Announcing Microsoft Teams
On November 2, 2016 Microsoft announced what people have already started calling the “slack killer”. This being Microsoft Teams. Putting it briefly Teams is a tool that allows you to create small groups of users (usually your team mates or at least others within your organization) to collaborate on projects, common themes or whatever you need to easily work together with others on. Sounds an awful lot like SharePoint Groups doesn’t it? Well I will get to that in a bit. The biggest difference however is that Teams has a chat component, and it’s really slick. I have already started using it to collaborate on a presentation that my friend Joanne Klein and I are working on. It allowed us to easily discuss our thoughts on where we wanted our presentation to go and how we wanted to configure it. We could have even done it via a video meeting if we felt the need.
This is the first post in a four part series I am completing on Microsoft Teams. You can go directly to the section you are interested by clicking on a link below:
- Microsoft Teams – First Look and Thoughts (this post)
- Microsoft Teams – The App
- Microsoft Teams – Chat Feature
- Microsoft Teams – Meetings and Files
Some Great Features
With Teams you you have a great feature set at your fingertips to allow collaboration and preparation to be super easy and efficient. I am going to list a few of the features, but will describe them in further detail in my next post on this topic (coming soon).
- Ability to chat. This includes individual conversations, separate groups or everyone in the Team.
- Meeting Calendar
- File storage
- Activity List
- Post pictures, files, and just about anything important to your team (as long as it doesn’t break SharePoint’s blocked file list).
- File collaboration (co-authoring)
- Security where you need it
I personally think Microsoft Teams is awesome. Slack is pretty good, but I think that Teams brings much more to the table. The ability to co-author alone makes Teams much better than slack. However, with Teams you can now utilize all of the same features slack has, but also add on your favorite SharePoint features as well. You can customize your branding and other components of Teams as you need (will get into this further).
I do have one huge issue with teams. Remember when I mentioned that it sounds a lot like groups. Well it essentially is. When you create a team you also create a group. When you work with documents it sees the storage medium as SharePoint So it is yet another tool that is very similar to tools already in existence. Myself, I fully believe that SharePoint Groups should have been enhanced with the features found in Teams instead of creating a whole new application. The reason being is that now if we want to chat with team members, we have to open a new tool. Not to mention we now have at least three areas with conversations, that being Groups, Yammer and Teams and each conversation is separate to that application. What is nice is that Teams uses the Graph to access data from other sections you have access to (like documents and such) so you can see data from other applications within the O365 family. Recently at Summit I inquired as to why Microsoft is continually making these new tools instead of enhancing existing one. The answer I received I cannot post as I believe it is under NDA, but while it did make sense to a certain extent, I am not sure I agree with it entirely. I still feel that your user experience would be much better as an enhancement to Groups rather than a new application entirely. That’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.
Coming up my next post will discuss the different features of teams and how you can best utilize it.
Thanks for reading!!!