About Microsoft Teams

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If you're the admin for Microsoft Teams in your organization, you're in the right place. When you're ready to get going with Teams, start with How to roll out Teams and Set up secure collaboration with Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.

Teams has plenty of frustrations, but it also plays a key role in pulling together the parts of Microsoft's sprawling Office 365 platform in a manner that users can adopt. Teams also fits well with Microsoft's collaboration hardware, from Surface Hub to the newly announced Surface Neo and Duo. Microsoft Teams is cloud-based team collaboration software that is part of the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suite of applications. The core capabilities in Microsoft Teams include business messaging, calling, video meetings and file sharing. Businesses of all sizes can use Teams. Think of a “team” as a house. In Microsoft Teams you work in different “teams”. You can think of.

If you're new to Teams and want to learn more, check out our short Welcome to Teams video (55 seconds).

Don't miss our Welcome to Teams for the Teams admin video (just over 3 minutes):

If you're looking for end user Teams Help, click Help on the left side of the app, or go to the Microsoft Teams help center. For training, go to Microsoft Teams Training.

Teams architecture

Teams is built on Microsoft 365 groups, Microsoft Graph, and the same enterprise-level security, compliance, and manageability as the rest of Microsoft 365 and Office 365. Teams leverages identities stored in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Teams keeps working even when you're offline or experiencing spotty network conditions.

To see where Teams fits in the context of Microsoft 365, check out this architecture poster: Teams as part of Microsoft 365

When you create a team, here's what gets created:

  • A new Microsoft 365 group
  • A SharePoint Online site and document library to store team files
  • An Exchange Online shared mailbox and calendar
  • A OneNote notebook
  • Ties into other Microsoft 365 and Office 365 apps such as Planner and Power BI

When you create a team from an existing group, that group's membership, site, mailbox, and notebook are surfaced in Teams. To learn more, check out this poster: Groups in Microsoft 365 for IT Architects

To customize and extend Teams, add third-party apps through apps, bots, and connectors. With Teams, you can include people from outside your organization by adding them as a guest to a team or channel. As part of Microsoft 365 and Office 365, Teams offers a robust development platform so you can build the teamwork hub you need for your organization.

About

Tip

For a deep dive into Teams architecture, watch the videos on the Teams Platform Academy.

Managing Teams

As the admin, you'll manage Teams through the Microsoft Teams admin center. For a quick orientation, watch the Manage Teams using the Teams admin center video (3:03 min):

To learn more:

To stay on top of what's coming for Teams and all other Microsoft 365 or Office 365 products and services in your organization, be sure to check Message center and the Teams roadmap. You'll get announcements about new and updated features, planned changes, and issues to help keep you informed and prepared.

Upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams

Teams is the primary client for intelligent communications in Microsoft 365 and Office 365, and it'll eventually replace Skype for Business Online. To stay on top of new features coming to Teams, see the Microsoft 365 Roadmap. To complement persistent chat and messaging capabilities, Teams offers a comprehensive meeting and calling experience, with built in, fully integrated voice and video. Check out Teams is now a complete meeting and calling solution in the Microsoft Teams Blog.

If you're running Skype for Business and are ready to upgrade to Teams, or if you're running Skype for Business and Teams side-by-side and are ready to fully move to Teams, we have the tools, tips, and guidance to help make your transition successful. To learn more, see Upgrade to Teams.

Teamwork

Every team is different; there's no one-size-fits-all approach to collaboration. Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are designed to meet the unique needs of every team, empowering people to communicate, collaborate, and achieve more with purpose-built, integrated applications.

When deciding which Microsoft 365 or Office 365 apps and services to use, think about the work your organization does and the types of conversations your teams need to have.

  • Teams, as the hub for teamwork, is where people - including people outside your organization - can actively connect and collaborate in real time to get things done. Have a conversation right where the work is happening, whether coauthoring a document, having a meeting, or working together in other apps and services. Teams is the place to have informal chats, iterate quickly on a project, work with team files, and collaborate on shared deliverables.

  • Outlook for collaborating in the familiar environment of email and in a more formal, structured manner or when targeted and direct communication is required.

  • SharePoint for sites, portals, intelligent content services, business process automation, and enterprise search. SharePoint keeps content at the center of teamwork, making all types of content easily shareable and accessible across teams. Tight integration with Outlook, Yammer, and Teams enables seamless content collaboration across conversation experiences.

  • OneDrive for Business for storing files and sharing them with people that a user invites. Content that a user saves to OneDrive for Business is private until the user shares it with others, making it the best option for storing personal and draft documents that are not intended to be shared or not ready to be shared.

