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Teams launch at London Tech Week: embrace the chaos?

By Microsoft UK, Enterprise Team on 07/07/2017

Filed under Media & Cable

london tech week panel

When you think of how your team works together, do you feel as though you’re doing aerial acrobatics pulling five “g’s” in a high-performance jet fighter? Or does it feel like chaos? Regardless of what your industry, the way that we work together is changing because of digital technology. In fact, employees are on twice as many teams than they were five years ago. The amount of time employees spend engaged in “collaborative” work – in meetings, on phone calls or answering emails – has increased by about 50%. Perhaps even more significantly, this kind of work now takes up 80% or more of employees’ time.

These changes in the way businesses function – the way our teams function, really – can make work feel a bit chaotic (or like a high-speed ride). It’s the theme we explored in-depth during London Tech Week at our UK launch for Microsoft Teams. We brought together Teams product experts with thought leaders and customers to discuss the challenges facing modern teams, and the ways that businesses can embrace the chaos to take their productivity to new heights.

Former Red Arrow and RAF fighter pilot, Justin Hughes, talked about the challenge of tackling a difficult objective in the midst of ambiguity, and the importance of teams to hire equally for aptitude and attitude. Claire Burge, CEO of “This is Productivity”, applied the idea of chaos theory to the modern workplace and how having a system that allows you to embrace diversity in work and communication styles can actually make you more productive.

Our own product experts walked through the functionality and benefits of Teams. Dan Fernandez Cao, Digital Workplace TSP, for instance, provided a scenario for how Teams was used to organize a London office move: bringing together all the people and apps that the Teams organizer need to make the move a success.

Bhrighu Sareen, General Manager Microsoft Teams Ecosystem and Developer Platform, drilled down a bit further, showcasing not just the technology, but the but the business benefits of Teams. He showed how this chat-based workspace is built for the way people and groups naturally communicate today communicating in the moment and keeping everyone in the know, and the fact that it is also integrated with Office 365 makes Teams a real hub for partnership and teamwork. Bhrighu showed how customisable it is for each team, allowing organisations to tailor their workspaces to include content and capabilities that work best for the team and situation. He also talked about the trust built into Teams, leveraging the enterprise-level security and compliance features that are part of Office 365.

We moved beyond the demo to hear from actual customers, from very different industries, who were able to give real-world insight into how Teams is helping to transform their businesses. Arno Nel and Ryan Speers, from the market-leading global professional services and consulting firm, Avanade, discussed their experience with Teams. They’ve embedded Teams as a key collaboration and productivity tool within their toolset that they’re leveraging in their internal processes and with customer deliveries as well. Given that they’re part of a virtual team spread out across the globe and covering a variety of practice areas, Teams (with features such as OneNote and persistent chat) allows them to be agile in their approach to projects.

Although he’s in a completely different industry, Tom Brooks from Unilever found similar benefits from Teams. Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer goods manufacturers with over 400 hundred brands from soaps to soups. As a big proponent of “working out loud” Tom talked about how Teams has helped foster collaboration. As Tom puts it “Teams is the place where you work with people you know to get things done.”
We closed out the day with a lively panel discussion from many of the day’s presenters who answered questions from the audience on the future of work and what makes the “Art of Teams” possible.

For those of you who missed London Tech Week, here are some of the highlights:

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For more on how chat-based collaboration will reshape the way we work together, download our new ebook “The Ultimate Guide to Chat-Based Tools”.

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