Teams is a chat-based workspace that brings together people, conversations and content so teams can collaborate across devices in real time. The Team space can be tailored to your needs, providing relevant tools in one location such as Calendars and meetings in Outlook, content from SharePoint, OneDrive and OneNote and communication via Skype. Each team can have up to 2,500 members.

Chats allow @mentions, the addition of gifs, emojis and stickers, and can be transitioned to video meetings with one click. Files shared through chats can then be found in the Files tab.

  • Channels organise team conversations, content and tools into topics eg Policies, Events and Recruitment under the Human Resources Team.
  • Tabs allow you to add and browse through different tools like OneNote or Planner, opening them within the channel, saving time switching between apps.
  • Connectors deliver services like Trello, Yammer or Twitter into a Channel.
  • Bots can act as a personal assistant to find info & content, run surveys and provide quick status updates. Use @mentions to call a bot to complete a specific action.

In 2017 Microsoft announced that Teams would become the hub for all O365 communications functionality, incorporating Skype for Business for Office 365 users and bringing voice and video services under the Teams umbrella.

A free version of Teams is now available, allowing up to 300 participants and including all of the Office Online tools as well as 10GB of team file storage and 2GB personal storage per person.

Helps with

Communication: Secure communications, project planning, task management and file sharing. Instant message with Team members which will be saved for later review. Send an email to a channel address in a Team. Once an email is part of a channel, anyone can reply to it to start a conversation.

Project management: Use the activity view to see your individual and team conversations.

Collaboration: one-on-one chat and group discussions can be saved and searched.
Use Teams for specific project work, conversations about a particular subject and storing project documents. Use Yammer for Company announcements, crowd sourcing, success stories and problem solving with larger groups of people.

Sharing Resources: a central reference to relevant project or team materials, links and meetings.

Working across O365 tools: schedule meetings, view and edit OneNotes or start a conversation within Teams and avoid flicking between different applications.

NEW: You can now use the Forms bot to add real time polls to conversations.
NEW: Use a previously existing Team as a template to quickly create a new Team.

Beware of

Governance: It is very fast and easy to create a new team and every Team created will automatically create a matching Plan, SharePoint Team Site, Group and shared OneNote which can cause complications with governance and admin. Note a new Team no longer automatically creates an Outlook inbox.

Duplicates: If you already have an O365 group, it’s best to activate Teams in the group rather than create a new one and end up with duplicates that can’t be merged.

Security: If you create a Public Team, everything in this space can be publicly viewed – be aware of sensitive files or conversations

Sharing conversations: There’s currently no way to move conversations between Channels or from private chat to Team chat. If you are in the middle of a private chat and it becomes relevant for the team – switch over early.

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