Great!  Your small business signed up for Office365!  Email is live.  Fabulous!  Now what do you do?

Congratulations, you have joined a large community.  The major on-boarding driver to O365 is email.  For many organizations that seems to be where they stop.  That’s sad AND wasteful, your subscription fee gives you much, much more.  How do you figure out what to do next?  How do you leverage the bits and pieces to your advantage?  The answer is to start small and simple and build from there.

A mistake many smaller organizations make is to jump in the deep end (SharePoint) with no real plan.  It’s much much better to start small.  Find something that will whet people’s appetites and go from there.  An obvious choice is Skype for Business as IM is such an integral part of office life.  A less obvious choice is Yammer.  I think the winner is Teams.

Teams showcases many pieces of O365 yet hides a lot of the complexity (I’m talking about you, SharePoint).  Teams lets users spin things up very easily.  This means you can have users become Champions very quickly and Champions drive adoption! Without Champions many bits of O365 tend to just sit there, sadly unused by your people.

So, what is Teams?  Teams is a focused app that provides collaboration tools for your people.  All of the tools live in O365 but you only need the app itself to access the tools.  Here is a list of what’s in the app:

  • Conversations (persistent IM — like Yammer but NOT Yammer)
  • Files (document libraries)
  • Wiki
  • OneNote (the BEST notebook!)
  • Meetings (like Skype for Business meetings but tighter in scope) with associated calendars
  • Planner (mini projects)
  • Channels (specific areas of interest within the Team)


You can see a bit of what I mean from the above screenshot.  There are multiple Teams, Channels under one Team and a number of other tools displayed.

Each Team is aimed at a specific group and while the audience (Team) might be different the component pieces are the same.  As people use Teams they become comfortable with a number of the underlying O365 technologies.  This leads to users and departments wanting more which then drives adoption of the bigger back-end pieces.  SharePoint. OneDrive. Skype for Business. Planner. OneNote. The pump is primed!

I said Teams is an App and this is important because the App is in your hand.  Teams is a native App for iOS and Android as well as Windows.  This means the power and goodness of O365 is available to your users wherever they are.  They don’t have to be in front of a screen to be able to participate and collaborate, needed data is in their hands.  Literally.  And overall ease of use drives greater adoption.

O365 does many things but can look overwhelming at first glance, specially to smaller organizations.  Teams helps to focus those abilities for you so that you can start driving a greater return on your subscription dollars.


Teams for the Win!
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