James Honeywill, Sales Operations Manager, Class Networks

Teams really has been the ultimate technology for bringing people together. 

The fact the uptake was accelerated by the pandemic is a certainty, but what made it such good choice was that it was so easy for staff to adopt and often, however good the technology, the bandwidth to roll out a new platform and provide training is just not there.  With Teams, being in the familiar Microsoft format, made it a natural extension to a familiar desktop or mobile environment.

Is it just a temporary fad or is it sustainable?

Teams has become a hot topic because of how it has led the latest change in the way we work, evident by the increase from 44million users in Mach 2020 to 145million by April 2021. 

The fact that teams is here to stay is guaranteed but what does it mean now we are moving towards a hybrid workplace? 

One of the best things about rolling out teams was the ease of staff adoption it is very rare you roll out a technology to multiple staff so easily.

On the downside should the Teams platform have an outage, as was seen for a few hours a couple of times earlier this year, the affects are debilitating across the globe and many of us realised just how dependant we had come on the technology.

I feel Teams was in the right place at a time, with forced remote working and homes and businesses now having the higher-grade connectivity required for video conferencing.  

Companies have made significant changes.  We for one have moved away from a separate video conference application to use teams. It’s so easy, even if you have a poor connection you can log in on your mobile for voice and  your desktop for screen sharing, simultaneously, although the screen sharing on the mobile is pretty good.

Prior to remote working, like others, we had just moved into Teams in house, using it for Instant Messaging and a bit of document collaboration and storage and were just beginning to use it for video conferencing.

PBX Integration

Back then we still had our physical PBX phone system which, although it had some element of flexibility being connected to SIP channels, it turned out was to be the all signing all dancing system we had hoped for.

We transitioned fully to teams during lock down and instantly started to see the benefits of integrating our telephony.  Once we got everything into Teams everything became easier. We had previously suffered with difficulties, with some of the mobile apps dropping calls and a conflict of presence status, which was quite annoying as you would be calling people who showed as available and quickly found they weren’t, because the phone didn’t know you are in a meeting and visa-versa.

I’m not sure there is another solution in the market that comes anywhere near Teams, and have to be honest, I may be slightly blinded and bias.  

A Single Platform

The biggest change for us was moving to a single Unified Communications platform.  We quickly found we began to use Teams a lot more for document collaboration, screen sharing and recording training sessions and tutorials. 

It’s to make documents visible to all members of a team and collaborate on, without having to share links and go through emails to find the latest copies. Also, some documents may have sensitive information and Teams allows you to cherry pick the bit you want, drag it across to the screen that you’re sharing and share just that bit. 

Our staff love this, and it was so easy to do that they needed almost no training.  Being able to work on it through the Teams platform or open in a desktop environment and see if other team members are in the document has saved so much time.

Twinning is really good, being able to choose to have multiple devices ringing at once or stop the app from ringing.  It’s so easy to join a Teams call from the mobile and if I’ve then needed to share my screen, I’ve just transferred it into Teams desktop which is really simple and easy to do. You, open it and it tells says ‘you’re on a call do you want to join here’ and with a click I’ve switch over as as opposed to joining on both and there’s no cut off or time delay as the meeting transfers


I don’t know what anyone’s experiences have been of SharePoint but once we had the ease of the Teams application as the front end for SharePoint we started to do a lot more document collaboration, which had proved difficult to manage previously.

Human adoption

The hardest bit of any roll-out can often be adoption of the new technologies and despite everyone working remotely it still seemed really easy.

I think the uptake has been really high because it’s Microsoft. People know it, people trust it and are familiar with terminology and layout.

Teams is almost a recruitment must.  Not necessarily 18 months ago, but certainly now, staff want the flexibility to work remotely, and because new starters are familiar with Teams, you don’t have the delays in bringing them onboard created by introducing new software.


For training it’s really helpful because we can record a session and know it will take everything in the screen. I now share information a lot like this, creating a meeting for myself, recording it and sharing with staff and customers. It is so much easier than the physical process of writing out process documents, taking screenshots, etc and is often more informative. 

Also when you do come to delivering a training session, you can screen share to demonstrate applications and record. Questions are captured in the recording so, if you share the recording with others they also have the answers to these questions available.

We’ve held training sessions and demos, in Teams, with some hybrid working and although it’s a working day everyone’s got commitments, and for those that have annual leave or emergencies, they don’t miss the session or have to pick it up second hand, they can either visit the recorded message if it was done live, or if it was distributed, they can absorb it in their own time.

And, of course, you can rewind and watch a bit again immediately afterwards, so you don’t have that that fear of finishing your training session and 10 minutes into doing something for the first time, immediately get stuck and have to ask for help, because you can just revisit the training as and when you want on demand.

Customer Support

For our customers we are now able to quickly deliver training videos that give clear instructions on how to use new technology and mobile phones, which has saved us quite a bit of time. Once distributed to customers they can also share with their users.  

From a supportpoint view it’s quite easy to see where we have shared videos with a customer and if they haven’t opened it, so we can save time by redirecting them to the link.

It does help that all of that is recorded as well, and site contacts can see whether people are doing the training or not before they pick up the phone. It’s a nice delivery method. 

The future of Teams

I know, it’s been COVID but even without, I think that certainly the adoption of video conferencing in general has been positive from a customer experience point of view, because it’s quite easy to pull up a document and share it, whereas historically when you’re in a meeting it may not have always been possible. 

Initially there was an element that people didn’t have a choice, and those that didn’t trust it or didn’t understand it were put in a position where they had to use it and quickly found, actually this is very usable was very good. How did we manage without it?

For many it’s the travel time. We’ve had conversations with customers who have said this meeting only ever lasted 45 minutes and we used to drive an hour to get here and an hour back up and we could have just done this.  

I would say the pandemic has reaffirmed to Microsoft how important Teams is as a leading product and their investment into it.  The tweaks they’ve made and features they’ve added have only been accelerated by lockdown. There will be an element of now, we’ve increased users on this platform, let’s bring through other technologies that we had road mapped quicker.

The element of competition with people like zoom, etc put them in a competitive space simultaneously and that little cocktail has left a really nice product.

Will Teams stay?

It’s clear to us that adopting Teams as a technology has made a major impact on our business, our processes and our customer’s businesses.  As we evolve back into the office, what place does it have in the hybrid workplace of the future?

I’ve heard of people not being able to join Teams calls, in open plan offices, while others are consulting with IT around headset options and whist it is highly unlikely we will fall back to our ways, there is no doubt the path of least resistance will lead the way.

Whilst we continue to see adoption rising, there is no denying the power of uncertainty to change buying behaviour and it will be interesting to review the place of Teams in the workplace next year.

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