There has been a lot of buzz circling Microsoft Teams since its official launch on March 14th, 2017 after having been in beta since November 2nd, 2016.

So, what is Teams? Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, described Teams as “a chat-based workspace…designed to facilitate real-time collaboration while building up the institutional knowledge of a team.”. The application is designed to pull together various tools into a single platform, including pieces like meetings, notes, a planner, and, of course, chat.

Office 365 Groups forms the basis of the application and provides a central repository for all things collaboration across different applications. Users create “Channels” within Teams so that users can begin to create groups to share relevant content with other team members in real time, providing users the ability to quickly and seamlessly interact with those around them. Teams also leverages deep integration with Skype for voice and video built into the application.

What is the big deal? So…. Microsoft has found a way to collapse multiple workplace communication, productivity, and collaboration tools into a single application. Neat. What does this mean to me? One word, CUSTOMIZATION. Microsoft Teams enables users to create their own experience by way of cloud services built into tabs and Microsoft Bot integration. There are literally hundreds of applications that can be integrated within Teams. Applications like WhoBot enable users to search for co-workers by asking contextual questions or Freehand by InVision which allows team members to draw, plan and collaborate on an infinite whiteboard-in real time. Apps like MailChimp, Kronos, SurveyMonkey, and Cloudbot for Azure are just a few examples of applications that integrate with Teams and provide users with powerful tools to enhance and increase productivity across an organization.

As you may be able to see, Teams is more than a water cooler hang out spot. The application offers a world of possibilities to organizations and departments that enable and empower users to customize communication in an efficient manner, leveraging productive native and 3rd party applications to fuel productivity.

Need assistance becoming more familiar with the possibilities of this powerful application? Looking to understand how you may be able to integrate 3rd party applications and maximize insight or productivity? Thinking about governance and how one might secure Teams so that its right for your company?

Team Venti offers a variety of services to help organizations hit the ground running, quickly.

Our most popular service is “Define & Design”. “Define & Design” helps to get Teams off the ground quickly and establish a framework for which people and organizations can land and expand. After Teams has been established, we highly recommend a Governance plan. Given the highly customizable nature of Teams, it is critical to establish a framework of processes and procedures that ensures that all organizational structures are in place for data accuracy and security.

Teams will fundamentally shift how we collaborate. Contact us today to make sure your organization or department is maximizing the value of this application.