The hub for teamwork in Office 365
Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork in Microsoft 365, playing a central role in nearly all customer engagements. With Microsoft Teams, your customers’ teams have a fluid environment for real-time collaboration, allowing them to iterate quickly on projects while sharing files and working together on deliverables. This enriches the Microsoft 365 teamwork story to help you capture new business and re-engage existing customers.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Teams is Microsoft’s take on chat-based communication for business; Teams is also Microsoft’s answer to competing platforms such as Slack. Slack stock continues to lose value, despite a good revenue flow–analysts cite Microsoft Teams as part of that decrease. In July 2019, Microsoft Teams slid by Slack with 13 million daily users; as of April 2020, Microsoft Teams has 75 million daily active users.
In its simplest form, the service allows users to set up Microsoft Teams, each of which is essentially a hub for group chat rooms, which are called channels (conversations).
Multiple chat rooms or channels can be created within a Team, and to help keep chats easy to follow, conversations are threaded, flow from top to bottom, and notify users of updates. If users need face-to-face conversation, they can jump straight into voice or video chats with other channel participants with a single click. The number of participants in a Microsoft Teams video chat is now a maximum of nine. Microsoft integrated the Kaizala messaging service for large-group communication into Teams in June 2019.
However, Microsoft is pushing the platform as being more than just a chat hub. Teams is integrated with Microsoft 365, which means it is tied to other Microsoft Office services, such as Word and Excel, as well as its cloud storage and sharing services such as SharePoint, PowerPoint, OneNote, Planner (which is being rebranded as Tasks), and Power BI.
Any documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and the like that are shared within a Team are synced with a copy stored in Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage and a local SharePoint environment, so every Team member always has access to the latest version. Collaborative editing of this shared content is also possible, with each user’s changes reflected in the Office software in real time.
Alongside this integration with Microsoft’s wider suite of services, new functionality, such as Teams for healthcare organizations (February 2020), is being added all the time.
Even if someone doesn’t like using Microsoft Teams, the service’s integration with Microsoft 365 means that important updates or content generated within the collaboration platform can be flagged up outside of Teams; for instance, Microsoft Delve might highlight an update to an important shared file.
Microsoft Team channels can also communicate with outside services via Connectors. Connectors already exist to push updates from GitHub, Evernote, Zendesk, MailChimp, SAP SuccessFactors, Salesforce, and many more to Teams’ channels, and an API framework is available to allow more to be built, also allowing businesses to link their own internal apps. Microsoft Teams supports over 100 Connectors and shipped with 85 Bots. From within Chat, every Team channel has access to T-Bot, a bot that can answer simple questions about how to use Microsoft Teams.
Access to files, internal sites, and dashboards is automatically controlled by Microsoft 365 Groups and SharePoint, with users able to create a new Group or attach the Team to an existing Group when creating the Team.
Microsoft Teams is designed to meet the same security and data protection standards as Microsoft 365 and is Microsoft 365 Tier C compliant. The service enforces two-factor authentication, single sign-on through Active Directory, and encryption of data in transit and at rest. Microsoft is also adding controls to help organizations protect sensitive information from being shared or leaked. Information barriers allow firms to limit which team members can communicate and collaborate with each other. Secure Private Channels lets organizations control which team members can see conversations and content in a specific Teams channel.
As well as the chat-based communications, Teams’ integration with other Microsoft services allows users access to shared files and calendars, collaborative editing, and easy switching between voice, video, and text chat.
The service is available to most subscribers to the cloud-based Microsoft
Microsoft Teams is available to Microsoft 365 customers and supports 93 languages and dialects.