Ever since it was invented in the 1960s, electronic mail or email has changed the way we communicate. For small business owners, corresponding with clients has become easier and important messages are not affected by the usual delays of snail mail.
None can deny that emailing has great benefits; with the click of a button, you can instantly send a message to anyone with an email address and you can get hold of incoming messages anywhere in the world using your smartphone, tablet, or PC. Feedback from customers is also easy and quick! .All it takes is an internet connection.
Email is also a cost-effective way of advertising a company’s products and services. Not only are you saving money on stamps and materials, you also contribute to the greening of the earth since you don’t print flyers, brochures, newsletters, and other sales materials.
Unfortunately, email’s success is also its downfall. Office 365 consultant Luise Freese and Tony Redmond, an independent consultant who specializes in Microsoft collaborative technology, said that some businesses can’t work with email for the following reasons:
Those emerging in the workforce today find email difficult to work with in a productive way for these reasons:
- Email conversations can degenerate into multiple threads when new recipients are added to the message headers. This can make it harder to track what’s going on.
- Email normally includes the text of earlier messages in a thread when users reply to it. This means that mail servers use up many unnecessary text and graphics. A simple “Yes” or “No” reply to a question could include several megabytes of replies.
- It’s hard to keep all team members and stakeholders on track because the Reply/Reply to All/Forward/CC/BCC buttons aren’t always used.
- Email is often misused as a document management tool. This is because many users send copies of the current version, drop the file into the Outlook folder, and move it to the Outlook archive, thus creating different versions of the document.
- Email can be tedious if the user has to send one to every employee in an organization.
- People who use email expect an immediate response, which can be distracting and can interrupt work.
Enter Microsoft Teams — a unified communications platform or group chat software that brings members of a team together in a shared workspace where they can meet, chat, share files, and use business apps. Redmond says this platform has certain advantages over email, which are:
- Teams allows users to create their own groups and invite people whom they like to work or collaborate with in different channels.
- It helps users communicate effectively since all collaboration tools are in one place. This chat tool also has other apps so users can make a video or audio call, work on files, and schedule a meeting or share a task with others.
- Users can add third-party tools to channels like Trello and cloud storage platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox.
- They have access to a lot of emoticons, gifs, and stickers to express themselves creatively while chatting.
- Conversations and documents are in one place instead of multiple mailboxes, which makes the information that users need easy to find.
- Searching, backup, and collaboration are a breeze since each channel has its own file storage. There’s no need to scroll endlessly to locate a certain file thanks to File tabs.
- Old documents that you previously shared with a team are saved. Files remain stored in a SharePoint site, so you won’t lose them even if you delete a channel.
Freese and Redmond admit that Teams won’t replace email, but it can reduce email traffic — the reason it’s recommended for small- to medium-sized teams that often communicate electronically. With the massive numbers seen above it’s no question that our inboxes fill up quickly. Using Teams keeps many informal or quick-shot messages from cluttering up higher priority messages meant for email.
Want to learn more about Teams and how it can help your business? Reach out to the friendly experts of Capstone IT. We specialize in managed IT services, and our reliable IT support team is always at your service. Many SMBs in the Rochester and Buffalo areas come to us for help. Call us today to learn what you’re missing!
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