Introducing Microsoft Teams – Enhanced Collaboration in Office 365
Yesterday Microsoft announced the launch of Microsoft Teams, the latest addition to their Office 365 portfolio. The chat-based workspace is an entirely new experience, bringing together people, conversations and content – providing the tools that teams need to collaborate and achieve more.
It’s naturally integrated with the familiar Office applications and is built from the ground up on the Office 365 global, secure cloud. Microsoft Teams is available for preview in 181 countries and in 18 languages to commercial customers with Office 365 Enterprise or Business plans, with general availability expected in the first quarter of 2017.
Microsoft Teams Highlights
Chat, for today’s teams
First and foremost, Microsoft Teams provides a modern conversation experience for the teams of today. The platform supports not only persistent but also threaded chats to keep everyone engaged. Team conversations are, by default, visible to the entire team, but there is, of course, the ability for private discussions. Skype is deeply integrated, so teams can participate in voice and video conferences. In addition to these features, everyone is able to add personality to their digital workspace with emojis, stickers, GIFs and custom memes to make it their own.
A hub for teamwork
Secondly, Microsoft Teams brings together the full breadth and depth of Office 365 to provide a true hub for teamwork. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve are all built into Teams so people have all the information and tools they need at their fingertips. Backed by the Microsoft Graph, intelligent services are surfaced throughout the workspace to help with information relevancy, discovery and sharing. Microsoft Teams is also built on Office 365 Groups—the cross-application membership service that makes it easy for people to move naturally from one collaboration tool to another, preserve their sense of context and share with others.
Customisable for each team
Third, since all teams are unique, Microsoft has invested deeply in ways for people to customise their workspace, with rich extensibility and open APIs available at general availability. For example, Tabs provides quick access to frequently used documents and cloud services. Microsoft Teams also shares the same Connector model as Exchange, providing notifications and updates from third-party services like Twitter or GitHub. Further, we are including full support for the Microsoft Bot Framework to bring intelligent first- and third-party services into your team environment.
Security teams trust
Finally, Microsoft Teams provides the advanced security and compliance capabilities that Office 365 customers expect. Data is encrypted in transit and at rest. Like all our commercial services, it has a transparent operational model with no standing access to customer data. In addition to this, Microsoft Teams will support key compliance standards including EU Model Clauses, ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA and more. And, as customers would expect, Microsoft Teams is served out of a hyper-scale global network of data centres, automatically provisioned within Office 365 and managed centrally, just as any other Office 365 service.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Which Office 365 plans will include Microsoft Teams?
A. Microsoft Teams is available to Office 365 commercial customers with one of the following plans: Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Enterprise E1, E3 and E5. Microsoft Teams will also be available to customers who purchased E4 prior to its retirement. If you’re unsure which version of Office 365 you’re currently running then contact our customer support team today.
Q. What action do Office 365 IT admins need to take to access the preview of Microsoft Teams?
A. To turn on Microsoft Teams, IT admins should go to their Office 365 admin centre, click Settings > Services & Add Ins> Microsoft Teams.
Q. When will Microsoft Teams roll out broadly to all eligible Office 365 customers?
A. Microsoft Teams is available for preview to eligible Office 365 commercial customers beginning November 2, 2016. We expect the service to become generally available in the first quarter of the 2017 calendar year.
Q. What platforms does Microsoft Teams support?
A. Microsoft Teams runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and web platforms.
Q. What level of security and compliance does Microsoft Teams support?
A. Microsoft Teams is expected to be Office 365 Tier C compliant at launch. This broad set of global compliance and data protection requirements includes ISO 27001, ISO 27018, EUMC, SOC 1 Type I & II, SOC 2 Type I and II, HIPAA and FERPA. Microsoft Teams also enforces two-factor authentication, single sign-on through Active Directory and encryption of data in transit and at rest.
Q. What training is available to help Office 365 admins learn about Microsoft Teams?
A. Microsoft has two different courses currently available for IT admins. To view the training, visit the Microsoft Virtual Academy website.
Q. I am not an existing Office 365 user – how can I access Microsoft Teams?
A. As a trusted Microsoft partner Arden Group delivers the complete Office 365 package, along with all its benefits, to businesses across the UK. Contact our team today for an informal chat about the powerful benefits Office 365 can deliver to your business.