What is our primary use case?
Primarily we are using Microsoft Teams to facilitate collaboration during events and meetings. All of our meetings are voice and video. We are also using it for document sharing.
We use a file folder structure for maintaining all of our documents. There are version controls for projects that are completed and help to maintain the documentation.
How has it helped my organization?
Microsoft Teams has helped us improve collaboration through the use of chats, as well as conferencing, voice calls, knowledge management, and maintaining a repository. At this time, we spend four or five hours a day communicating using Teams.
What is most valuable?
The main features that we use extensively are voice and video calling. They have improved these features and the improvements are happening continuously.
The other feature that we like is the repository, which is used for knowledge management. It integrates with SharePoint, where we can store and retrieve documents, maintain version control, and collaborate with each other.
I like these aspects of it, but this is a feature-rich product and I am probably not even aware of all the features that it has.
What needs improvement?
Microsoft Teams is quite demanding on bandwidth, which has been a problem during the COVID situation because we don't get enterprise-class bandwidth at home. Currently, we use broadband, and even the little variations that happen can throw you out of a meeting. It seems that you get disconnected really fast.
It takes a long time to load, which is something that could be improved.
Having a dial-in feature would be helpful because it would allow more people to be included in meetings.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using Microsoft Teams for almost two years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
This is an extremely stable product and we use it on a daily basis. Since we have been on the cloud, I haven't seen any failures that have been the fault of the service. As long as our internet is up, it is working.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I don't see scalability as an issue. Initially, we had fewer licenses than we do now. As we expanded, we acquired more licenses and added more team members to the platform.
From what I recall, we started with about 500 licenses and we now have closer to 2,000. Two weeks ago, we had about 700 regular users. Adding users was seamless from our perspective, although you have to make sure that your network is configured properly, otherwise, there may be issues with performance.
How are customer service and technical support?
I do not speak with Microsoft support directly. When I have a problem, I simply call my support staff.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I have used similar solutions and I wouldn't say that Teams has the best in terms of voice and video calling, although I have seen continuous improvement over time and I am happy with that. For example, we used to only see four people on a video call, and it has been increased to nine. These kinds of improvements are good.
On the other hand, when compared to other collaboration software, it is more bandwidth-intensive and takes longer to load. In general, it is heavier.
Prior to using Teams, we had been using Microsoft Exchange 2013. We migrated to Office 365 two years ago, which includes Teams as part of the package. While we were still using Exchange, we ordered Skype. From my perspective, Teams is much more stable than Skype. I found that if we used Skype in a very small network, for example with three routers, then it would work fine. Otherwise, we had issues with quality and stability.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is easy, as most products from Microsoft are. It follows the same idea and is not difficult. We have the E3 subscription, so we are always using the latest version.
What about the implementation team?
When we migrated from our Microsoft Exchange platform to Office 365, we had consultants come in to assist us with that. We also had some guidance from Microsoft.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The pricing for Teams is very competitive.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We did look at a couple of other products as well, including Zoom. Because of issues regarding security with Zoom, we only use it very rarely.
What other advice do I have?
Network performance does impact teams, but Microsoft does give recommendations as to how the internet and network should be set up. If you follow these instructions then there will be fewer problems to fix. Essentially, if you are implementing this product then you need to very clearly understand the network requirements. Tweaking things on the network side is very important.
Overall, this is a very good collaboration product and the only thing stopping me from giving it a perfect grade is the heavy bandwidth usage.
I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?
Which version of this solution are you currently using?