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If you’re a small business, every resource counts. And often, your most valuable resources are your employees. Each employee brings something different to the table – sales shrewdness, tech savviness, even institutional knowledge that no one else has. But what good does it do to follow the adage about hiring people smarter than you if those individual skills remain in siloes?

Good collaboration tools are key to ensuring you’re leveraging the collective intelligence and knowledge of your employee base to move your business forward. And that’s why I’m excited to share that Microsoft Teams – the chat-based workspace in Office 365 – is now available worldwide. Since we announced Microsoft Teams a few months ago, we’ve delivered more than 100 new features to help teams collaborate in new ways and work together more seamlessly.

Microsoft Teams is a gamechanger for businesses given the increasingly important role of collaboration in the way that work gets done. Employees spend an average of 80 percent of their time on collaborative work, and that collaboration often happens across different time zones, cultures and even languages. With Microsoft Teams, employees can chat in real time, view free/busy calendar availability for team members and start a video call, and even store and share files directly within the Teams app – and all within a secure and customizable environment.

FocalPointe Group, a business and IT consulting and staffing firm with 15 full-time employees, has adopted the solution for internal communications across its geographically dispersed workforce. Prior to adopting Microsoft Teams, FocalPointe’s employees were using multiple tools to manage and share documents, which created confusion around where to find and save what, and syncing issues caused version control problems. Today, Microsoft Teams provides a “one stop shop” for employees to share candidate info and status, upload contracts, distribute daily reports and more. The chat feature allows employees to collaborate in real-time and eliminates multiple emails with similar questions. And with up to 75 contingent staff working with FocalPointe at any given time, Microsoft Teams has become a learning tool for new employees, who can use the search bar to tap into the institutional knowledge of the group right off the bat. As CEO Jeff Steffens puts it, “With Microsoft Teams, any new employee is as smart about our business as an existing employee because they have access to the right history and context right at their fingertips.”

Microsoft Teams ensures that no one employee is working in a silo. Rather, it removes siloes and allows them to leverage the collective intelligence to get work done faster – and smarter. With many employees citing collaboration as one of the most valuable attributes in their ideal workplace, tools like Microsoft Teams are perfectly fit to empower employees to work in the same way they communicate in their personal lives – digitally, in real time, without boundaries.

To learn more about how Microsoft Teams can help your teams work smarter, visit

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As vice president, David Smith is focused on working with the Small and Medium Business (SMB) partner ecosystem. In this capacity, he is responsible for a global team of sales, marketing and partner management professionals to ensure Microsoft’s ecosystem of partners delivers technology-based high value experiences meeting the unique needs of over 100 million SMB’s across the world.

Since joining Microsoft in 1998, David has engaged with partners as well as strategic ISVs to develop scalable, agile, real-time, and secure solutions that allow companies of all sizes to realize their full potential.

Prior to Microsoft, David worked at Digital Insight (Internet Home Banking vendor acquired by Intuit) and at Morgan Stanley. David completed his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego. David is married with four children.