Teams and Sharepoint: Modern Communication Solutions for Your Digital Workplace
With the smart solutions of Microsoft 365 you optimize the collaboration of your employees
According to a forecast by Gartner, the market for collaboration tools will grow by more than 17 percent year-on-year in 2021. Demand for intelligent, cloud-based applications for efficient and secure collaboration is increasing every year. Not least, the global pandemic is raising awareness of the relevance of flexible, reliable, and intelligent communication and collaboration solutions.
Microsoft provides the comprehensive Microsoft 365 application package precisely for this purpose. Microsoft 365 contains numerous tools for cloud-based collaboration in groups with customers or partners. Especially in document management and communication, the combination of Microsoft Teams and SharePoint stands out. This article explains why the two applications are among the leading collaboration solutions and how you can use the advantages to increase efficiency in your company.
What Is Microsoft Teams?
What Is SharePoint?
SharePoint is Microsoft's leading solution for modern document management and collaboration. As an integral part of Microsoft 365, the tool provides you with a platform where you can manage web pages, libraries and lists together with other users. But also like Microsoft Teams, the range of functions can be expanded with third-party apps and your own developments. This makes SharePoint a flexible and vibrant foundation for your company's intranet.
SharePoint's user interface provides you with a clear navigation area that allows you to store files in a structured way. With SharePoint you create, manage and structure your documents efficiently. In addition, the platform includes a release and access management of your documents, which enables collaborative editing of files. Thanks to the history and versioning of documents, you can use SharePoint to view the version history within the file storage and also restore it if necessary.
Comparison Between Teams and Sharepoint
At first glance, it is noticeable that Microsoft Teams and SharePoint have a different information architecture. Accordingly, SharePoint is based on a hierarchy that does not grant the same rights to every participant. So while one user can only view the content in the file storage, another is authorized to edit the documents. Teams has no hierarchies; all participants can perform the same functions within the platform. Every member of a Teams channel is free to read and write their messages.
Teams is thus ideally suited for integrating individual functions from SharePoint, especially when it comes to sharing files in Teams channels. Technically, document management in Teams is nothing more than a document library integrated from SharePoint. Whenever you create a new team, a new SharePoint site is also created in the background. SharePoint allows you to share and edit relevant files simultaneously while sharing in Teams.
The automatic creation of a SharePoint site is also accompanied by an additional standardized folder where all the files of the workgroup are stored. This creates a clear file storage and document collection where you can quickly find important information. In view of the comprehensive integration, Microsoft Teams is thus an extension of SharePoint that offers numerous advantages over a pure communication tool or a pure document library. With the help of a previously set synchronization, document storage is alternatively also possible in OneDrive.
Combination of Teams and SharePoint
The integration of SharePoint in Teams is characterized by the fact that participants can access important information and resources flexibly without switching platforms. This allows files to be made available in the context of the respective team channel. This means that important information is always available directly in the appropriate chat or the current video conference.
The connection of the two tools also proves to be extremely useful in an indirect way. For example, a Teams channel in which all employees of a company participate can be connected to the document library for "employee information". This creates additional links to resources that, on the other hand, would have to be searched for in a roundabout way on the intranet. This also applies to documents from private OneDrive folders. Selected content can thus be quickly shared and made available to other users in teams.
In addition, document access is also accessible on the go through the Microsoft 365 app for mobile devices. Via SharePoint News, you can see new posts as well as current conversations in your Teams channels, participate in discussions and work flexibly from anywhere with a stable internet connection.
Leverage Your It Governance for Microsoft Teams Sustainably and Efficiently
In addition to efficient collaboration, secure handling of documents and information is also essential. You run significant security and data protection risks if you keep the default settings when implementing Microsoft Teams in your IT environment. With Teams, all users have the same access and editing rights to exchanged documents. Even with external access, editing, deleting, or releasing files is unrestricted.
To ensure that your employees can work securely in teams, creating a governance plan is a good idea. Ideally, your governance plan should include individual policies for the following areas:
- Classification of Teams and documents
- Lifecycle of teams (groups) and content
- Rights to create content, folders, and groups
- Naming rules
- Guest access
A challenge for the governance of your IT environment, especially for Teams and SharePoint, is to find a happy medium between freedoms and restrictions. But with a few tips and tricks, there's nothing standing in the way of your structured and consistent governance.
An important step for your governance plan is the company-wide classification of content. At Arvato Systems, we recommend tackling classification early in the project. Use descriptive and understandable terms to achieve high user acceptance. Lifecycle also plays a crucial role in your governance. For example, define the lifetime of guest access to prevent unwanted external access. Learn more about governance challenges with collaboration and communication tools in our virtual communication webinar series. Our speakers will give you exciting tips and advice on how to strategically implement your governance plan for Microsoft Teams and SharePoint.
Better Together: Teams and Sharepoint Complement Each Other Perfectly
Although Microsoft Teams and SharePoint are individual tools within the Microsoft 365 offering, they are best understood as a technical interplay. Ultimately, Teams integrates SharePoint's file storage and adds extensive capabilities for communication between departments and employees. Also, the link to OneDrive allows for uncomplicated sharing of previously private documents. This connection enables a noticeably more efficient use of resources and thus facilitates collaboration among employees and external stakeholders.
The simple, automated functions and structures of Teams and SharePoint allow you to use the tools intuitively. Would you like to offer your employees the top combination of Teams and SharePoint for efficient collaboration? We at Arvato Systems will be happy to advise you on your individual solution. Thanks to our long-standing Microsoft partnership, we have the technical expertise and the necessary know-how to implement the applications in your infrastructure and make them available for your digital workplace.