The Rise of Microsoft Teams

by Michael Quittenden

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In 2020 Microsoft Teams, the company’s built-in video collaboration application had 75 million daily active users. By 2021, that number had shot up to 145 million. I won’t patronise you by explaining the obvious reasons for this staggering uptake in usership. The past two years have made it apparent that flexible working and professional digital communication are now an intrinsic element of the business environment, and Microsoft Teams has proven extremely important in keeping businesspeople of all levels connected.

But why Teams? As you’ll no doubt recall, at the start of the pandemic, Zoom was everywhere. The platform’s name quickly became a colloquial shorthand for a video call: “Shall we have a Zoom?” etc. However, from a business perspective, it soon became apparent that Zoom lacked the functionality to easily integrate itself into other business systems, notably those developed by Microsoft, including the “big three” within its Office suite: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. As another strand of the Office suite, Teams rapidly proved popular with professionals as its user interface is simplistic and it offers exceptional synergy with other elements of Office. As such, “Shall we have a Zoom meeting?” evolved into “Let’s put in a Teams meeting”.

We often hear concerns of data loss and one common question is “How can we backup and protect our chat history?”.  Through Sure’s Teams Archiving product we give you the ability to back up key data within Teams, including chat history, which has proved vital from a regulatory compliance and HR point of view. Firstly, the ability to view backed-up data is incredibly important when declaring matters for auditing purposes. As we well know in the Channel Islands, businesses within the financial services industry are regularly held accountable for deals involving significant sums of money, so the ability to refer to backed-up data from Teams calls and messages is vital. This is also true for HR professionals, who can use backed-up Teams data as proof of misdemeanours and to avoid cases of “he said, she said”. The platform gives HR professionals the clarity to make appropriate decisions relating to matters of employee (mis)conduct, something that other video call platforms without backed-up data lack.

Microsoft Teams is also notable for its excellent track record in terms of security, with an impressive and appealing eco-system of cybersecurity partners and the inherent levels of security that come with choosing a provider as large as Microsoft. However, it is always important to recognise the potential for security issues within all collaboration platforms, as cyber-criminals become cleverer and more adaptative to the modern digital environment. Additionally, user error can be the greatest threat to digital security. Research has suggested that, despite warnings not to from data protection departments, over 75% of employees still send sensitive, business-critical information and attachments over messaging platforms, where they could be at risk of letting in an unwelcome visitor with intentions of stealing sensitive business data.

Fortunately, Sure can mitigate these concerns by helping businesses of all sizes to implement the Microsoft suite and other services like it with the added benefit of future proof security services that ensure such breaches are rebuffed. Our Professional Services team help organisations build sustainable security services that balance the need for employee efficiency, and thus do not substantially intrude on day-to-day working practice. By partnering with Sure, clients can expect dynamic, robust security plans for the digital age, tailored to each of our diverse clients’ needs. In each case, we identify and deploy the appropriate levels of protection across IT infrastructures and business operations and offer the personal touch of Professional Services experts like myself to ensure our clients get the customised service they require.

The future is bright for Microsoft Teams as the service continues to dominate the collaboration platform market, with no signs of slowing down. For more information on our modern workplace services like Microsoft Teams, as well as our cybersecurity infrastructures, please email us at contactus@sure.com.

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