Survey Monkey Versus Microsoft Forms

Why Pay Twice?

Survey Monkey. It’s a catchy, memorable name. It has a great reputation as a resource for collecting data and gathering input via surveys and quizzes. The free version is easy to use, and maybe you’ve considered the paid version. But do you need it?

If you have Microsoft O365, you probably already have everything you need to create comprehensive surveys and forms. With Microsoft Forms, you can collect information, conduct polls and surveys, make quizzes, and analyze the data you collect. 

Microsoft Forms is a powerful tool for data collection and analysis. Most O365 licenses include Microsoft Forms at no extra charge. 

About Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms runs on iOS, MAC, Android, Windows, and web platforms. It is a simple-straight-forward tool for collecting information, organizing events, putting together 360-degree reviews, and more. You can even collect up to 50,000 responses per form. Users can create complex surveys with branching options and Likert scales. (You’ve seen a Likert scale before. It’s the one that goes from frowny-face to smiley face, with a gradually improving spectrum in between.)

Users of Microsoft Forms can integrate the app with Microsoft Teams, Dynamics 365, and other popular apps. Advanced users can tailor their forms to their needs by adding branding, company logos, and more. The platform supports any language and even uses AI to help you build your forms and analyze results. 

Do you ever worry about digital property loss when someone leaves the organization? With Microsoft Forms, the organization’s global admin can transfer existing form ownership from disabled accounts to active ones within 30 days after the employee leaves the organization.

Designers of forms and surveys can also create automated email followup, which helps reduce the time needed to manage responses and follow up.

Alike But Different 

Key Similarities and Differences between Survey Monkey and Microsoft Forms

Both Survey Monkey and Microsoft Forms:

  • Have a website and mobile apps so that you can create and collect surveys on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Have dedicated customer support reachable via phone, webchat, and a knowledge base.
  • Are compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Allow for anonymous responses, if desired.
  • Both allow for custom graphic design.
  • Both have pre-made templates.
  • Both allow for multiple collaborators in survey design and analysis.

Some of the differences:

  • Only Microsoft Forms has an app for the Windows Operating System. (Create forms while offline.)
  • Only Microsoft Forms comes packaged with most Microsoft O365 Licenses. 
  • Each program has some unique data analysis tools. For example:
  • Only Survey Monkey has:
    • Trend analysis
    • SSL Security
    • Data filtering
    • Email tracking
    • A/B testing
    • Scheduled reporting
    • A/B testing
  • Only Microsoft Forms has:
    • Video Support
    • Custom Charts
    • Anti-Spam
    • Mentions
    • Activity Tracking
    • Calendar management
    • Customer History
    • Data Visualization
    • Collaborative Review

Decision Time

If you are already a Microsoft O365 user, give Microsoft Forms a try before signing up for another recurring monthly bill. Microsoft Forms and Survey Monkey are comparable in terms of functionality, ease of use, and security. Still, Microsoft Forms is the only one that comes included with most Microsoft O365 licenses. (In other words, you might already have it!)

If you already have O365, there are many tools and products that you have at your fingertips at no extra cost. The ability to do surveys and quizzes is just one of the many functions of the Microsoft O365 Suite. Your Trusted IT Support partner can help you identify more opportunities for leveraging your O365 tools!

Looking for additional IT support?

Xlingshot is a proud Microsoft partner with 18+ years of experience. We provide Network Security, Security Awareness Training, Virtual CIO services, and daily IT support to small and medium businesses and organizations.

Our approach to delivering the best possible IT service is centered on you. For a free consultation, please contact us today.

We know what it’s like to run a business, and we know your time is valuable. We can:

  • learn about your business
  • give you some ideas on what improvements you can make right away
  • provide free advice on your approach to IT solutions

We’re Here to Help

And if you’d like, we can show you where and how we can help. Call 866-950-0698 or email us at info@xlingshot.com.

