Created to enhance collaboration within the workplace, Microsoft Teams is, as the name suggests, a team-based communication tool.
Office 365’s new chat-based workspace has been designed around today’s working patterns, recognising that remote and home working is common in many businesses, as is flexible and shift working, and that organisations, departments and even teams can be based across multiple locations.
Created to better meet the needs of the business enterprise in the 21stcentury and designed to bring together people, conversation and content, Microsoft describes Teams as &ldquo0;a more open, digital environment that—so everyone can stay in the know.”
Communication – persistent and threaded conversations, Skype and meetings
Communication has the immediacy of IM (instant messaging), but without the pressure.
Messages post in real time, and are stored – securely and to meet corporate compliance requirements – to be available for future reference, and via browse and search functions.
Private conversations can be created, but by default chat threads are visible to everyone invited to participate in a team – and team members can individualise their messages, customising using emojis, stickers, GIFs and memes, etc.
Skype is fully integrated for easy access to voice and video conferencing, and the meetings function offers simple and easy-to-use scheduling.
Teams has been designed to create a teamwork hub, and as such brings together team files, notes, and apps in one place, with Office 365’s Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve built in.
In addition, with Microsoft opening Tabs up to the developer community, this allows further integration with non-Microsoft applications, such as Hootsuite.
A great team tool
James Sperring, Cobweb Development Team Lead, says, “This is a great concept.
“We have been using Teams in our team for the last week and already seen productivity grow.
“We can see it becoming a core part of our workflow, with the ability to bring multiple Office 365 applications together.”
Office 365 Teams plans
Running on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and web platforms, Microsoft Teams is currently available in preview and expected to become generally available in the first quarter of 2017.
Microsoft Teams is available for customers with the following plans:
- Business Essentials
- Business Premium
- Enterprise E1, E3 and E5