Microsoft Teams Quick Review

Quick Introduction to Microsoft Teams

If you have Office 365 setting up Microsoft Teams is very easy and extensible.  Whether you want to chat with your team, share files, collaborate on OneNote, or manage a project, Teams might just be the one tool you are looking for.

My Summary

Microsoft Teams is a powerful set of tools for Office 365 users.  Much more than just a group chat, it offers a centralized collection of applications which you can use to conduct team conversations, edit documents, hold conference calls, and manage projects.

And... as of March 2018, Microsoft is rolling out a feature update to Teams that allows you to add anyone to a Team - even if they don't have an Office 365 account or edu account.  That means you can build your team with people from just about anywhere!



Public and Private Group Chat

Teams core feature is the ability to have group chats with team members.  These chats stay in history and are searchable.



Extensible with Plugin Applications

Office 365 has many applications available to subscribers.  One of the great things about Teams is that it allows you to plug in any of those applications to a channel via tabs.  So for example, if you want to add a OneNote notebook to a channel, you can do so.  Want an Excel spreadsheet available for group editing?  Done.  How about managing a project in a channel with Planner?  Get it done!


Bolt on Integrations

Do you have a favorite application that is not an Office 365 application?  Maybe there is an integration for it.

While not a huge list of application integrations is currently available, there are some key applications that you can now add to Teams just like a native Office 365 app.

How about surveying your team with Survey Monkey?  Or manage a project board with Asana?  How about taking care of customer support tickets with Zendesk?  And more are being added all the time...



Team channels gives the team the ability to segment the team room into different areas.  The areas are completely up to you... some might segment into interest areas such as "Product Suggestions" and "Office Activities", while others might prefer to set up along department areas such as "Marketing" and "Tech Support".  The arrangement is totally up to you.

One glaring omission in the setup of channels is that you can't limit which team members can listen in on a channel.  If they are a team member they can listen to any channel created on the team.  I would prefer the capability of limiting who has access to a channel.

One way of working around this would be to actually create different teams for specific purposes.  For example, you might have a Company team with a Marketing channel that gets generic marketing information, and then create a separate Marketing Department team which only select marketing personnel would have access.


Conference and Screen Sharing

Skype for Business features are being moved into Teams.  Yep, Skype for Business is going away and all that functionality is being moved into Microsoft Teams.

This means that right now you can hold group video calls with your team, call phones, and do a screen share to promotes that great product you are working on.

Ready to find out more about Microsoft Teams?

I'm planning on creating an advanced course and how-to focused on Microsoft Teams. Sign up here to be one of the first to know about it.

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