Microsoft Teams for Staff Communication

Information Technology is excited to announce Microsoft Teams, a modern collaboration tool, to all of Southwestern staff to help foster real-time communications while working on campus or remotely.

What is Microsoft Teams? 

Microsoft Teams is a chat-based collaboration tool similar to Skype, but much more powerful.  It allows you to communicate in real-time with your whole department easily.  In addition to chat and group chat functions, Microsoft Teams allows you to place video or audio calls to other staff members or to your entire department to share quick status updates.  Microsoft Teams also allows you to share documents with one another and has search functionality to help find conversations and documents.

Watch this quick 2 ½ minute introduction video on Microsoft Teams.

  1. When can I try out Microsoft Teams?

    Soon, you will be receiving a Microsoft Teams invite email that looks similar to the sample email invite pictured below.  Please accept the invite.

    Sample Email Invite:

    Sample Email Invite


  2. How can I access Microsoft Teams?

    There are a few methods for accessing Microsoft Teams:

    • The first and best experience is using the Microsoft Teams Desktop App which can be downloaded and installed directly from the Microsoft Teams Download page
    • Microsoft Teams is available directly through your browser (although we recommend the Desktop App).  You can access the web version by signing into your Southwestern email on the web.  Once signed in, click the App Launcher in the upper left (it looks like a grid of dots) and then click on Teams.
    • Microsoft Teams is also available as a mobile app on iOS App Store and the Google Play Store.


  3. How do I sign in?

    Microsoft Teams uses your credentials for authentication, which is handy since you don’t have to remember another username and password.  Just enter your complete Southwestern email account and password information. 


  4. How can I learn more?

    LinkedIn Learning has an excellent course on Microsoft Teams called Microsoft Teams Essential Training.


  5. What is appropriate to post to Microsoft Teams?

    Please remember this is a professional communication tool for Southwestern staff.  It’s good to have fun, but please keep your conversations work appropriate.


  6. How secure is Microsoft Teams?

    Microsoft Teams data is encrypted both in transit and at rest and supports key compliance standards such as ISO 270001 and SOC2.  A simple rule to follow is don’t post a message or upload a file that you would NOT normally send through email.  For example, never post or email credit card numbers, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, etc. This type of information is highly sensitive and needs to be safeguarded.