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Microsoft launches new product: Microsoft Teams

Screenshot were already leaked, but last Wednesday Microsoft Teams was finally officially launched. This new online service within Office 365 has as purpose to make the coöperation between groups superior. Microsoft Teams is founded on Office 365 Groups and offers integration of the most important Office 365 products where a conversation (chat) timeline becomes the centre. The timeline is a further development on the Skype Web Cliënt and makes it possible to integrate several (chat)bots in the conversation. Tabs can also be made to use Microsoft and 3rd Party products directly.

Integrate almost all of the Microsoft products

Microsoft Teams offers all participants the same access rights. Everyone can coöperate over tasks, meetings, Office files, dashboards and notes. Central is the timeline; conversations are permanent accessible.
Within Teams Channels can be made. This automatically makes new sections in the Group OneNote and folders in the joined SharePoint Teamsite document library.
One of the strongest features is the visual integration with products like SharePoint, Skype, OneNote, Planner, Power BI, Word, Excel and Powerpoint. These are even more easy to use without switching between several user interfaces. Moreover a Skype Meeting is simple to set up in the browser. Standard recorded for people in the team who couldn't attend.

Also an integration with external services.

Teams ondersteunt 70 connectors - ook al beschikbaar binnen Office 365 Groups - om externe service events te posten in de chat tijdlijn. Verder is het mogelijk om SaaS applicaties te integreren. Ook kunnen software bedrijven hun apps verder integreren met Teams door applicaties geschikt te maken voor ‘de Team tabbladen’. Hiermee kun je informatie van een specifieke Microsoft of 3rd Party applicatie in een groep tonen. De eerste voorbeelden zijn al beschikbaar: Zendesk, Hootsuite, Intercom en Asana.

Integratie met Chat(bots)

At the beginning of this year, Microsoft launched the Bot Framework and at the moment there are 50 Bots developed. If you add a bot, there is a possibility to ask questions from Teams and all answers are visible for everyone who is involved. It is also possible to question a bot from a privat session. The T-bot for example is always present to ask questions about the use of Microsoft Teams and you can ask the WhoBot information about your colleagues. During the launch of Teams the Bot 'Polly' was exposed, with Polly you can easily set up a Poll for team members. Bots are because of Teams (and Skype) slowly going to be more important in the way we pull information and work together. In Teams they become virtual teammembers, which you actively involve in your conversations.

Conclusion

With Teams Microsoft offers a solution for as well synchronous (Outlook) as asynchronous (Skype) coöperation. The competitor Slack already has shown the power of the group chat messages, Channels and integrated Apps as an alternative on e-mail. In seven years this start-up could grow to a platform with four million active users, based on a familiar platform. Based on the features of Teams it is clear that Microsoft took a good look at their success and at the success from others. Unfortunately there is a good chance that now there is a good alternative, many Office 365 customers don't want to spend many on this too.

Very happy

A really important advantage of Microsoft Teams (in contrast to others) is the thorough integration with all the Office 365 products and services. Also the concept Tabs offers really interesting possibilities for developers from applications, which makes it even easier for them to use. Personally I am really happy about this development within the Microsoft platform. Especially because it helps organisations to stop the flow of flat e-mails without clear context. Within Teams you can manage your notification settings and you simply switch between context (project, proces and knowledge area) to see what is happening (chatmessages). You can easily switch subject (channel) or content (tabs) within the content you are working. This makes Office 365 users very happy!

Let's begin

Thrilled to work with Teams? Microsoft Teams is available as a preview for Office 365 users with Business Essentials, Premium and Enterprice subscriptions. Beside the use in the browser there are already desktop apps available for Windows, Mac and mobile apps for iOS, Android and Window 10 Mobile. Teams is commonly available at the beginning of 2017.

 

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