How Your Nonprofit Can Make the Most from Microsoft Teams

Posted on
18 Jan 2021
by Gavin Tinnelly

'At the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, many businesses and nonprofits implemented Microsoft Teams quite quickly, because it was free with their Microsoft365 licensing platform and so easy to download. However, a lot of organisations don’t know how to fully utilise the platform'. Gavin Tinnelly, Cloud Services Engineer at supportIT (The Wheel's preferred IT provider) in this blog post discusses how organisations can fully maximise the potentials of Teams.

Below are some practical things to do:

Teams Champion – Organisations with the most successful Teams sites are those where there's a Teams champion. It is usually someone who is good with IT, but they don’t have to be an engineer,  just someone who is comfortable using online meetings and Microsoft 365 at user level. The Teams champion should create a Team for their unit or department and start using it for meetings, chat, and calls. It gives the organisation a head-start and ensures adoption organisation-wide.

Training document – With any new application, it is important to create a user guide for using Teams within your organisation. You don’t need to write this from scratch, you can find training documentation on the Microsoft documentation site.

Integrate with Outlook calendar – integrate Teams with Outlook calendar so that meetings will pop up in Outlook. Once integrated, users can access Teams from Outlook AND Teams directly.

Teams phone – The Teams application can be downloaded onto your phone and synced with your Microsoft 365 password. However, be sure that you have notifications turned on for chats in Teams because they don’t come through by default. Once recurring scheduled meetings are created, users can chat to one another in a messaging format, and notes and documents from previous meetings can be seen.

‘At supportIT we use Teams exclusively for work-related chat and it’s actually brilliant. Engineers notify people if they are about to work on a client environment. Or if they need a piece of information about a client, it can be quickly passed on in Chat. It speeds up that day-to-day communication. It is important to pick up the phone occasionally as well.’ Ciara Rooney, Service Desk Administrator, supportIT.

Recording – To start recording, go to the meeting controls and select > more options > start recording. Everyone in the meeting is notified when the recording starts. When you record meetings, Teams captures the audio, video, and screen sharing activity. There’s also an option to create an automatic transcript. During playback, closed captions of the transcript will appear on the screen, making it easy to search for important discussion items. Recordings are saved in the Cloud and are automatically shared with attendees.

The organisation tab – The organisation tab shows the chat for your organisation, so that when you have a one-on-one conversation with someone you can see who they report to and who reports to them.

Webinars – Did you know know that Teams can be used with external parties to run free webinars and live events outside of your organisation with anyone who has a valid business or personal email address? All you need do is to make sure the > public button is activated in the meeting settings. Recipients don’t need to download Teams to join the meeting. They only need to click on the link in the email invite, enter their name and join the meeting instantly on the supported web browser. No plug-in is required.

Calling feature – Internally there’s no need to have a separate call system, everyone can use Teams on their mobile and PC. Organisations can also fully integrate their VOIP phone system with Teams, just talk to your VOIP provider.

Security – Its open permission model is designed to promote free collaboration between/among individuals using the application. Any user can become a team owner by creating a team and inviting other users to become members. Every team member has full access to all the data on the Team’s public channels, including chat messages, meeting content and shared files. To protect your data, ensure that 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) is set-up in Microsoft 365 and carry out audit user activity on a regular basis. Reports can be generated in the Microsoft Teams admin center to audit sign-ins to your organisation’s tenant.

About supportIT

supportIT (The Wheel's preferred IT support provider) are Microsoft Partners, IT Security specialists and Cloud solution experts.

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