Microsoft Teams, your digital Swiss army knife. But do you really need it?

9 March 2020, Retail, Wholesale, Manufacturing, Real Estate, 3 min leestijd

Microsoft Teams is amazingly popular. At the end of last year, the collaboration platform had already attracted 20 million active daily users. According to Sander de Jong, this popularity is partly justified, but sometimes going for a different product may be the smart option. Why? Find out in this blog.

Swiss army knife

I often hear people say: ‘We need to do something with Microsoft Teams.’ Microsoft Teams is a means, not an end in itself. Let me first say: it is a great product. But that does not mean it is always the right product. I like to compare Microsoft Teams to a Swiss army knife. A Swiss army knife's main strength is that it combines many different tools in a single piece of equipment. That is what makes it so useful for survival trips or long nature walks. However, if you need razor-sharp scissors or a good ballpoint pen, there are much better alternatives than what you get with the Swiss army knife. The same goes for Microsoft Teams. If you are looking for a tool for task-based collaboration, use a tool like Microsoft Planner. An Office365 group or a SharePoint site will probably meet your needs. If you need a wide range of tools, Microsoft Teams may be the right solution.


First identify the requirement(s)

Microsoft Teams is essentially a collaboration platform. To start with, this means there should be a requirement for collaboration. If this requirement is not present or is very limited, Microsoft Teams is not the appropriate solution. So first identify your requirements. If you want to collaborate, share data and ensure that people can easily collaborate on files both internally and externally on any device from anywhere, Microsoft Teams is the perfect platform that will really add value for your teams. If you already have a team site in SharePoint, if your organization employs more than 2,500 people or if it is not possible to give all team members access to Microsoft Teams, go for a different solution.

Technical component

Another factor is that many people are not aware of the technical consequences of using Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams includes Office 365 Groups functionality, and that has certain consequences. I also often hear: ‘We don't want to use SharePoint, but we are interested in Microsoft Teams.’ You should realise that when you start working with Microsoft Teams, you get SharePoint in the bargain. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does have implications that should be taken into account during the decision-making process. Microsoft Teams is a great tool and often a great choice. We will be happy to help you with its implementation and deployment. But first we would like to help you decide whether it is the best solution for your requirements. After all, what a surgeon really needs is a scalpel, not a Swiss army knife.

Check out the infographic about Microsoft Teams.