Um.  I’m speechless.  I sat down to play with Microsoft Teams tonight so I could keep my word and give it an honest go in comparison to Skype for Business and Slack.  And WOW was I blown away.  The beauty in this magnificent collaboration tool is the tight integration with Office 365 – so you can work the way you like to work, but still have access to the team updates, files, conversation, statuses, and more.

There’s an app (of course) you can download for your desktop (Mac or PC) and mobile device (works great on my iPhone), or you can access it from the list of programs in the online Office 365 portal.

What I enjoyed was the great workspace it gives you, in that you can use OneDrive, SharePoint, upload files to your own work area, look at recent files from email attachments, or all four of these in one screen.  Hello!

You can access the conversations from right within the Outlook on the web screen on the portal, by going to the Groups section:

And you can do a chat /collaboration conversation just like Slack from within all of the same screens from any of the apps:

While you’re working, you can see the online status of any team members that you’ve already connected to on Skype for Business, if they are a part of your group, from within the same workplace. You can click on their highlighted name and IM them just like you’re on Skype for Business.

Microsoft, you got this one right!  So right, that we are bringing 20 of our clients to a private Microsoft event in Los Angeles on April 25th, for them to see firsthand the POWER of this collaborative tool – and the best part- it’s included as part of the existing Office 365 subscriptions. So our clients already have it, they just haven’t used it yet!  Whoot hoot!

Microsoft Teams was featured on Good Morning America, with a case study of how they’ve helped We Work, the shared workspaces, to grow from 5 to 2,000 employees all over the world and how it fosters team work and collaboration.  Here’s the link: https://blogs.office.com/2017/03/15/microsoft-teams-featured-on-good-morning-america-watch-now/

 

THIS ONE IS A GAME CHANGER.  STAY POSTED.

More about Microsoft Teams -  from Microsoft’s website:

Microsoft Teams is an entirely new experience that brings together people, conversations and content—along with the tools that teams need—so they can easily collaborate to achieve more. It’s naturally integrated with the familiar Office applications and is built from the ground up on the Office 365 global, secure cloud.

At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to the mission of helping people and organizations achieve more—and reinventing productivity for the cloud and mobile world is core to our ambition. We built Microsoft Teams because we see both tremendous opportunity and tremendous change in how people and teams get work done. Teams are now more agile and organizational structures more flat to keep communications and information flowing. With Microsoft Teams, we aspire to create a more open, digital environment that makes work visible, integrated and accessible—across the team—so everyone can stay in the know.

*4 core promises:

Chat for today’s teams

First and foremost, Microsoft Teams provides a modern conversation experience for today’s teams. Microsoft Teams supports not only persistent but also threaded chats to keep everyone engaged. Team conversations are, by default, visible to the entire team, but there is of course the ability for private discussions. Skype is deeply integrated, so teams can participate in voice and video conferences. And everyone can add personality to their digital workspace with emojis, stickers, GIFs and custom memes to make it their own.

A hub for teamwork

Second, Microsoft Teams brings together the full breadth and depth of Office 365 to provide a true hub for teamwork. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve are all built into Microsoft Teams so people have all the information and tools they need at their fingertips. Backed by the Microsoft Graph, intelligent services are surfaced throughout the workspace to help with information relevancy, discovery and sharing. Microsoft Teams is also built on Office 365 Groups—our cross-application membership service that makes it easy for people to move naturally from one collaboration tool to another, preserve their sense of context and share with others.

Customizable for each team

Third, since all teams are unique, we’ve invested deeply in ways for people to customize their workspace, with rich extensibility and open APIs available at general availability. For example, Tabs provides quick access to frequently used documents and cloud services. Microsoft Teams also shares the same Connector model as Exchange, providing notifications and updates from third-party services like Twitter or GitHub. Further, we are including full support for the Microsoft Bot Framework to bring intelligent first- and third-party services into your team environment.

Security teams trust

Finally, Microsoft Teams provides the advanced security and compliance capabilities that our Office 365 customers expect. Data is encrypted in transit and at rest. Like all our commercial services, we have a transparent operational model with no standing access to customer data. Microsoft Teams will support key compliance standards including EU Model Clauses, ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA and more. And, as customers would expect, Microsoft Teams is served out of our hyper-scale global network of data centers, automatically provisioned within Office 365 and managed centrally, just as any other Office 365 service.

Microsoft Teams joins the Office 365 universal toolkit

Microsoft Teams joins the broadest and deepest portfolio of collaboration applications and services to help solve the diverse needs of people and organizations globally. As we’ve learned from our 85 million active monthly users, all groups have a diverse set of needs when it comes to working together. Office 365 is designed for the unique workstyle of every group and includes purpose-built applications, all deeply integrated together.

  • SharePoint provides intranets and content management solutions to more than 200,000 organizations and 190 million people.
  • Yammer is the social network for work, enabling cross-company discussions for 85 percent of the Fortune 500.
  • Skype for Business provides real-time voice, video and conferencing and hosts more than 100 million meetings a month.
  • Office 365 Groups is our cross-application membership service that makes it easy for people to move naturally from one collaboration tool to another.

Source: https://blogs.office.com/2016/11/02/introducing-microsoft-teams-the-chat-based-workspace-in-office-365/