In Focus

Getting Started With MS Teams

During this article, we will get introduced to MS Teams and understand its collaboration features.

Overview

 
Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace in Office 365. MS Teams is growing rapidly and replacing Skype for Business. It has a lot of features to offer over its predecessors, including chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. MS Teams uses various services from Office 365 and MS Azure.
 

History

 
In the past, team collaboration started with a basic idea of a chat-based system – Office communicator, which allowed users to interact with each other. In 2010, Lync was rebranded from Office Communicator. Later, Microsoft acquired Skype and then Lync was rebranded as Skype for Business. During 2016, Microsoft had considered bidding for Slack. However, Bill Gates was insisting on improving the existing Skype for Business and it gave rise to MS Teams.
 

Getting Started with MS Teams

 
MS Teams is appealing and easy to use. Before we start using MS Teams, let us explore how it fits into the larger Office 365 umbrella. MS Teams internally use SharePoint Team site, Office 365 group, and shared OneNote.
 

How does MS Teams bring everything together?

 
MS Teams gets everything in one window by providing more collaboration to the users.
  • Meetings and Calendar (Outlook)
  • Manage Content (SharePoint, OneDrive, and OneNote)
  • Chat (Skype)
  • Video and Voice calling (Skype)
Benefits of MS Teams
  • One place for collaboration
  • Integration with Office 365 services
  • Security and compliance
  • Integration with Azure Active Directory
  • Customizations using BOT Framework and APIs
When we create a Team, it is supported with the below features in the background.
  • Office 365 Group
  • SharePoint Online Modern Site with a document library to store files
  • Exchange online shared mailbox and calendar
  • OneNote notebook
  • Integration with other Office 365 apps like Power BI and Planner

Clients for MS Teams

 
MS Teams offers clients for desktop (Windows and Mac), Web, and mobile (Android and iOS). All these clients need a working internet connection and do not support offline mode.
 
Desktop client
 
MS Desktop client is a standalone application and is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. On the Windows operation system, it requires the .NET framework 4.5 or later. Desktop clients can be downloaded and installed from https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads.
 
Web client
 
The web client can be accessed from https://teams.microsoft.com. Most recent browsers including IE 11, IE Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari supports calling and meeting without installing any add-ins.
 
Mobile client
 
MS Teams mobile app (in Google Play and Apple App Store) is available for Android and iOS.
 
Supported mobile platforms,
  • Android: 4.4 or later
  • iOS: 10.0 or later

Office 365 and Team Collaboration

 
Every team is unique based on its size, and collaboration needs. Office 365 offers many services to fulfill each team’s collaboration needs. Below are few points while deciding which Office apps and services might be a good fit.
 
MS Teams
 
MS Teams offers various collaboration options for a team including chat, voice and video calls, file sharing, co-authoring a document. It is the hub for teamwork.
 
SharePoint
 
SharePoint offers collaboration features by keeping the content at the center. It makes the content easily manageable, searchable, and shareable across the team. SharePoint provides integration with Outlook, MS Teams, and Yammer.
 
Outlook
 
Outlook provides collaboration by enabling email communication within the teams.
 
Yammer
 
Yammer allows connecting with people across the organization. It helps to share the content, manage the discussions, and build communities around common interests.
 
OneDrive for Business
 
OneDrive for business is all about managing files and sharing them with the team. It offers offline synchronization of the content.
 
Office Apps
 
Office apps are familiar tools that team uses commonly including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
 

Summary

 
MS Teams is a collaborative workspace in Office 365. It offers chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. MS Teams uses various services from Office 365 and MS Azure. It offers clients for desktop (Windows and Mac), Web, and mobile (Android and iOS).