The Top 5 Microsoft Collaboration Tools That You Must Be Familiar With

The Top 5 Microsoft Collaboration Tools That You Must Be Familiar With

Many collaboration tools are available in the Microsoft Office 365 suite as well as its on-premises counterparts. Microsoft Teams was just announced at the end of 2016, but SharePoint has been around since 2001, so IT and business teams have many options for communicating within the Microsoft ecosystem.
What tools are most relevant to IT workers’ responsibilities? Let’s focus on five commonly used utilities that you will likely be familiar with in your new IT career.
1. Skype for Business
Skype for Business is a rebranded version of Lync (Microsoft’s former platform for unified communication). It is available in both cloud-based (Skype for Business Online), and on-prem deployments (Skype for Business Server). Each has its own pros and cons.
“Skype for Business” is an evolution of Lync.
Users can use the features of video conferencing, chat, and voice calls on either version. The Online version is easier to manage because Microsoft controls the underlying technologies (e.g. servers, operating system, etc.). Server allows for tighter integration with existing IT assets, such as private branch exchange phone system and persistent chat access to Video Interop Server.
2. Microsoft Teams
Teams was launched last year as a competitor to the popular business chat apps Slack or HipChat. It’s a cross-platform app that can be used on both desktop and mobile clients. Additionally, it integrates with important tools like OneNote, SharePoint, and Skype for Business.
Teams supports the import of Office documents. These documents can be accessed directly from the user interface. This eliminates the need for switching between different applications. It is important that Teams matches the support of its key competitors in animated GIFs and stickers, as well as stock memes that can easily be added to the chat.
3. SharePoint
SharePoint is one of the oldest Microsoft-branded collaboration tool, dating back to 2001. It is available in both cloud-based as well as on-prem versions, just like Skype for Business.
SharePoint’s capabilities are more precise than Skype for Business and Teams. SharePoint is primarily used to create intranets or company-specific websites that can be used for project and content management. SharePoint Framework and other recent innovations have made web application development easier than ever. This has opened up the possibility of a better user experience on both desktop and mobiledevices.
4. Outlook
Outlook has been around since 1997. It isn’t considered a collaboration platform, but rather an email client and calendar. Outlook has many useful features that make it more than just a tool for sorting messages in an inbox.
Public folders are an excellent example. You can set them up to be shared with the entire domain (e.g. all students in a university network) as well as with specific user groups. It can be used to create a message board or calendar and is easy to access via the Outlook interface.
5. Office Online
Imagine if core Office apps like Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint could be used directly from a web browser and not from a desktop program. Office Online is a lightweight alternative to traditional Office.
Multiple users can collaborate on the same document regardless of whether they are using Office Online or the traditional versions. A similar feature is available in Office Online for those who are familiar with Apple iWork and Google Drive’s collaboration capabilities.
New Horizons Computer Learning Centers will help you to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to master the many collaboration options within the Microsoft universe.