How to Use Teams to Collaborate and Co-create

Sreeraj Vasukuttan

Nothing can stop a team if they have the urge to connect and co-create. With the current pandemic situation, people have moved rapidly to videoconferencing, using it as the primary medium to connect and co-create. Just the other day, my wife, an educator, was in half-day workshop on Teams. Her school will be leveraging Teams for a meetings and collaboration platform starting in September.

It’s clear that many organizations are adopting Teams for their communication and collaboration platform, because they believe that Microsoft products are trustworthy. They’re likely to start with videoconferencing, which is the primary use case of Teams. When my team at Connection transitioned from Skype to Teams, I ran an internal adoption program. We took a phased approach for our folks moving from Skype to Teams. Videoconferencing in Teams was our familiar, low-hanging fruit which catapulted us to the unfamiliar use cases, such as Channels, the Planner, and so on. 

For those who are new to videoconferencing in Teams, let me walk you through the basics of organizing a meeting securely, and offer up some cool tips and tricks.

Related: Host Microsoft Teams Meetings like a Rockstar

How to Set Up a Meeting in Teams and Keep It Secure

First, let’s explore how to plan a video conference or meeting in Teams. You can set up a meeting right from the Schedule Meeting tab in Calendar. If you are already an Outlook user, you’ll see that Calendar and the meeting setup is very similar to the Outlook Meeting Wizard. Select New Meeting on the right, top corner to add people. If you need a schedule assistant, that’s also available in Teams. Teams gives you suggested meeting times, based on the availability of those you intend to meet with. You can also invite people from outside your organization by typing their email, even if they don’t have Teams installed on their devices.

Teams meetings have a very complex URL, so the risk of any unknown users entering your meetings is low. You could also use thelobby system to ensure that you enable the right attendees. The organizer of a meeting can determine who can and cannot present during a meeting, so you have better control over your meeting content. Once you send your meeting invite, you can adjust lobby and presenter settings within Meeting options for any given meeting that you’ve organized. Recently, Microsoft updated the default Teams policy to make external users wait in the lobby before joining a Teams meeting to ensure that only the right people are there. If you organize a meeting, you’ll see a separate setting to control the lobby for audio conferencing participants, as well.

And of course, have no fear, there are multiple layers to Teams security and compliance to keep you protected.

Cool Teams Features to Use During Meetings

Up to 9 Simultaneous Videos: Microsoft recently increased the number of Teams participants, who can be viewed simultaneously—from 4 to 9.

Application Sharing: With application sharing, you have more control over what the audience can see while you present. Share an individual application or your entire screen.

Background Blur: Things can happen during a call, like people walking into your room or your cat using the dresser behind your desk in your home office as its grooming station. Don’t worry; Teams has a background blur feature to save you from those meeting bloopers. You can also use the background blur feature to simply blur everything else, so people can focus on you while you talk.

Background Effects: If you want to have some fun with your call background, you can use a background effect. You could attend your meeting from a tropical beach or even the top of Mount Everest, if you like.

Gifs: Last but not the least, Teams allow GIFs. We generously use them in our meeting chat windows during our morning warm-up meetings to keep it fun.

More On Teams Adoption

Good luck with your Teams adoption journey! There is a lot of free training material out there from Microsoft. There are also third-party Teams adoption services offered by companies, such as CoreView, with the ability to run focused and measurable adoption campaigns. Currently, CoreView is offering a free 6-month Teams adoption offer for new customers. Don’t miss out.

Please reach out to an Account Manager if you need help with Teams!

Sreeraj Vasukuttan is a Technical Marketing Manager at Connection with a passion for technology and marketing. He enjoys writing about cloud, security, and end-user compute. In his free time, he loves watching films, cooking, and traveling with his family.