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Five Ways We’ve Improved External Collaboration with Microsoft Teams

When you’re cooking, you want to have everything you need close at hand to make your task easier. What if everything wasn’t close at hand? Let’s say your pantry was in your basement. That would mean that every time you needed a box of pasta or a can of peas, you’d have to walk downstairs to get what you need. You can make it work, but it takes longer to do what you need to do. That’s what it was like for our Marketing Manager and outside consultant before they started working in Microsoft Teams. 

Working in Google Drive Added Steps for Our Marketing Manager

We’ve been working with an external marketing consultant for about a year now. She does a lot of writing for us and has helped us to create and document our marketing plan. She has a Google business account, so we’ve been using Google Drive to share and work on documents. 

Google docs, sheets and slides have some really good collaboration tools and our Marketing Manager was already familiar with these Google apps so there wasn’t a big learning curve for him to get started. However, because XPERTECHS uses Microsoft 365, every time he wanted to work on a marketing project with our consultant, he had to log into a different account and go to a different workspace. It worked but it wasn’t very efficient. 

Marketing Consultant Now Works in Teams as a Guest

As we’ve been helping more of our clients get up and running with Microsoft Teams, our Marketing Manager thought about moving collaboration with our consultant over to Teams. She was eager to give it a try so he added her as Team Member with “Guest Access”. 

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the switchover, but the outcome is already positive. Now our Marketing Manager doesn’t need to leave his regular workspace to collaborate with our consultant, and our consultant feels more like she’s a part of the XPERTECHS team.  

Here are five ways that we’ve improved collaboration with Teams:

1. Share and Edit Documents with Consistency

XPERTECHS is a Microsoft based company so using Teams provides consistency whether we’re working in Word, Excel or PowerPoint. We can track changes, comment and invite other members of the team for feedback or approvals. 

BONUS: Now we don’t have to worry about Marketing documents getting backed up because they’re now stored on our SharePoint environment in the Microsoft cloud. 

2. Increased Visibility

Now that Marketing documents are in Teams, it’s easy for other people in the company to view work in progress, upcoming plans, and make suggestions for future content ideas. 

3. Improved Project Management 

The Planner app integrated with Teams helps everyone know what the consultant is currently working on and when it’s due. She also uses it to assign us tasks like bringing our attention to a new blog post that needs approval.

4. Increased Interaction

We still use email because our consultant isn’t logged into Teams all the time, but we’re also using the messaging app. This is great when we’re going back and forth about a piece of content that we’re working on and it speeds up the process because we can get answers faster.

5. Super Quick Communications

Because we can start a call, online meeting or screenshare with a click, we can get on with our work without a lot of scurrying around to get dialed or logged into a separate meeting platform. 

Getting Started with Guests in Teams

Before you can start adding people to your Teams in Microsoft 365, you’ll need to make sure that everything is configured correctly. There are limitations to what Guests can do and not do, but you’ll also want to make sure that the access that you’re allowing is suitable for the job that they need to do. 

The person you’re adding will need to have a Microsoft account. In the case of our consultant, she had to create a free Microsoft account. If you need to collaborate with several people from another organization, you might want to look at “External Access” as opposed to “Guest Access”. 

IT Guidance and Support 

Here at XPERTECHS, it’s our job to help companies improve the way they’re using technology to improve operations and enable business success. If you’re not getting that from your IT support company, then we should talk. 

Contact us to schedule a meeting. 

Schedule a Meeting with XPERTECHS