Microsoft Teams is filled with tools that can bring your Microsoft 365 collaboration to the next level. With over 115 million daily active users, over 30% of Microsoft 365 users take advantage of Microsoft Teams, accounting for about 500,000 organizations. Between Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, it can be a challenge figuring out how to make the most of these platforms as part of your Microsoft 365 adoption journey.

Taking advantage of the different strengths that Microsoft Teams and SharePoint have can make both platforms equally valuable communication tools for your organization.

Teams is Built for Peer-to-Peer Collaboration

Organizations everywhere struggle with email overload. Full inboxes make it hard to capture priorities and guarantee rapid responses when needed. If your users have trouble distinguishing between organization-wide messages and urgent needs from their peers, both will struggle to get the attention they deserve.

Figure 1 – P2P Communication vs. Company News

Microsoft Teams is built for peer-to-peer communication within your organization. Chats empower your team to exchange information informally, focusing on the substance of the message and communicating it quickly. Beyond chat, the ability to audio or video chat over Microsoft Teams allows your organization to have a single hub for ad-hoc calls and organized meetings, alike.

SharePoint, especially its Communication and Hub sites, is optimized to support organization-wide messaging that large parts of the organization can access at their own pace. Those communicating through your SharePoint intranet can focus on big picture content that relate to large swaths of your organization, whether it is your entire team or smaller departments. This includes company news, in-depth policy, and more.

SharePoint Is for Visual Appeal, Teams is for Efficiency

Strong communication within your organization relies on choosing the right ways to spread your message. Digital collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint have different strengths that your organization can use to ensure that your organization stays informed and communicates effectively.

SharePoint makes it easy to make visually rich, web-based content that can make detailed messages easier to consume. There are four different types of SharePoint sites that serve are optimized for different use cases, and each can have many pages that build deeply upon each other, while compelling your users by embracing the platform’s branding and customization abilities. Tools like the Total Solutions 365 Adoption Toolkit and ShortPoint can add to SharePoint’s deep out-of-the-box capabilities, taking the platform even further for your organization.

Microsoft Teams is built around communicating quickly with members of your team. You are never more than a few clicks away from a chat or channel that you want to reach out to, and the simple messaging interface makes it easy to send content like videos, pictures, files, and more, without overwhelming the people reading your messages. Connectors take these tools even further, allowing individual teams to decide what outside content is important for the team to have direct access to, while reducing unnecessary bloat as much as possible.

Use Teams to Collaborate in Real Time

Talking with busy teammates can be a challenging thing. Sometimes, it is essential for a team to have a single conversation about an important decision, while there are other times when there are so many decisions to make in a single discussion that it can bring the entire team down.

Microsoft Teams is designed around synchronous communication, making it easy to interact with your team in real time, whether it is over video, audio, or chat. SharePoint optimizes for asynchronous communication, allowing your team to broadcast messages widely in many forms, ranging from simple news posts to more complex web pages.

Figure 3 – Office 365 Connectors

Both platforms pair well as communication tools for your organization. Just as a SharePoint page can encourage your organization to communicate within Teams, quick messages to your organization promoting new SharePoint content can remind your team to look at it. A strong internal communication plan optimizes the different strengths that Microsoft Teams and SharePoint offer.

Your Files Live in SharePoint

Microsoft 365 makes it easier than ever to access your data across platforms and devices. Microsoft Teams and SharePoint make it easy to directly access files that your organization relies on, providing you with flexibility when collaborating with your team.

SharePoint can serve as a hub for your team’s files, allowing you to upload directly to SharePoint, in addition to saving any files your team uploads on Microsoft Teams. Your data will live on SharePoint, but can be accessed or managed on either platform, giving your users flexibility where they collaborate with each other. Think of SharePoint as a permanent archive for all the data your organization needs to access and track over time.

Figure 4 – Surface SharePoint Files in Teams

To this end, SharePoint is built for users to navigate with the internet browser, making it easy to move between tabs and collaborative content. Microsoft Teams has a built-in browser that allows users to view files within the program or web application, in addition to being able to directly modify Microsoft Office files within either client. Both platforms make it easy to open Microsoft Office files on your computer or mobile device as well.

If you have questions on how to optimize your organization’s Office 365 usage and rollout either of these collaboration tools, contact us to schedule a time to talk our team!