Improve your Microsoft Teams meeting with Sherpany
When we think of the term 'meeting management' and the tools that support it, a range of different tools come to mind. This article explores the differences between Sherpany and Microsoft Teams, and how they can be used together.
The variety of digital tools that support modern business is incredible. We have all become accustomed to embracing new technology to help us do things more efficiently. Meetings are no exception.
With the rise of remote working and the adoption of a range of new tools to support it, meetings are unrecognisable when compared with a decade ago. From video conferencing and collaboration tools, to meeting management solutions, we are in better shape than ever to have productive meetings - yet many still struggle.
When we think of the term 'meeting management' and the tools that support it, many people think of video conferencing and collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams. While Teams does a great job in supporting collaboration and communication surrounding meetings - especially in distributed contexts - it is not a dedicated meeting management solution, and does not aid productivity in formal leadership meetings specifically.
In a recent Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Sherpany, 58% of executives acknowledged that meeting management software is an aspect of their planning that will receive attention in the next one to two years.
Meeting management software is an aspect of leaders' planning that will receive attention in the next years.
Sherpany isn’t a replacement for Microsoft Teams, or any other collaboration tool for that matter. In fact, Sherpany is a proud Microsoft Partner and works to ensure that customers get the best out of our combined capabilities. However, while it is true that both Sherpany and MS Teams can be used to support meetings, it is important to acknowledge which tool is most effective in different meeting contexts.
In this article, we examine the differences between Microsoft Teams and Sherpany for effective meeting management, and provide recommendations on how these tools can be used harmoniously to ensure that your organisation gets the most out of meetings.
What is Microsoft Teams used for?
Microsoft Teams is one of the market-leading collaboration software from MS. It connects teams whether they are co-located or remote, and allows teams to share ideas, send direct messages, and coordinate their efforts in an easy-to-use platform. MS teams can be used in Browser version or downloaded as an app for desktop, mobile, and tablet. MS Teams offers video conferencing functionality, which often leads to its misclassification as a meeting management solution. This is a world away from the truth.
Let’s take a look at the support that Microsoft Teams provides:
In terms of collaboration, Microsoft Teams facilitates seamless collaboration, whether teams are co-located or distributed. Instant chat functionality, as well as groups and channels, mean that people can stay instantly connected, and the mobile app means that this even translates to when people are away from their desk.
For one-to-one conversations and group calls, Microsoft Teams offers in-app video conferencing functionality that helps to remove the need for additional video conferencing tools. This feature also replaces traditional phone calls, as team members can call one another directly in the MS Teams application. MS teams allows a maximum of 250 participants on a call, however it will only display a fraction of these on the screen at any one time, as is the case with other competing video conferencing solutions.
A significant benefit of using a Microsoft product for your collaboration and communication is the implicit integration with MS Office. Teams makes it easy to share documents product in any other MS software directly with team members, and integrates succinctly with SharePoint, too.
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What is Sherpany used for?
Sherpany is a meeting management solution, designed to help enterprise organisations and leaders to manage their formal meetings. Sherpany enables organisations to take a holistic approach to meetings, spanning the entire meeting process to ensure that people, processes, and technology are leveraged to support productive meetings.
Sherpany guides productivity in the three phases of meetings:
Where agendas are contributed to and finalised, participants collaborate asynchronously, and clarifying questions are asked and answered. Meeting preparation also happens in this phase, and Sherpany allows all documents to be centralised and versions to be controlled so that preparation and organisation are seamless.
During the meeting, Sherpany’s solution supports leaders in a number of ways. First a foremost, it ensures that there is a clear agenda to follow, with all related documents and prior discussions kept in one place. Sherpany's Presenter Mode feature ensures that screen-sharing is stress free, and that all participants are aligned and following the same sections of the presentation. Sherpany's Meeting Minutes feature ensures that a clear digest of discussions are kept and that tasks and decisions are recorded accurately.
Finally, the new Sherpany Meet video conferencing functionality enables participants to consolidate all meeting activity in a single piece of software, replacing the patchwork of solutions that are often relied upon. The Meeting Assessment feature seamlessly collects and distributes feedback so that organisations can continuously improve their approach to meetings as a whole.
Once the meeting has concluded, Sherpany makes distributing the minutes - including tasks and decisions - as easy as possible. This ensures that everyone knows what they need to deliver upon, and helps with alignment and fosters accountability and ownership.
How can Sherpany improve Microsoft Teams meetings?
Sherpany is purpose built to support one aspect of collaboration: Meetings. Therefore, it is not a competing software with tools such as Microsoft Teams.
While we all know that Microsoft Teams can be used to support formal meetings, it might not be the best tool to do so. Much like a car and an aeroplane can both transport you from point A to point B, we all know that you wouldn't use an aeroplane to collect your weekly food shopping, and you'd be unlikely to try and drive from London to New York. Therefore, it is important to understand how these tools work together. For example, you would 'drive' to airport to 'fly' over the Atlantic.
So, when you should use Sherpany and when Microsoft Teams might be more appropriate? The answer to this depends entirely on the nature of the meeting, and the individuals or teams who are involved. This isn’t black and white, and the two tools can be used together in harmony to support the productivity of your organisation.
Sherpany supports formal leadership meetings, whereas Microsoft Teams is agnostic in terms of who it supports and how. Therefore, it is true that Microsoft Teams could be involved in the organisation and facilitation of formal leadership meetings, however it would not help with the overall approach to meeting management, including agenda creation, aiding meeting preparation, keeping meeting minutes, obtaining feedback, and distributing meeting minutes, including tasks and decisions, after the meeting has concluded.
This is where Sherpany can help. So while MS Teams might adequately support the direct communication, and may indeed be an organisation’s video conferencing solution of choice, it would not provide holistic support for the meeting as a whole.
On the other hand, for informal meetings, or meetings in the lower levels of an enterprise’s hierarchy, holistic meeting management might not be required, and therefore MS Teams could likely support the entire process.
Choosing the best tools for every meeting
As we can see, both Microsoft Teams and Sherpany have their place in supporting productive meetings. However, organisational success and meeting productivity depend entirely on choosing the right tools for the right meeting contexts. Relying on MS Teams for formal leadership meetings will, undoubtedly, lead to suboptimal outcomes, and replacing the direct communication that Teams provides with Sherpany would be equally as inefficient.
Therefore, it is important to take a holistic view of your organisation’s technological infrastructure, and understand the role that each tool plays in supporting your business overall.
If you would like to learn more about how Sherpany can integrate with your technology stack and help you to achieve more, please get in touch.