Saturday, November 5, 2016

Introducing Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams was just announced as being released as Preview to customers.

Microsoft Teams is a continued promise by Microsoft to bring together best of breed capabilities from such solutions as Skype for Business Online, SharePoint Online, Office Online and Exchange Online together to deliver feature rich productivity applications that are not siloed.  Office 365 Groups was the first, now we have Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams introduces a new Persistent Chat solution that allows users to see chat discussions over time.  The chat discussions can be viewed over time between a group a people.  But it is much more than persistent chat.  Microsoft Teams will become a hub for teamwork.  Which quick integrated capabilities as Skype for Business Online, SharePoint Online and Office Online collaboration around content can initiated.  The team experience can also be customized as new tabs can be added to quickly access documents and other cloud services.

General Availability (GA) is set for CY 2017 Q1 with more features and capabilities being added after this.

Where does Microsoft Teams fit in the Overall Office 365 Picture
When you hear about Microsoft Teams you may immediately ask what about SharePoint Teams, Yammer, etc. and then ask when should I use Microsoft Teams.  I say the answer depends on what you are trying to accomplish and you should carefully look at how you end users work and what they are try to accomplish.  Each solution has its place in the enterprise.
  • Microsoft Teams – Recommend using when you have a defined group of users who are specifically working on a specific project.  Good for small groups of people who need to collaboration in reach time with each other.
  • Office 365 Groups – Recommend using when you have small groups of people who share conversations, group mailbox, files and content with each other, however they may not work in real-time with each other.
  • Yammer – Recommend using Yammer for across the “company wide” type of conversations and collaboration and communication.  Communities can be cross business disciplines.
  • SharePoint Online -  Recommend using when you have sharing and collaboration across an organization, or longer standing formal content management solutions.  Company intranets, repositories, applications, etc. are great for SharePoint Online.
  • Skype for Business Online – Continue using it phone calls, instant message, web meeting, etc.  Skype for Business Online is available across the Office 365 service and is the “glue” for collaboration.
As you can see, all these solutions are still relevant with the introduction of Microsoft Teams.

Turning Microsoft Teams On
It is pretty easy to do.  In the Office 365 Admin console, just go to Settings >> Services & Add Ins >> Microsoft Teams.

Some Other FAQs
  • Microsoft Teams is a Suite capability and is available through such plans as E1, E3 and E5.
  • There are Office 365 Connectors which can be used to receive updates from third party tools and services
  • There is a developer API preview available.
  • Microsoft Teams is a cloud feature only, and not available on-premises.
Announcement -
Video -
Developer Preview -

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