Microsoft announced last September its newest addition Microsoft Teams – the new chat based workspace for office 365.
Microsoft Teams is an entirely new experience that brings together people, conversations and content along with the tools that teams need to collaborate on.
Teams is Microsoft’s take on chat-based communication for business, its answer to competing platforms such as Slack. In its simplest of form the service allows users to set up Teams, each of which is essentially a hub for group chat rooms, which are called channels.
Multiple chat rooms or channels can be created within a Team to help keep chats easy to follow, where conversations are threaded, which flow from top to bottom and notify users with updates. If users need face-to-face conversation, they can jump straight into Skype voice or video chats with other channel participants with a single click.
Why this is better than other chat platform such as Slack? Microsoft is pushing the platform as being more than just a chat hub. Microsoft Team is integrated with Microsoft’s cloud platform – Office 365, which means it is tied to other Microsoft Office services, such as Word and Excel, as well as its cloud storage and sharing services such as SharePoint. PowerPoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve are also integrated with Teams.
What more? Any documents, spreadsheets, presentations, multimedia which are shared within a Team are synced with a copy stored either in Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage or SharePoint online, so every Team member always has access to the latest version. Collaborative editing of this shared content is also possible, with each user’s changes reflected in the Office software in real time.
Team channels can also communicate with outside services via Connectors. Connectors already exist to push updates from GitHub, Zendesk, MailChimp, SAP and Salesforce to Teams’ channels and an API framework is available for extension. On launch, Microsoft Team shipped with over 70 Connectors and 85 Bots, which can participate in conversations. From within Chat, every Team channel will have access to T-Bot, a bot that can answer simple questions users have about Teams.
How Microsoft Team is has been positioned as part of Office platform? Its tight integration with Office services and Groups, which allows users to seamlessly and securely switch between editing documents, share dashboards and planners, and group chat, video and voice calls. That simplicity of just setting up a Team and having access to all these shared services—without the need to spend hours configuring them—is the main selling point for Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Team’s integration with email also allows messages sent to a designated Team address to be copied to a conversation in Teams.
Is this platform secure via internet when using sensitive corporate data? Data transfer is encrypted in transit and at rest. Microsoft Teams supports key compliance standards including EU Model Clauses, ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA and more. As expected, Microsoft Teams is served out of Microsoft’s hyper-scale global network of data centres, automatically provisioned within Office 365 and managed centrally, just as any other Office 365 application or service.
In summary – Microsoft Team:
- A hub for teamwork with access to Word, Excel, SharePoint, OneNote and Power BI.
- Threaded, persistent chat with team conversations, private and 1:1 chats.
- Supports for audio and video calling on mobile.
- Supports inbuilt mojis, stickers, GIFs, and custom memes.
- Allows customisation with access to tabs, connectors and bots from MS and third party connectors
- Provides secure Hyper-scale, enterprise-grade security that supports global standards including SOC 1, SOC 2, EU Model Clauses, ISO27001 and HIPAA.
- Allows Mobile audio calling, with video calling on Android (iOS and Windows Phone “coming soon”)
- Tightly integrates with your email
With the various collaboration tools and apps that comes with O365, read our previous post on when to use which tool based on your use case –
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About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.
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