Microsoft Teams Review

Enhances workplace communications and adds new features almost daily


What is our primary use case?

I think we're use Microsoft Teams for almost everything when it comes to communications. When I call my colleagues, I no longer using the phone. Because I use Teams so much, I picked up the phone the other day and it was strange — It was like it was the first time I picked up the phone. I use Teams as a phone. Even on my smartphone, I call people using Teams.

We're using Teams to call people to set meetings, record meetings, share documents — all communication now goes through Teams. We create groups to share our documents and update them live. It is really very practical and collaborative.

How has it helped my organization?

It is improving our means of communication and I think in the future will encourage users to communicate better because it is fun to use and powerful.

What is most valuable?

The features that I like the most are the features we have now. I like every aspect of it. It is easy to use. It's on your phone, so it is mobile. You can respond without answering if you have a call or message. You can send emoticons so people know you have gotten their message. This type of response is very quick and doesn't leave the other party waiting. Those features are just like what you might do in WhatsApp or Messenger on Facebook. It is very familiar to anyone using those products.

One thing that we are looking to deploy — and we are testing it now — is to send and track kudos. We want to implement this new feature on a worldwide basis to thank team members for being good participants. 

What needs improvement?

We work directly with Microsoft to provide feedback on the product and what we would like to see as improvements. I discover a new feature every day, so they're really working to develop it very quickly. 

I would like also to have a feature where we create a worldwide group to act as a social media hub. The difference between that and groups is that it would be separate from all the other groups. I don't want it included in my Teams because I will use it in a different way. I can see the activity of other teams or individuals who are not on my teams. Because I'm using the product extensively and have many teams, I think it is an important addition to be able to organize groups in different ways — and I have put in that request with IS. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for a couple of years exclusively.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've heard some people complain and say, "Oh it's not working with me," but I never had any issue with Teams. I use it all the time and it is stable. It opens immediately when I open my computer, it's on my phone and it sends me notifications. 

I have calls with people on it. Sometimes I even record video calls. The only time I have had any issues is when the network is not working well — maybe in high load times — but this happens with every means of communication like WhatsApp or other solutions that depend on the network. It isn't a problem with the package it is a problem with the network.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our company has about 14,000 employees, but we are not all using the intranet. We are an industrial company and we have people working in manufacturing and they don't have access to computers all the time. 

As far as scalability, we would like to have the ability to use the product off-site. That is, we want to be able to have remote people use Teams with us internally. This is the only thing I've heard that's posing a problem with scaling. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not directly had any experience with the Microsoft technical support team for Teams because we have an IS (Internet Services) group. If we open a ticket, the IS department is the group who will contact support.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Before we tried using Teams, we were using Skype. Now we are only using Teams because it is a more complete and business-oriented tool. 

How was the initial setup?

I was not directly involved in the deployment. 

What about the implementation team?

Our implementation was done by our own IS team.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to people who are considering this solution is that you have to be patient at the beginning. People might think it is too complicated or that it looks too complicated at the beginning. As a first time user, I remember feeling like I didn't understand anything. You have to be patient and play around with it until you become familiar with the different features. For example, there are channels within a group. If you are added to several groups and you start getting alerts, you may not know which channel it is or which group. It is a lot for a first time user to digest. It is not as straightforward as WhatsApp when it comes to groups.

What we have seen is that when we communicate our requests to Microsoft, we are getting back responses with the features we have asked for. There are many features that we request and we discover they are available in just a few days. Either many companies are making the same requests or Microsoft is answering our request, but the product is evolving quickly. 

On a scale from one to ten, when one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Microsoft Teams as an eight. While I like the product a lot and I use it all the time, there is room for improvement.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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