The Microsoft Chat & Central Workspace for Teamwork in Enterprise Environments

Microsoft Teams is a chat-based central workspace (hub). Its purpose is the digital support for more effective communication and collaboration in teamwork. The service is based on existing Microsoft technologies and can integrate other Office 365 services.

However, Microsoft Teams is more than just a chat solution. In addition to functions for chat, phone calls and meetings, the service provides access to many other Office 365 services, such as SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, Office Groups, OneDrive and even Planner.


 

Teams is Microsoft's implementation of the “Intelligent Communication” vision. The tool has recently won the Best of Enterprise Connect Award, leaving 40 other top manufacturers behind.
> More about the Microsoft Team Award


Who Is Microsoft Teams For?

As a central work space for teamwork, Microsoft Teams is intended for businesses of all sizes – from major enterprises to small and medium-sized companies. It is ideal for:

  • users and teams seeking to collaborate in a group of people in real time
  • project teams wanting to complete their project quickly, including file sharing and simultaneous collaboration on shared project documents
  • users who also want to integrate a wide range of tools in their workspace (e.g. Microsoft Planner, PowerBI, Project Online etc.)

Microsoft Teams – A Hub for Teamwork  

With Microsoft Teams, you will have a central place in which you can work together with your team. Expand the functionality of this service by integrating connectors and apps from Office 365 or other third-party tools.

  • For example, add Microsoft Planner directly and start using the functions concerning work management within Microsoft Teams.
  • Work together on a Word document within the chat function in Teams and save this file in a shared document library.

    Chat, Call and Video Conference

    With Microsoft Teams, it is easy to chat, make phone calls or attend video conferences. The service is also compatible with Skype, so you can easily integrate Skype users.

    Bots Facilitate Everyday Business

    Bots are automated programs that answer questions and send notifications. For example, you can use the T-Bot to learn more about Microsoft Teams or PMOtto as a personal project management assistant. Integrate additional bots from the Microsoft Store.

    Available on All Devices

    Microsoft Teams is available on different devices: online, as a desktop client or as a mobile application – regardless of whether you are using an iOS device or an Android phone or tablet.


    Overview of the Microsoft Teams Infrastructure

    Microsoft Teams is supported in the background by Office 365 groups. If you create a team in Microsoft Teams, an Office 365 group is automatically created with all its components.

    Components of an Office 365 Group Belonging to a MS Teams Hub

    • Inbox: For email communication among the members of your group. This inbox has an email address and can be configured for accepting messages from people outside the group and even outside your organization, similar to a conventional mailing list.
    • Shared calendar: For planning events related to the group
    • SharePoint document library: A central place to store and share files for the group
    • Shared OneNote notebook: For collecting ideas, research data and information
    • SharePoint team site: A central repository for information, links and content concerning your group
    • Planner: For assigning and managing project tasks for the members of your group

    In addition, if you create a team, you automatically create a channel. Additional channels can be added manually by the user.

    Channels are individual sections within a team. Within them, conversations are organized according to specific topics, projects, disciplines or other important aspects. All team members can have open conversations in team channels. These are visible for everyone.

    The functionalities of the channels can be increased using connectors and apps. Connectors are interfaces with other services within or outside the Microsoft Cloud. There are currently more than 50 apps and connectors available.


    Why Teams?
    Comparison with Outlook, Yammer, Skype for Business

    Outlook: Outlook is used for traditional 1:n communication. Information is sent to one or more recipients by email. There is neither a common file repository, nor can documents be edited together as a team. Unlike the chat-based solutions Teams or Skype, it delays the exchange of information.

    Yammer: Yammer is the social network for businesses. It is therefore aimed at a large group of participants. As in Facebook, you can upload posts. Hence, Yammer is more of a company-wide “news hub” available to all employees. It is intended to strengthen activities in the context of corporate culture.

    Teams: As a hub for teamwork, Microsoft Teams especially supports the cooperation and communication within small and large groups or departments. This service is aimed at employees who want to collaborate and communicate with each other in a narrower circle. All shared information is always available to all team members and can be centrally edited and commented on.

    Skype: Both Skype and Teams are chat-based solutions and enable the exchange of information. The difference lies in the way central information is shared and edited and the people who can access it. Teams has solved this better with than Skype. According to Microsoft, “Teams will evolve as the primary tool for intelligent communications in Office 365, replacing Skype for Business Online over time.”


    Just from One Source: Attractive Licensing Conditions

    TPG The Project Group is an indirect reseller in the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. In addition to the professional services for introducing Microsoft Teams, TPG also offers Office 365 licenses on attractive terms. This applies to companies with the following plans:

    • Office 365 Business Premium
    • Office 365 Business Essentials
    • Office 365 Enterprise E1
    • Office 365 Enterprise E3
    • Office 365 Enterprise E5

    Gartner Survey on Microsoft Teams

    In the study Gartner Studie on Microsoft Teams (November 2017), the author writes: “Microsoft is merging Skype for Business Online with Microsoft Teams, creating a teamwork hub for Office 365. The decision signals a new collaboration approach that application leaders should assess in light of their requirements for optimizing team activities.”

    The main contents of the survey are:

    • Skype and Microsoft Teams are merging more and more
    • Microsoft Teams is the future
    • Gartner recommends the following:
      • early pilot run of Microsoft Teams
      • developing a strategy for introduction and use
      • evaluation of a dual application scenario, e.g., Skype for direct messages AND Teams for communication in the workspaces