Well, Microsoft Teams made its appearance, yesterday! I think this one of the most exciting features that Microsoft has added to the Office 365 ecosystem in the last little while. Yes, it's another way to allow your organization to collaborate, so how does it fit in with all the other components? In my opinion, Teams ties together some of the components that Microsoft has been adding or advocating in the last year: Office 365 Groups, Planner, Yammer, etc.
When I mentor organizations on Office 365, the most common "roll your eyes up, drop the shoulders, and sigh" reaction I get is that there are so many ways to do things... what do I use and when?! For example, I always highly advocate the use of Yammer to allow employees to have conversations; this method of sharing in a Facebook-style paradigm opens up channels of communications that most often were never available before.
Then there are Office 365 Groups, which allows any employee to fire up a group - either open to the entire organization or closed to only a select group of users - and start collaborating; I'll often describe Groups as "mini-SharePoint" sites, with conversations, files, a calendar, a OneNote notebook, and the recent addition of Yammer conversations. Microsoft Planner hasn't had the attention I feel it deserves (I should focus on that component in a future blog, right?), but provides a great way to manage projects and tasks for teams.
Now, Microsoft Teams has:
- Public or Private settings
- Inline documents
- A OneNote notebook
Sound familiar? Like all the other things I just spoke about above?
So what do I like about Teams? To begin with, it's a much more polished, developed-from-the-ground-up application. You can actually read about how Microsoft built Teams from a fruit farm in Hawaii - what better way to develop a collaboration app than to have dispersed, remote groups of people working together!
Teams also allows you to "pull-in" and aggregate more information in one place. For example, you can add a Planner project to your Team to assign and manage tasks for all members. You can add a tab that points to a SharePoint document folder, and even tabs that point to Power BI dashboards! And while you're at it, why not use one of the 150 or so connectors to add social media feeds, applications, etc. The possibilities are quite impressive!
Don't know if you can tell, by now, but I'm quite excited about the possibilities that Microsoft Teams bring to collaboration; honestly, I think the folks on the Hawaiian fruit farm are onto something!
So go ahead and explore Teams, if you're already in Office 365; if you're not, you really need to talk to us to see how we can help you get there and leverage these amazingly cool tools!
IN THE MEDIA
Microsoft Teams is getting a crucial feature in late-June <--External users - Woot!