Microsoft Teams Interview with Craig Chiffers

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your Role

Originally from the UK, I moved to Sydney Australia 12 years ago. My day job is a Principal Architect for IComm Australia. I spend a large part of my day talking to customers about their journey to Microsoft Teams, and Office 365 as a whole.

Outside of work, im a volunteer fire fighter with the rural fire service here in NSW, and a keen motorcyclist.

Where do you look for professional inspiration?

Twitter. If you want to stay up to date with what’s happening in the tech industry, you absolutely have to use Twitter.

In your opinion what is the most exciting thing about working with Microsoft Teams?

I get to see the real change within an organisation – both from a technology point of view, and a cultural change. The technology empowers end users to truly work from whereever, and whenever they need to.

What is your favourite feature of Microsoft Teams and why?

Oh, meeting recordings with searchable subtitles. I use this feature ALL the time. It saves a lot of time reviewing meetings and action items.

What are the biggest challenges you face working with Microsoft Teams?

The sheer surprise from some people that they no longer need to email several versions of a document between one another, and converting people from traditional email to Teams chat and channels.

How would you tackle it/them?

I demonstrate to them the benefits of using Teams to store files, and how the revision system works in Sharepoint, over the traditional method of simply emailing a new version of a file between the team.

What are your Top 3 Microsoft Teams Tips?

  1. Always make sure your headset is charged! If it isn’t, you’re always good to take the call on your mobile device.
  2. Use the “Set Status Message” feature (its under your face in the top right corner of the app). I use this feature all the time to let people know I’m travelling, or somewhere other than the office.
  3. Ensure the device you’re using is certified for use with Teams, and that it’s the right device for the environment at the time!

What key skills does a Microsoft Teams Expert need to be effective in Industry?

You need to be really great at listening and adapting. The tech works great, but how you deploy that tech in an organisation will always depend on the culture, change management and adoption plan of the org.

What in your opinion has been the biggest advance in Microsoft Teams in the past 18 months?

Live captioning during calls. It’s a game changer when listening to meetings in loud places.

With a wide array of Communication and Collaboration platforms available, why Microsoft Teams?

Seamless integration. Microsoft Teams offers IM, Collaboration, Voice, Video and Meetings all in one place, and it integrates neatly within the Office applications stack.

How did you become a MVP?

Ha – There’s no magic formula to becoming an MVP. Being an MVP to me is about giving back and supporting the tech community. It’s about sharing your knowledge and passion with others to help everyone achieve a common goal – how to get the very best out of the technology.

Do you have suggestions for other community members who hope to become MVP’s?

Share your knowledge and passion.Help others in the community achieve great things. Find out what works best for you – it could be writing blogs, answering technet posts, speaking at conferences and events, posting photos of cats to twitter. Find something that you’re passionate in, and share it with the tech community.         

About the Author:

Originally from the UK, I moved to Australia November 2007 and fell in love with the country.

Today, I spend my working life transforming the way businesses communicate and work. I’m incredibly passionate about how Microsoft Teams and Office 365 meet the demands of todays workers, and how the tools we use help transform the way we work today and into the future.

When i’m not playing around with Teams handsets, or SIP trunks you’ll find me riding my motorcycle on the great open roads we have around NSW, or responding to calls for help from the community via my volunteer roles with the NSW Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service.

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