Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

Chris Farmer Managed IT Support Services, Office 365

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams  is part of certain Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions and is definitely a direct competitor to Slack .

Slack is a fantastic tool and (if you are not a Microsoft Office 365 subscriber) is one of the very best collaboration tools available. Until Microsoft Teams was introduced, it was used internally here at MirrorSphere HQ.

As a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider and very heavy users of their Office 365 services, we transitioned from Slack to Microsoft Teams.

Why, you are asking?

The main reason is that all the chat and pictures and attachments stay within the Microsoft Ecosystem and it integrates very well with SharePoint and OneNote.

With both SharePoint and OneNote providing excellent collaboration tools for sharing documents and even providing near real time collaborative editing (improving in every update of Office 2016) it was literary a no-brainer.

What Can I Do?

Microsoft Teams - Chat

But you can also create Chats to individuals or groups of users. Within the Chat area you can also use the Voice and Video options.

The most basic feature is Instant messaging (IM), with the web based version, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android all having apps to be installed. As you would expect, the IM allows sharing of Links, Pictures, Doc and most files.

Microsoft Teams - Chat - VoIP and Video
Microsoft Teams - Teams

Then you have Teams and within each Team you can have a Channel.

Microsoft Teams - Teams - Channel

Each Channel can have Tabs.

Microsoft Teams - Teams - Channel - Tabs

Now this is the very clever bit, when creating a Team, it also creates a SharePoint online site to store documents and files and by default the Conversations, Files and Wiki Tabs are created.

You can then add your own additional tabs and there are multiple to choose from.

Microsoft Teams - Teams - Channel - Tabs - Add

This means that anything that you add into Microsoft Teams, stays in your Microsoft Office Tenant.  This can be very important for many businesses, as other applications that provide similar services host and store your files somewhere else, which could be in another country and is worth considering if you are already using other applications.

One feature of Tabs that I personally find most useful is OneNote. This provides a very nice collaborative tool and is useful for engineers to grab information and share quickly with others.  As the OneNote Application is available on iOS and Android it provides a useful tool for anyone who might need to review or add and amend information whilst on the move.  Also, the speed that changes are updated across the built-in view within the Teams Application, or the OneNote Window\Mac application or even the OneNote Mobile apps is impressive.

Microsoft Teams can help reduce email between users, reducing the overload of emails that so often occurs and allows everyone in a team to ensure that they are in the loop.  With the IM, Voice, Video, Document sharing and the option to add additional Tabs, project and departments will work with a far greater level of collaboration between groups of users and they will become more productive than ever.

Should I use it?

Absolutely, if you have the correct Microsoft Office subscription, then Microsoft Teams is most likely already included.

Using Microsoft Teams provide voice, screen sharing 1-to-1 chats, team and group chats. Locations for files, notes and other items. With desktop and mobile applications for iOS and Android, it has communications covered.

And Skype is on the way out and Microsoft Teams will replace it.

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