 

How to Add a Connector to an MS Teams Channel

Connectors in MS Teams are a very useful function but few users know about them. You can use connectors to sync updates and data into the chat stream in Teams from other services that your organization subscribes to, such as Trello, Wundlist, GitHub, and Azure DevOps. You can also set up connectors to sync data from your other Office 365 programs into the chat stream.

For example, we have a client who wanted to set up automated updates between the sales team and the accounting team when new clients are signed. They created a connector to forward all email notifications that a new contract has been signed into the accounting channel in Teams. They could have set up the email forward to go from one email inbox to another, but having the data sync into Teams allows the accounting staff to simply check the channel chat stream when they are doing invoicing, rather than taking and filing email updates as they come in. By using the email connector in Teams, contract updates are automatically filled in the appropriate place as soon as the notification email comes in. That way, nothing is lost due to human error. 

As long as team permissions allow (these are set up by the team admin), all team members can set up connectors to sync with their cloud services so that when new information comes in, all team members are notified. The connector is not dependent on the person who sets it up, this means that when that person leaves the organization, the connector stays in place. All team members with the permissions to add or remove items in Teams can edit connectors created by other team members. 

How to add a Connector to a Channel

At this time, you cannot create connectors in the mobile version of Teams, it has to be on Microsoft Teams desktop and web. 

 

  1. First, click on in Teams button on the far left, select the Team and Channel where you wish to add a connector. Click on the ellipses (3 dots) next to the channel where you want to make the addition and select Connectors from the drop-down menu.

Adding Connectors to Microsoft Teams

  1. A variety of connector options will appear. In this example, the user is adding an RSS connector to the channel. 

Add an RSS feed to Microsoft Teams

  3. Depending on which connector you are setting up, there is a variety of information that you may need to provide. (For example, if you are linking to a service that requires a sign in then you will have to provide the login information.) After you have filled in the required information, click Save. 

How to Add an RSS feed to Microsoft Teams

4. The connector data that you have set up will show up in the feed, refreshing based on the settings that you filled in on the previous pop-up page. (In the sample it is set to refresh every 15 minutes.)

Create Custom Connectors

Once you have learned the basics of creating connectors, you can branch out into custom connectors. For more information on this, see the developer information that Microsoft has put together. You can also access additional online training videos here. Enjoy!

Looking for additional IT support?

Xlingshot is a proud Microsoft partner with 18+ years of experience providing Network Security, Security Awareness Training, Virtual CIO services, and daily IT support to small and medium businesses and organizations.

Our approach to delivering the best possible IT service is centered on you. For a free consultation please contact us today.

We know what it’s like to run a business and we know your time is valuable. We can:

  • learn about your business
  • give you some ideas on what improvements you can make right away
  • provide free advice on your approach to IT solutions

And if you’d like, we can show you where and how we can help. Call 866-950-0699 for a complimentary consultation. 

 

Microsoft Teams 101: Tabs in Microsoft Teams

Tabs in Microsoft Teams

With tabs, you and your team members can access apps and content within a chat or channel. This makes it easier for team members to work directly with apps and information (and chat about these with the group) all under the umbrella of the channel or chat. Tabs are also a great way to integrate cloud services, such as Stream, One Note, PowerPoint, Evernote, Salesforce, Polly, and more. Team members can add tabs to channels and chats, this helps team members easily access the information needed for the channel-specific project or conversation; for example Power BI reports, dashboards, and MS Stream video channels where you can publish video tutorials.

 

An advanced understanding of tabs is not necessary for regular, every-day use of Microsoft Teams. However, if you have a solid understanding of how tabs work and the linking options available to you in MS Teams through the tabs function, you may be able to simplify workflows and even eliminate the need for certain project management software that pulls together data and status updates into one information clearinghouse. This can all be done in Microsoft Teams using Tabs.

Utilizing Tabs

Each time a team member creates a new channel, 2 tabs are created by default: Posts and Files:

 

 

In private chats, there are more default tabs, including Chat, Files, Organization, and Activity.

 

 

If you’d like to add more tabs to a channel or chat, simply click Add a tab at the top (the plus sign). 

