Diary of a Tech Novice, by Tess Parsons-Broome, Marketing Executive
Entry 1: There’s no ‘I’ in Teams
Firstly, a confession: I’m a bit of a technophobe. So, you may be wondering why I’m working for an MSP! Well, long story short; after working in consumer marketing within the children’s toys and games industry since 2010, I made the jump to B2B marketing this year and seized the opportunity to work for Select Technology. An exciting, but also daunting prospect. I seriously needed to brush up on my IT speak and technical knowledge! Luckily for me, the IT experts that work here have been great at sharing their tech genius and teaching me all about this new world.
In my previous working life, I of course used all the usual forms of IT: desktops, mobiles, PCs, Macs, as well as fancy systems such as Cognos 10, Oracle, AS400. I created budget trackers and marketing schedules in Excel, built brand plans on PowerPoint, trying (and often failing) to present these via wireless connections. The list goes on. Anyhow, as an ‘end-user’, or as I like to call it, a ‘tech muggle’, I thought I was quite proficient when it came to utilising IT to get the best possible outcome in my work; however, I have to admit that it wasn’t often that I asked myself, ‘how could IT help me to do my job better?’.
A whole new world…of technology
Since entering this new industry my eyes have been opened to a whole host of technology and intuitive tools at my fingertips that I never knew existed. I have embraced technology in a whole new way, and I can honestly say it really has changed my (working) life. A thought crossed my mind: I can’t be the only end-user to feel like this. Hence this ‘diary’ has been created with the purpose of sharing the new things I have learned, in a fun and jargon-free way, with the aim of passing my new-found knowledge on to you other tech muggles!
One example is my discovery of the wonders of MS Office 365. I always thought MS Office simply consisted of Word, Excel and PowerPoint and a few other obscure programs that I didn’t really need to know about or use. How wrong I was!
Life’s a breeze with Teams
I’m still getting to grips with some programs, but one I have (almost) mastered is Teams. Teams is the ultimate way to communicate with colleagues and even people outside your organisation. It allows you to not only ‘IM’ (instant message) with your colleagues to get quick answers, you can also share files, create working groups where you can communicate together on a project, sharing ideas and notes. Its easy functionality saves the need for endless back and forth emails clogging up your inbox. If you’re working remotely, you can also have a virtual face-to-face or voice call on the platform, saving the need for phone calls or meetings in person, and you can even share your screen. What’s more is that Teams is completely secure and backs-up all conversations, files and group activity so if you can’t remember something that was discussed or you want to refer back, you can easily search and find what you need. There’s a mobile app too, so if you’re out an about you can still receive IMs or chat whilst on the go.
Ultimately, it acts as a hub for all communication and I believe it is pretty much a necessity in any modern business. I have loved being able to use it to make my working day that much easier. For instance, I was working on a presentation with 2 colleagues, Nick and Russ. Within the ‘Team’ we exchanged notes and could work on the presentation simultaneously as a saved file. I didn’t need to trawl back through emails trying to find attachments or notes on the subjects the guys wanted to have included. Even when it came to running through the presentation, Nick was working from home, but we could easily have a Teams voice call with each of us having access to the presentation without needing to send attachments or share files beforehand.
So, if you have it, start saving time and use it now! My tip is next time you’re working on a project, set up a Teams and reap the benefits for you and your colleagues. Best of all there’s a FREE version, so even if you don’t have the rest of the MS Office 365 package you can still download and use it. Download it here.
That’s all from me for now, but I’ll be back with a new diary entry soon. Next time, I will explore SharePoint and how you can use this for more than just file sharing…