Thursday, August 30, 2018

Microsoft Teams - What You Need To Know

Jeff Willinger
Platforms / Technology / Innovation

Microsoft Teams is the new darling of the Office 365 suite of products.  Being on the partner side and hearing all the hype, some of us were talking about a Yammer re-incarnation, or the ‘new’ Skype for Business.   I am here to tell you; Microsoft Teams is a game-changer.  From collaboration in real time to integrating a wide range of tools into a single workspace so your team can quickly iterate on projects and better manage day-to-day business activities, Microsoft Teams is designed for teamwork and flexibility.

Teams is the chat-based workspace in Office 365 that builds on existing Microsoft technologies woven together by Office 365 Groups.  Powered by the cloud, Teams brings together the best of Office 365 into a single workspace for working with people, managing conversations, maintaining files, and integrating Office 365 applications, so everyone has instant access to everything they need.

Over the last year and a half, Teams has evolved to become the ultimate hub for teamwork. Built on the strength and scale of Office 365 with over 200 million users, Teams delivers chat-based collaboration, meetings, calling, and soon, full enterprise voice features.

To advance the Microsoft vision for Intelligent Communications, there are new Teams features, including:

  • Cloud recording—Will provide one-click meeting recordings with automatic transcription and timecoding, enabling all team members the ability to read captions, search within the conversation, and playback all or part of the meeting. In the future, it will also include facial recognition, so remarks can be attributed to specific meeting attendees.
  • Inline message translation—People who speak different languages will be able to fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat.
  • Cortana voice interactions for Teams-enabled devices—Will enable you to easily make a call, join a meeting, or add other people to a meeting in Teams using spoken, natural language. This functionality will extend to IP phones and conference room devices.
  • Background blur on video—The ability to blur your background during video calls will allow other meeting attendees to focus on you, not what’s behind you.
  • Proximity detection for Teams Meetings—This feature will make it easy for you to discover and add a nearby and available Skype Room System to any meeting.
  • Mobile sharing in meetings—Meeting attendees will be able to share a live video stream, photos, or the screen from their mobile device.

Here are my top tips for successful Microsoft Teams adoption

  • The successful adoption of Microsoft Teams requires a change in behavior for most organizations. Teams is more than a product – it represents a different way of working. Change is about people – and re-wiring corporate culture.
  • Use it to work, not just to network and find a team/project that wants to try working differently. There’s usually some process or workflow that the whole team agrees could be faster, leaner, crowdsourced, or at least more inclusive. Find that thing you all agree on and move it to Teams.
  • Do your daily “stand-ups” or weekly meetings in Teams
  • Post a link to meeting notes and @mention those with action items
  • Cancel a meeting and try talking out an issue in Teams
  • Post docs for feedback
  • Use a poll to decide where to go for lunch
  • Add your favorite example as a comment…!

What are your favorite tips?  Please share and for additional resources check out www.aka.ms/successwithteams and https://aka.ms/CoffeeintheCloud

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