A SharePoint developer's perspective on Microsoft Teams workshops

Read more


Jovita Elzbutaite, SharePoint Developer 

In July Silverside invited our friends, partners, and colleagues for two exclusive Office 365 workshops: Collaborate as a Team and Co-authoring documents. From our long experience of working with our customers, we see that most companies are struggling with the adoption of new technologies and new ways of working. Since many organizations are migrating to Office 365 products we see that IT department still has questions about the real effective use of Office 365. Hence, our senior consultant Sasja Beerendonk invited her colleagues and…
explore the new ways of collaborating together. Jovita Elzbutaite is a SharePoint developer in an Amsterdam-based company and she was one of the participants of the workshop “Collaborate as a Team. Jovita agreed to share her experience in participating in the workshop ‘’Collaborate as a team’’.

Q: Did your current employee already have Office 365 when you joined the company?
A: I started working in the period when the company just started working with Office 365, so I witnessed the migration process. They user SharePoint 2010 on premises before.

Q: So your company did a migration by the time you joined it, how was it?

A: It was a huge project because my organization has 40.000 users all over the world, so it was a big project. But I personally was involved in the SharePoint part. For example in The Netherlands they had SharePoint 2010 and they wanted to put Office 365 and I helped in this part, so I didn’t work in email migration, but I know that it was quite a difficult work in terms of making the end users to use the new platform. And migration is still going on, it is not finished because we use Office 365 in almost 40 countries, but we also have several countries that have their own Office 365 and now they need to migrate for their O 365 to ours, to have one global environment. Hence, the process is still in progress.

Q: Why do you think people are resistant to go to Teams?
A: Simply because it is a new tool, and they are so used to use emails that is difficult to change their habits.

Q: Being a SharePoint professional, what can you say about working in Teams? What is your opinion? Do you like this tool? Can you see the value?
A: Absolutely! The first positive thing I am seeing is that users can manage everything themselves, they don’t need to go to admin to ask to create a SharePoint site. They go to Teams instead, that is more user-friendly. They don’t need to do any complicated things. And this is easy, an advantage.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in Silverside’s workshop? 

A: Because I was curious about how other companies are using Microsoft Teams.

Q: Could you tell me what did you like about the workshop? And maybe you have also some suggestions on where we can improve it?
A: Well, the first impression was great! I loved the environment was very cozy. I like the way your colleagues accept and welcome people, this is very important for a person to feel comfortable, not stressed. And the big plus goes how it was organized.
The way how Sasja presented Teams was not for IT specialist, was for the end users, easy to follow and not too technical.
I see it as a very positive thing, you do not need to be an IT specialist to understand the workshop and so to understand how to work with Teams and why this tool is useful.
I would say that the workshop answers the question of why you should use Teams instead, what are the benefits. And the presentation was just great, the presenters did a good job and I liked the structure a lot. We had our hands on, to try to log in and use teams by ourselves within all team. So we saw and experienced by ourselves how easy it is to communicate in Teams and to work together on the same file at the same time, having also video conferences.

Q: What can be improved when talking and presenting Teams to people?
A: Well, from my perspective I would like to know more examples from other companies. How they are dealing with Teams and how they introduce it within the whole organization. What kind of problems they encounter.  I remember the presenter gave a few examples from other companies, but I want to have more. Learning from other experience is always nice!

Q: What did you learn?
A: Well.. definitely about new features in Teams.

Q: What are the benefits that the workshop brought to you?
A: for me, it was very useful! In our company, we need to use Teams, but it is not an easy task to do so. People don’t want to do changes, they have all these questions and I need to give recommendations and help users to work in Teams. For me it was such a useful workshop, I have more ideas now how to help.  This training gives some good insights on how to show people the benefits of Teams and how to encourage them to use it.

Q: Did you talk to someone about this workshop? What did you tell?
A: The day I went back to work I was telling my colleagues about my experience. We have some difficulties to encourage people to use Teams, but these workshops gave me a good overview of why people should explore Teams. It is obviously a great tool, but users are lacking in communication about Teams and they need more explanation. I hear people saying ‘’let’s just wait’’, ‘’maybe Teams is not ready yet’. I do believe that Teams is ready.

Q: For whom you would recommend these workshops?
A: I would definitely recommend these to my colleagues… Teams is a daily work, they need some time to learn more about it. This is why we still don’t go completely to Teams. But I hope we will within the next few months. So I would say these workshops would suit for all my colleagues because all for them have to use Teams.

Q: How the workshop can help?
A: People have questions about Teams and… they are too busy to Google and find the answers by themselves. I believe that if you give them an hour and you teach them it would be very useful, it would be a good onboarding action.

Q: What do you think is the best solution when employees have a question, they don’t know how to use the tool, but they still need to work with it? Because, of course, users have issues and they contact the IT support desk. 
A: This training would be a good start because it gives answers to the most common questions. But then a platform with the right content and information is needed, so people can search for the answers by themselves. You presented a new tool QuickHelp, that gives updated, relevant content for every user. From my experience, this is exactly what people need to feel secure while migrating and using new software. But this QuickHelp is handy for all users, no matter how good they are in using Office 365. People are a bit reluctant when you give them online resources. For some people it would work, but for the rest… you need to push them a little.
And also, it is a matter of time, managers should give some time for all employees to learn. Let’s say if they offer QuickHelp tool, users should schedule some time every day to learn about Office 365.

Q: What is your opinion about collaboration with office 365 tools?
A: I think there is nothing better than collaboration in Microsoft right now. I am very glad I was able to join your workshop, this definitely gave me so more ideas and perspectives while talking about Teams.

Jovita was involved in the migration to Office 365 process. From her experience, she knows that a migration to a new tool brings confusion to people. She believes that all employees need to have a proper introduction and training with the new technology and they also need some time to get used to a new, different way of working. Jovita thinks that these presentations and workshops are necessary when on-boarding people to Office 365 environment and says ‘’It is a perfect presentation that you need to give for all users when they are informed that they will work with Teams from now on. ‘’