16th February 2018

By Lyndon Evans, Microsoft Partner Director at GCI.

I recently attended the Microsoft Tech Summit at the NEC in Birmingham and was amazed at the interest in Microsoft Teams. One observation I made was the fact that whilst everyone is talking about Teams at a technical level, very few are discussing it at a business level.

One presentation in particular caught my eye. It discussed how someone’s generation acts as an indicator for their technology preferences.When my career began, writing memorandums was the norm. In 2018 life is very different; I have 3 digitally native children who prefer video communication over the written word. When you take this into account you can see why Microsoft Teams was introduced, supporting a mixture of workers in a single environment. Add in the ability to work remotely and on mobile, and you can see why the growth of virtual teams has exploded.

So, if my preference is to write instructions in Word and Excel but the younger members of my team work visually using the Highlighter and Pen tools, we need a platform that supports this. Built on Office 365, Teams amalgamates the familiar tools and apps into a single platform. Imagine a Project team working within Teams, having channels for each project and thus having a single repository for everything. Need to collaborate with other team members? Just use the chat window around a document to leave notes, ask questions or launch a meeting with colleagues.

Let me give you an example of how we use it at GCI. Our Marketing team are currently organising several events. We have created a “Team” and a number of sub channels that contain our work for each individual event. We also use shared Excel spreadsheets to track attendees. All of this information is in one channel, accessible from any device – a game changer! I no longer have to hunt for files, worry about version control or paste large documents through emails; I can just go into the appropriate channel and work. Internal IT hasn’t had to reconfigure any systems and we haven’t done any advanced training. Plus, if you have Office 365, Teams is free!

At GCI we are led by Adrian Thirkill – a personable CEO, who embraces change whenever possible. Below is an email that Adrian recently sent to all staff:

“All of you please download Microsoft Teams, log onto it with your normal password and have some fun collaborating, learning from and learning with your colleagues and peers across all areas. Owners of departments – please set up your teams and use it. Onwards and upwards, and forever faster”

Embracing Teams is probably one of the lowest-risk IT strategies on the market today; it augments the services you have in Office 365 and, with the power of the Microsoft Cloud, adds significant value to them.

Want to see how Teams and other Microsoft technologies can transform your business? Take a look at our upcoming events:

“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near” 

Jack Welch, Former CEO of GE


Lyndon Evans is Microsoft Partner Director at GCI

Lyndon is a passionate IT evangelist who has focused exclusively on developing Microsoft UC and Cloud Solutions for the last 10 years. He holds P-Seller status with Microsoft, helping to articulate the benefits of technology and its deployment. In his current role, Lyndon works closely with Microsoft and GCI’s Sales teams, orchestrating and directing a sales focus built around Microsoft’s Productivity, Azure and Cloud platforms. Lyndon is also a Fellow of the British Computer Society and holds an MSc in Computing.