The Struggle to Choose the Right Workstream Collaboration Tools
There seems to be an endless stream of tools available for end-users in organizations to use to work together efficiently, but actually picking apps which themselves operate well together has become a growing challenge. SharePoint features and benefits lend themselves to over 85% of Fortune 500 companies, which has many teams wondering how to implement collaboration platforms with existing tools like SharePoint.
While Slack uses app integrations to bring some outside platform functionality into a real-time messaging interface, Microsoft Teams has rolled its Office 365 applications into one super-charged platform. Microsoft has included SharePoint, a web-based collaboration platform for document management and storage, in its Office 365 suite since 2010. So while SharePoint and Microsoft Teams are two separate entities, some of the best SharePoint features and benefits have been built to work directly (and efficiently) in Teams to double as Microsoft Teams advantages.
SharePoint Features and Benefits
SharePoint, initially launched in 2001, has become necessary for over 250,000 organizations. SharePoint is used in many different ways for businesses of all sizes. Over 100 million monthly users take advantage of this platform to help them manage their data and information.
Common SharePoint Uses:
- Content Management: Organize and manage content in libraries and lists with metadata
- Intranet: Centralize access to enterprise information and applications
- Team Sites: Enable teams to organize and collaborate on content, data and news
- File Sharing and Storage: Storage, sharing, and synchronization of documents
- Search: Surface resources across the organization through SharePoint’s powerful search engine
SharePoint’s capability to handle large amounts of information has allowed many companies to expand the number of locations in which they can operate. But there’s been one holdup: in order to discuss, reference, or share any of the content held within SharePoint, users have had to rely on a separate communications platform. Either email, Skype for Business, or some other communication platform is required to connect the dots.
How Microsoft Teams Uses SharePoint
With the release of Microsoft Teams, SharePoint is being leveraged to provide a user-friendly, front-end experience to collaborate in a one-stop shop environment. Microsoft Teams takes a mashup of different Office 365 applications and includes real-time media and persistent chat at its core to simplify organizations’ daily interactions.
Thanks to Microsoft Teams, end-users can now access their digital library, share it with team members, and discuss it, all in one place.
SharePoint: The Backbone of Microsoft Teams
Currently, out of the five common usage scenarios for SharePoint (as listed above), Microsoft Teams overlaps directly with two – Team Sites and File Sharing & Storage.
When setting up a channel using Microsoft Teams, Teams will automatically create a Team Site, which is enabled/”run” by SharePoint. This site is a document library for all things shared when using Teams. Organizations are now able to leverage the Team Sites application while also referencing and sharing stored documents within a conversation. Teams can also be used to surface SharePoint document libraries and news items, as well as show other SharePoint content as a website.
You can also still utilize SharePoint on its own to view/restore previous file versions, recover files from the recycle bin, and define content (lists, pages, etc.).
As Microsoft Teams adoption grows, more functionality will be added and the ability to operate solely in Teams for things like content management and search will become native capabilities. While Microsoft Teams streamlines many team functions, it capitalizes on existing SharePoint benefits and features, making SharePoint the true backbone of Microsoft Teams advantages.
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