You can add Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and PDF files as dedicated tabs. There are 2 ways to do this, depending on your admin settings:

  • Option 1: Upload the file that you want to turn into a dedicated tab to the Files tab. From the files tab menu, find the file that you want to add as a tab and click on the ellipses (three dots) and select “Make this a tab.”
  • Option 2
    • Upload the file that you want to turn into a dedicated tab to the Files tab. 
    • Click the plus sign on the top menu to add a new tab. 
    • A popup box will appear with app options. 
    • Select the app that your file is in. (For example, if the file is a spreadsheet, select excel, if it’s a Microsoft Word document, select Word, et cetera.) 
    • Then, you can choose the specific file from a list of files that have been already been uploaded to the channel or chat files. 

Would you like to add a specific website as a tab in Teams? Here’s how:

  1. From the channel or conversation where you want to add the website, click “add a tab” at the top (the plus sign).

2. A pop-up box labeled “Add a tab” will appear. In the search box type in “website” and click enter. (As pictured, the user just typed in “web” and it worked fine.) Select the pink “Website” icon.

Another box will appear where you can add the name for the new tab, the URL (recommended to link sites that start with “HTTPS://” only), and you can opt into posting to the chat about the new tab, as well.

And you’re done! The new tab will appear at the top of your screen and members of the channel and/or chat will receive notification that you added a new tab. (pro tip: the eyeball icon pictured below indicates that everyone in the chat or channel has seen your update!)

Additional Tabs Features

If you’d really like to do a deep dive to learn more about tabs features in MS Teams, check out this developer documentation that Microsoft has created for its users. You’ll learn about things like:

 

  • Adding bots when you add tabs
  • Azure Active Directory access
  • Location awareness that indicates user language
  • Single sign-on capacity (this function can vary, depending on permissions)
  • Deep links to tabs or sub-entities using bots and app notifications
  • Open task modules within tabs
  • Using SharePoint within the tab

 

Looking for additional IT support?

Xlingshot is a proud Microsoft partner with 18+ years of experience providing Network Security, Security Awareness Training, Virtual CIO services, and daily IT support to small and medium businesses and organizations.

Microsoft Teams 101: Using Reactions, Emojis, GIFs, Memes and Stickers in Chat

With emojis, GIFs, and stickers, you can bring your creative energy and sense of humor to group chats and one-on-one messages. These extras help to establish the tone and friendly intent in the absence of body language, facial expression, and the other benefits of in-person communication.

Reactions

The thumbs-up is a great way to quickly acknowledge a message from a colleague. This can keep things moving forward and productive.

The other reactions, love, laugh, wow, sad, and angry, are better for less formal messages and jokes. To react to a message in Microsoft Teams Chat, simply hover your mouse over the message and your reaction options will pop up above the top right corner of the message.

Emojis

Sometimes you want to express more than the menu of reactions allows. Enter emojis, small images used to express an idea or emotion. To insert an emoji, click on the smiley face under the “type a new message” box.

A grid of emoji options, like in the image below, will pop up. Click on the one you want to use.


Go Beyond Emojis

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GIFs

Although there is no consensus on how to pronounce it (some say “gift” without the T, some say “jif” like the peanut butter), everyone agrees that GIFs can add a lot to a chat conversation. A GIF is an image file that can be static or animated.

Microsoft Teams comes equipped with lots of GIFs that you can use to add expression to your chats. To add a GIF, click on the “GIF” image under the “type a new message” box.

Memes and Stickers

Want even more options to flavor your Microsoft Teams chats? Check out the memes and stickers.

A meme is an image, usually with text, that shares commentary on cultural symbols, social ideas, or current events. In Teams, you can create your own custom memes. The stickers available in Teams are, essentially, sophisticated emojis.

To add a custom meme or a sticker, click on the sticker image under the “type a new message” box.

Now that you know how to use reactions, emojis, GIFs, memes, and stickers in a chat, try them out in one of your less formal conversations in Teams!

Interested in Learning More Beyond Microsoft Teams?