Collaborating in Office 365: What Is Microsoft Teams?

How many times does one get pulled into a lengthy email thread with a gaggle of co-workers? Are your team communications hard to document and scattered among multiple programs? How can your work group more easily collaborate, chat, and share important files and resources?

Your solution is Microsoft Teams. Teams may be a cloud-based collaboration tool that's a part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of applications.

Collaborating in Office 365: What Is Microsoft Teams?

The core capabilities of Microsoft Teams include:

- Creating and managing work groups
- Communicating through chat/instant messaging
- Connecting with audio calling
- Launching impromptu or scheduled video meetings
- Sharing files and links
- Documenting work and resources
- Simplifying access to other Office apps

With Teams, work groups within a corporation can collaborate on content across different devices (laptops, tablets, and smartphones), and across multiple platforms including Windows and Mac.

Additionally, with Microsoft Teams, a team also can invite outside partners like vendors, service providers, and consultants to participate within the collaboration and conversations also because the sharing of resources. This is often an enormous plus to productivity and project management.

Better Than Slack & Google Hangouts

At its core, Teams may be a chat-based workspace that features group and private/instant messaging, with threaded and protracted conversations.

Although Teams competes with similar products like Slack and Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams is more robust, is included with Office 365, and connects with other Office 365 applications including Excel, Word, OneNote, Planner, and SharePoint. This integration with other Microsoft Office programs creates a more fluid, seamless portal and knowledge.

Note: If your organization is currently using Skype for Business for fast messaging, it's likely you'll see a move to groups as Skype for Business features a sunset date (end of life) in 2020.

Customize with Channels

Teams are made from channels which may be organized by topic, projects, or departments. Channels are quite flexible as they store meeting history, chat, shared files or resources, and other communications which will be easily searched.

Additionally, each channel are often customized with tabs for apps like SharePoint, Planner, OneNote, also as files and other shared resources. Planner is an easy-to-use Office 365 application to make to-do or action items for members of a workgroup then track progress of every action for a project or team.

Communicating with a selected channel member or maybe the whole team is additionally easy with @ mentions. Fortunately, the Activity tab in Teams makes it simple to catch abreast of all of your unread messages, @mentions, replies, and more. Like other messaging services, Teams communications also can include emojis and GIFs, an important a part of any business communication.

Video & Voice Meetings

Within a team-based messaging thread, you'll easily schedule voice and video meetings or launch a fast impromptu meeting with little effort. Teams meetings can even be scheduled from Microsoft Outlook. No matter the tactic used for scheduling meetings, these are be synced with Outlook to stay you on target.

Video meetings are often launched with specific contacts or within a channel and it is easy to make a recording of the meeting. Microsoft Teams includes a cool AI (AI) feature called blur background. With such a mobile and remote workforce, this tool allows you to eliminate a cluttered or unprofessional background of a call while still engaging with each participant on the decision.

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