Microsoft Teams is a new collaboration tool for Office 365 users. It is available now in “preview” to anyone with Office 365 Small Business, Enterprise and Education plans.
Firstly, what is Teams? If you believe the hype on social media then it is the death of Slack, but I think that is a pretty superficial view. I think it will be more interesting to see what Microsoft does with Yammer next and we let Slack worry about their business.
Teams brings chat based collaboration to Office 365. That’s the key point here, it makes it easy to converse, get links from recently worked on documents and create virtual teams with the people you work with.
A short (but not complete) list of features:
- Ability to create teams from other users in Office 365
- Instant messaging
- Outlook integration for meetings
- SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business integration for files
- Integration with Trello, Github, Wunderlist and Twitter via connectors
Before you can start using Teams, it must be activated on your Office 365 Tenant. This is done via the Admin Portal using these instructions.
Once done, Teams can be accessed via the website https://teams.microsoft.com or using the Apps for Windows, iOS and Android. In the Apple App Store search for “Microsoft Teams”.
I’ve watched Microsoft develop Power BI over the last couple of years then I think we can probably expect a similar approach for Teams. Lots of regular updates bringing incremental improvements very rapidly.
The first update I would like to see is the ability to federate with other Office 365 tenants. The ability to collaborate better with other organisations must surely be high on the feature roadmap!