breakwaterit.co.uk

Jordan Getley

Junior Systems Engineer - Team Leader

As a Junior Systems Engineer – Team Leader, I am able to support clients whilst gaining valuable technical skills along the way.

View my profile >

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