Microsoft 365 Business is a cloud-based productivity solution comprised of more than a dozen applications that function together to create a seamless work experience. Among the suite’s most recognized tools are Teams and SharePoint. Despite the widespread use of these applications, many users are unclear on their relative strengths and weaknesses. This blog will help you learn how to most effectively leverage these solutions, both in standalone application and while working in concert.
What is SharePoint?
At its core, Microsoft SharePoint is a document storage application designed to help you create, manage and share content on intranet-style microsites. SharePoint excels in document management and as a repository for files, offering real-time document co-authoring via apps such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
But not just anyone can edit documents in SharePoint. One of the biggest advantages of the platform is that each microsite is owned by an assigned user (or IT). Site owners can set unique permissions by site, folder or document. Combined with Microsoft 365 Business’ built-in security framework, SharePoint is a solid choice for storing and sharing sensitive files.
Another advantage of SharePoint comes in the form of version control. SharePoint offers robust file history functionality, allowing users to easily browse and restore previous document versions. This feature is especially useful for collaborative documents and files that are frequently edited.
Overall, SharePoint is the perfect solution for users needing to store documents and assign specific read/write permissions. Now let’s take a look at Microsoft Teams …
Using Microsoft Teams
Teams can be summarized as the intersection where Microsoft 365’s various solutions come together, allowing users to communicate and collaborate within a single application interface. As suggested by the platform’s name, Teams is structured around customizable user groups that can be segmented by department, location, or any other commonality.
As a communication hub, Teams shines in its robust functionality. Within the platform, users have the ability to chat via text message, video chat, and audio call. Users can communicate one-on-one, in groups, or to an entire team. Need to get in touch with colleagues working from several different locations? Teams makes it easy to schedule and administer remote meetings.
But there’s more to Teams than just communication. The tool’s seamless integration with other Microsoft 365 applications make collaborating on shared projects a breeze. Each chat, team, and channel contains a file repository where documents can be uploaded and accessed according to assigned permissions. The end result? Users can easily edit documents from across the Microsoft 365 ecosystem without ever leaving the Teams window.
Better Together: MS Teams and SharePoint
SharePoint and Teams are powerful tools in their own right, but they truly shine when used in concert—though you may not always recognize when this is happening. What do we mean? Every team created in Microsoft Teams is linked to a system-created SharePoint where that Team’s files are actually stored. This design allows users to take advantage of SharePoint’s rich document management features without switching back and forth between the two applications.
Taking this a step further, SharePoint sites can be added as tabs in Teams, allowing users to see the feed from a SharePoint site from within the Teams interface. Need to create a dedicated tab for a single document? Teams’ SharePoint integration makes that easy. Have an important announcement to share with your users? SharePoint News allows you to publish content to both your SharePoint homepage and to specific teams.
Properly configured, Microsoft Teams can function as a user’s primary work hub, offering easy access to Microsoft 365’s various productivity applications from an easy-to-use interface. Combined with the application’s seamless integration with SharePoint, Teams is the ideal place to communicate and collaborate with colleagues from across the enterprise—and around the world.
Indeed, the applications that make up Microsoft 365 Business represent nothing less than a best-in-class workflow suite. With all this functionality, however, comes a significant learning curve.