An Introduction to Microsoft Teams – the key to reduced emails and better collaboration in your organisation.

Skype for Business, previously Lync, first appeared in Microsoft Office 365 in April 2015 but just this week at Microsoft Ignite it was announced that it will be replaced. In this latest evolution of Microsoft’s chat capability Skype for Business will be superseded with Microsoft’s newest collaboration service, Teams.

Teams was launched in March and while sharing much of the Skype functionality, it does have a different user interface. To put it simply, Teams is like a child of Skype and SharePoint -it allows collaboration and communication in a structured hub.

Why has Microsoft launched Teams?

Teams is designed to improve productivity within organisations. Employees are now in twice as many teams as they were 5 years ago and the amount of time and resource spent on collaborative work, through meetings, phone calls and or answering emails has increase by around 50%. With it taking an estimated 80% of employee resources.

We are not expecting the changes to happen overnight, it will likely take a year or two and for regular users of Skype we would advise you not to worry. Teams offers all of the functionality that Skype does as it is powered by the Skype infrastructure and you will be getting some additional collaboration capability along with it. The main change will be the interface as you will be moving to the Teams interface – but it is very similar and intuitive.

How Microsoft Teams works

Microsoft Teams is a chat based collaboration hub that allows you to schedule meetings with audio, video and sharing of content. It provides you with workspace to bring teams together to chat, collaborate and share documents and information all in one place.

Effectively you set up a team and you can make this private or public with up to 999 members and within each team you set up multiple channels, which are areas of content to focus the team on a particular topic or deliverable for example. You can set up a virtual team for every team within your organisation and host all of the information they require within Teams. For SharePoint users this will feel quite similar where you have team owners and team members instead of page owners and people with access. Teams allows you to chat in each channel and share all relevant information in that channel with complete integration across the Office 365 suite.

Teams makes it easy to control who has access to each team and allows the owners to change the functionality of the team members helping keep your information secure while allowing those that need it easy access. It also has the same level of security as the rest of the Office 365 with all information remaining encrypted while held within Teams.

Notification capability to keep you updated for all channels you subscribe to and allows you to chat in each channel and specify this directly. It is a very intuitive tool with some great functionality,

Microsoft Teams offers businesses an advanced collaboration tool that, when compared with sending emails and using shared folders, will have a large impact on productivity within the organisation. It is a very intuitive solution that we think will increase adoption and businesses have a real opportunity to drive greater collaboration and productivity within their organisations.

Microsoft Teams is available now via Office 365 business premium package.

For more information on Microsoft Teams please contact us for a demonstration.