What is Microsoft Teams?

When it comes to choosing user collaboration tools, Microsoft Teams emerges as a powerhouse, transforming the way teams communicate and work together. This guide aims to provide IT professionals and users with a better understanding of Microsoft Teams, covering its features, benefits, integration, plans, and pricing.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a collaborative platform that brings together chat, video conferencing, file storage, and application integration in a single hub. Launched in 2017, Microsoft Teams provides a comprehensive set of tools to facilitate teamwork, from instant messaging and video conferencing to document collaboration and integration with third-party applications.

Teams is a part of the Microsoft 365 suite, integrating seamlessly with other Microsoft productivity tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It is designed to bring teams together, enabling them to work together efficiently regardless of geographical locations.

At its core, Microsoft Teams is structured around channels, where team members can engage in real-time conversations, share files, and collaborate on projects. Whether for small businesses or large enterprises, Microsoft Teams has become a central component in modern workplace communication, providing a digital space where teams can connect, communicate, and collaborate in a streamlined and organised manner.

Features of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is packed with a robust set of features that make it a versatile collaboration platform. Here’s an overview of the key features:

Chat and messaging:

Microsoft Teams facilitates real-time chat and messaging, allowing users to communicate one-on-one or in groups. Conversations are organised into channels, streamlining discussions around specific topics.

Video conferencing:

Teams provide high-quality video conferencing, enabling face-to-face meetings with participants inside or outside the organisation. Features like screen sharing enhance collaboration during virtual meetings.

File sharing and collaboration:

The platform integrates seamlessly with SharePoint, OneDrive, and other Microsoft 365 apps, making file sharing and collaboration easy. Co-authoring documents in real-time fosters efficient teamwork.

Integration with Microsoft 365 apps:

Teams is deeply integrated with Microsoft’s productivity apps. Users can access Word, Excel, and PowerPoint directly within the platform, enhancing productivity and reducing the need to switch between applications.

Customisation with Tabs and Connectors:

Teams allow customisation through tabs and connectors. Tabs provide quick access to frequently used files or apps, while connectors enable integration with third-party services like Trello or GitHub.

Security and compliance:

Microsoft Teams prioritises security and compliance, offering features like data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and compliance with industry standards. This ensures a secure environment for sensitive information.

AI-powered features:

AI-driven capabilities, such as background noise suppression during calls and suggested replies in chat, enhance the user experience and streamline communication.

woman communicating with laptop

Benefits of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams offers a whole host of benefits, making it a preferred choice for businesses looking for a collaboration platform that ticks all the boxes. Some of the key advantages of using Microsoft Team are:

1. Better collaboration:

Teams work better in a collaborative environment, breaking down silos and enabling seamless communication among team members, regardless of their physical location.

2. Improved productivity:

Integration with Microsoft 365 apps, real-time co-authoring, and efficient communication tools contribute to increased productivity and streamlined workflows.

3. Centralised information hub:

Teams serves as a centralised hub for discussions, files, and applications, reducing the need to switch between multiple tools and promoting a more organised work environment.

4. Flexibility and mobility:

With the availability of mobile apps, Microsoft Teams provides flexibility, allowing users to stay connected and collaborate on the go.

5. Cost-efficiency:

As part of the Microsoft 365 suite, Teams offers a cost-effective solution, bundling communication and collaboration tools in one platform.

Microsoft Teams Integration

Microsoft Teams is designed to be a versatile collaboration platform, and one of its strengths lies in its ability to integrate seamlessly with a wide array of third-party applications and services. This integration enhances the functionality of Teams, allowing users to centralise their workflows and access various tools within the Teams interface.

Here’s an overview of Microsoft Team integration:

App Store:

  • Teams features an App Store where users can explore and install a variety of apps directly within the platform.
  • The App Store includes apps for project management, productivity, communication, and more.
  • Users can find and integrate apps that best suit their specific needs!

Teams App


  • Tabs in Microsoft Teams provide a way to pin and access specific content and apps directly within a channel.
  • Tabs can be used to display documents, web pages, dashboards, or other relevant content.
  • This feature ensures quick access to frequently used tools and resources without leaving the Teams interface.


  • Connectors in Teams enable integration with external services and applications.
  • Users can set up connectors to receive notifications and updates from third-party tools directly within their Teams channels.
  • Popular connectors include GitHub, Trello, Jira, and many others, fostering a connected and streamlined workflow.


  • Teams supports the integration of bots, which are AI-powered applications that can automate tasks and provide information within the chat interface.
  • Bots can be used for various purposes, such as scheduling, information retrieval, or task management.

Microsoft 365 Integrations:

  • As part of the Microsoft 365 suite, Teams seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft applications.
  • Users can access and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents directly within Teams, promoting a unified collaboration experience.

Power Automate:

  • Formerly known as Microsoft Flow, Power Automate allows users to create automated workflows between Teams and other applications.
  • This integration enables the automation of repetitive tasks, improving efficiency and reducing manual effort.

Power BI:

  • Integration with Power BI allows users to embed interactive reports and dashboards directly within Teams channels.
  • This feature facilitates data-driven decision-making and collaboration around important insights.

Custom apps and development:

  • Teams provides tools and resources for developers to create custom apps and integrations.
  • Businesses can build tailored solutions that meet specific business requirements and integrate them seamlessly into Teams.

Third-party integrations:

  • Teams supports a wide range of third-party integrations, allowing users to connect their favourite tools and services.
  • This includes integrations with project management tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, file storage solutions, and more.

Microsoft Teams Plans and Pricing

Microsoft Teams offers both free and paid plans. The free version provides essential features, while the paid plans, part of the Microsoft 365 suite, unlock advanced capabilities.

Microsoft Teams

Group calling for up to 60 minutes and 100 participants
Unlimited chat with friends and family
Collaborative planning with tasks and polling
5 GB of cloud storage
Data encryption for meetings, chats, calls, and files

Microsoft Teams Essentials

£3.30 user/month*
Unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours
Up to 300 participants per meeting
10 GB of cloud storage per user
Phone and web support
Unlimited chat with coworkers and customers
File sharing, tasks, and polling
Data encryption for meetings, chats, calls, and files
Live captions in meetings (English)3
Microsoft Whiteboard
Hundreds of collaborative apps
Collaborative annotations in Teams meetings, so participants can contribute to shared content
Team meetings recordings with transcripts
Standard security

*Correct as of December 2023

For more advanced Teams’ capabilities, businesses will need to choose either the Microsoft 365 Business Basic or Business Standard, which are Microsoft 365 plans that include Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams stands as a robust solution for modern workplace collaboration, offering a range of features, seamless integrations, and flexibility. Whether you opt for the free version or a paid plan, Teams empowers teams to work together efficiently, driving productivity and fostering a connected workplace.

Ready to explore Microsoft Teams? Visit our website or contact our experts to discover how Teams can revolutionise your business communication and collaboration.

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