At Microsoft Ignite this year, there was a lot of interest in Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s answer to the very popular persistent-chat platform, Slack. Microsoft Teams was released last year and it caught some by surprise. When it was released, many of our clients were not sure how they would put Teams to good use. However, in just 6 short months, Teams is now being used by over 125,000 organizations across the world. Microsoft Teams is enjoying strong momentum and its rapid growth is proof that collaboration and instant communication are desired in the modern workplace.
Microsoft Teams is an application in Office 365 that brings together people, conversations, and content—along with the tools that teams need—so they can easily collaborate to achieve more. It’s also important to note that Microsoft Teams was built from the ground up on the Office 365 global secure cloud.
Now that Teams has been out for nearly a year, we were eager to hear what the future might hold for it. We’re happy to report, there is a bright future for Microsoft Teams! At Ignite, Microsoft shared its vision for bringing Skype for Business and Teams closer together to deliver an “intelligent communications” platform that enables calling and meeting capabilities. In addition, Microsoft will empower teams with data and insights that will be provided via Microsoft Graph.
Microsoft Teams is positioned to transform intelligent communications and how team members collaborate, share, and communicate. The robust capabilities of Teams will also make it a true game-changer in how organizations conduct meetings. The application is bringing together conversations, meetings, files, Office apps, and third-party integrations—to provide a single hub for teamwork in Office 365.
How is Microsoft Making Teams Better With Improved Infrastructure?
Meetings in Microsoft Teams will be powered by what Microsoft calls, “a new, modern Skype infrastructure for enterprise-grade voice and video communications”. Microsoft said that this infrastructure will provide “speed of innovation and will deliver a higher-quality communication experience”.
According to Microsoft, Teams will evolve as the primary client for intelligent communications in Office 365, ultimately replacing the current Skype for Business client over time.
Business Meetings Will Never Be the Same with Microsoft Teams
Microsoft is combining communications, collaboration, and intelligence in a way that will make new things possible across the lifecycle of a call or meeting. In a recent Microsoft blog, they outlined how Teams will make a meeting better before, during, and after the meeting:
- Before a meeting, Teams will surface relevant documents and rich information about the participants to help you prepare.
- During the meeting, the conversation can be captured, transcribed, and time-coded, with closed captioning and voice recognition for attributing remarks to specific individuals.
- After the meeting, the cloud recording and transcript can be automatically added to the relevant channel, so conversations, documents, notes, and action items can be reviewed, indexed, and searched by the entire team.
Leveraging the Power of Office 365
Office 365 has been built to help organizations collaborate and share like never before. With Teams, Microsoft has established a single hub in Office 365. This hub will tap into the power of Office 365 applications. In a demonstration of Microsoft Teams we saw, we liked that users can access their Outlook calendars in Teams and connect to meetings on a mobile device. In addition, Teams can assist users in sharing information captured in a Microsoft OneNote or documents that are stored in SharePoint. From a user perspective, the experience will all just be Microsoft Teams. Teams creates a unified user experience and allows users to work in multiple Office 365 applications without ever leaving Microsoft Teams.
When Microsoft Teams was first released, access was limited to users in the same AD. You may have read in our last blog post about Microsoft announcing that they had enabled guest access in Microsoft Teams. This means you can now use Teams to collaborate with people outside your organization. There is no doubt that Microsoft is fully committed to Microsoft Teams and we expect that we’ll see more features that will leverage the broad capabilities of Office 365.
Look for more articles about Microsoft Teams and download our latest Office 365 eBook entitled, “A Beginners Guide to Office 365”.