Thanks to various technologies – such as cloud services, computers and mobile devices, etc. – the work of solicitors and legal professionals has become more efficient and more productive. With disruptive events like the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the legal sector to re-evaluate how they function, there has been a significant increase in professionals in the sector adopting solutions to help them centralise and streamline their work. One such solution that has had a lot of popularity in recent years in Microsoft Teams.
The popularity of Teams is not just isolated in the legal sector. We spoke with an IT support company based in London, TechQuarters, about the features and benefits of the platform. The business IT support London based companies have received from TechQuarters has in fact been tied to Teams for a while now – they rely on it for both internal and external communications, and it is central to their productivity.
What is Included in Microsoft Teams?
Teams, as many people will know by now, is an application that offers unified communication, and extensive integration with the Microsoft 365 suite. Microsoft launched the product in 2017, as an enterprise messaging and video calling solution, and since then it has evolved into a complete collaboration platform. According to TechQuarters, it played a crucial role in many organisations during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it enabled organisations to continue to work and communicate remotely while they adapted to this new mode of work. So, exactly what capabilities does Microsoft Teams have?
- Meetings & Conferencing – Teams’ most notable feature is its various video communication modes. For instance, video meetings and webinars in Teams can be hosted with up to 1,000 active participants, and 20,000 view-only/listen-only participants. Video calls can be launched from a chat with up to 20 participants. There is also the Live Event mode, which supports up to 10,000 attendees.
- Telephony – Teams also supports Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling and traditional PBX calling. With Teams Calling, a virtual business phone numbers can be assigned to user’s accounts.
- Chat – The enterprise messaging features of Teams are widely and frequently used by businesses. Particularly during periods of remote working brought on by COVID-19, many organisations relied on instant messaging for their day-to-day communications.
- File Sharing & Management – Teams offers a perfect system for file sharing and management. Within a team, channels can be created, and within channels there is a dedicated files section that is only accessible to channel members. This means that file sharing can be carried out privately and securely.
- Calendaring – Teams also features a calendar that synchronises with Outlook, Microsoft’s email client, thus offering centralised schedule management within the platform.
Benefits of Microsoft Teams for Solicitors
On paper, Microsoft Teams is an extensive and powerful solution for business, but in order for it to be leveraged effectively, it is important for organisations to understand how they can use it to the best effect. We discussed this with TechQuarters who, between their own experience with Teams and their experience providing IT support for solicitors, knew a lot about its applications for legal companies.
Centralised Work Hub
The first thing to point out is that Microsoft Teams works perfectly as a hub for work. It can be integrated with cloud storage, allowing users to access files directly within the platform; users can schedule both internal and external calls and meetings, etc.
There are lots of different forms of communication that solicitors (and professionals of all sectors) use. From instant message, to telephony and (of late) video meetings. As a unified communications platform, Teams makes the management of one’s communications much simpler.
Great for Distributed Work
With work becoming increasingly distributed, thanks to the ease with which we can stay connected with people all around the world – and, of course, the revelation that remote and hybrid work does in fact work, and can be highly successful – more and more firms are working with distributed workforces. Teams is perfectly placed to make the management of distributed teams as easy as it is possible to be.