Microsoft recently unveiled a group chat software in Office 365 called Microsoft Teams. The service is a cloud-based app that integrates well with the familiar Office applications and is available to Office 365 commercial customers with one of the following plans:
- Business Essentials
- Business Premium
- Enterprise E1, E3, and E5.
Microsoft Teams will also be available to customers who purchased E4 prior to its retirement.
How does Microsoft Teams work
This Office 365 component adds a group chat tool to a company’s office suite. The chat tool also features Skype calls floating in the background of chat windows to let you make a call right away.
Administrators can enable Microsoft Teams through the Office 365 admin center (just access Settings, chose Services & Add-Ins and click on Microsoft Teams. Two different pieces of training are available for IT admins.
When enabled, Teams create a corporate-wide workspace where the individuals can have conversations as large groups or in smaller, private groups.
The real focus on how people work in a team encouraged Microsoft to come up with a chat service like ‘Teams’. Chat happens to be one of the most natural and effective ways for people in a team to communicate. It is fast and friendly. So, Microsoft has attempted to offer a modern conversation experience via Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Team Features
Microsoft Teams supports both, persistent and threaded chats to keep everyone engaged. It even allows individuals in a group to add personality to their digital workspace with emojis, stickers, GIFs and custom memes.
Skype integration allows a user to make phone calls or participate in video conferences. When you make the team, the service by default becomes visible to members of the conversation group.
A hub for teamwork
Second, ‘Microsoft Teams’ brings multiple good features of Office 365 together in one place to provide a true hub for teamwork. Office applications like,
- Power BI
All are accommodated into Microsoft Teams so people do not have to move elsewhere and they can have all the information and tools they need at their fingertips.
Compatibility with Microsoft Graph enables ‘Teams’ to find relevant information across the workspace easily. For users not aware about Microsoft Graph, it is a back-end tool in Office 365 Suite that facilitates search across integrated applications by applying machine learning techniques.
Customizable for each team
Third, since Teams claim to offer a unique collaborating experience, it offers scope for customization. For instance, Tabs provides quick access to frequently used documents and cloud services. Besides, the service also shares the same Connector model as Exchange, providing notifications and updates from third-party services like Twitter or GitHub.
Security teams trust
Microsoft Teams is expected to be Office 365 Tier C compliant at launch. It will enforce two-factor authentication, single sign on through Active Directory and encryption of data in transit and at rest. Via this, the tool aims to provide advanced security and compliance capabilities under its banner. Multifactor authentication will help in enhancing identity protection and keep data safe within the team.
Teams will support key compliance standards including EU Model Clauses, ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA and more.
Partnership with Office 365 universal toolkit
In an attempt to better understand the diverse set of its customers’ needs Microsoft Teams will work closely with the broadest and deepest portfolio of collaboration applications. As such, Office 365 will include various purpose-built applications, all deeply integrated together. This includes,
- Exchange (major leader in corporate email)
- SharePoint (offers intranets and content management solutions)
- Yammer (advertised as a social network for work)
- Skype for Business (enables real-time voice, video and conferencing with millions of users worldwide)
- Office 365 (cross-application membership service, intends to make the task of moving naturally from one collaboration tool to another, easier for its users).
The recent announcement suggests, Microsoft is steadily making progress towards realizing its dream of the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Microsoft Teams is now available on desktop and mobile operating systems including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and web platforms. The application is still in preview stage and requires appropriate commercial Office 365 subscription.