  • Yammer to connect people across the organization. Drive company-wide initiatives, share best practices, and build communities around common topics of interest or areas of practice. Crowdsource ideas to foster open discussions with people across the company.

  • Office apps are all the familiar tools that people know and use regularly, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Teams content updates

See a weekly list of Teams topics that have been updated.

Teams known issues

See Teams Troubleshooting.

Teams client release notes

See What's new in Teams.

How Microsoft Teams has evolved to meet customer and partner needs for cloud-based collaboration, according to Sherweb.
Information about microsoft teams

by Sherweb • May 3, 2021

The global workforce has seen a shocking and rapid switch to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. But that shift was never going to be completely temporary. The pandemic only accelerated a trend towards flex working that was well underway in 2019.

More and more businesses will reopen as the pandemic winds down, but the way they work will be completely different. A survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers shows many organizations want to keep a portion of their workforce remote. Others will shift workers to hybrid schedules, where workers change between on-premise and remote work.

This expected change poses a question: How will workers collaborate when they’re dispersed and constantly moving? What about connecting multiple, new low-density offices or working with sales and service staff in the field?

An assortment of video, voice and workspace apps have all tried to fill this void until now. But as the post-pandemic normal mode of working takes hold, many businesses will need to find a new solution, yet again, that suits all of their employees’ diverse needs. The best answer for many companies will be a unified collaboration platform, the most effective of which is arguably Microsoft Teams.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams launched in November 2016 as part of the Office 365 productivity suite. Teams is a collaboration platform that unifies chat, voice, video and file sharing. It’s designed to be used by local, remote and distributed work groups—anyone in any company, really!

Microsoft has steadily updated Teams since its initial launch. A host of new features have been added throughout 2020 and into 2021 as demand for comprehensive collaboration tools has exploded. Its key features include:

Chat

Teams offers both one-on-one and group chats. Both types are persistent, so users don’t need to search conversation histories as they did in Skype for Business.
Teams chat includes a host of modern messaging features, including text formatting, emoji and priority flagging. Users can also share files directly through chat sessions.

About Microsoft Teams

Channels

The true power of Teams lies in users’ ability to collaborate through multiple different channels. Channels can be either Standard—public and open to everyone who wants to join—or private and focused on specific topics or activities. Channel owners must authorize new users to join their channel.

Meetings

Teams offers videoconferencing for up to 250 users per session. Due to popular request, Microsoft is actively working on increasing that limit.
Video meetings can be scheduled on a channel’s calendar, or users can create them on the fly. Teams offers meeting broadcasts for up to 10,000 simultaneous viewers using the Microsoft Stream integration.

Calling

One of the most overlooked features in Teams is its ability to offer outbound calling right from the client. It is an excellent way for remote or mobile users to stay connected through one single, reliable connection.

7 things you should know about Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Download

No matter whether you’re at a business researching how to manage your new, hybrid workforce, or you’re at a seasoned managed service provider brushing up on the latest offerings for your customers, we think these are the eight most important things you should know about Microsoft Teams.

1. Teams offers secure collaboration, both internally and externally
Teams provides all of the security features of the broader Microsoft 365 suite. That includes two-factor authentication as well as encryption in transit and at rest in the cloud. Data in Teams meets ISO 27001 as well as SOC 1 and SOC 2 compliance. It can be provisioned to meet many strict industry data security standards, such as HIPAA patient data restrictions in healthcare, for example.

Teams may be locked down and secure, but it doesn’t prevent you from easily working with internal and external collaborators. Your administrator can generate guest accounts for Teams within the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, which is an excellent way to collaborate on calls on channels with clients, business partners, contractors, or any other external stakeholders you want to involve.

2. Greater data visibility and better governance
Teams offers business leaders excellent visibility and insight into work carried out within their organization. Because all conversations within Teams are persistent, conversations become valuable information assets available to Microsoft 365’s governance and management tools.

For example, files and conversations in Teams channels are all saved in the Microsoft 365 cloud, making that data available to Microsoft Graph—Microsoft 365’s data intelligence console. You can see which channels users are working in, how they’re conversing, see when work speeds up or slows down, among many, many other things.

Teams also has valuable data governance tools. Most data and metadata in Teams channels is journaled and available to Microsoft 365 eDiscovery tools. When you use Teams to manage all of your work conversations, it’s easy to comply with any legal or regulatory requests.

3. Teams has powerful Microsoft Office integration options
Teams is, of course, tightly integrated with the rest of Microsoft 365. Users can create and manage Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files within their channels and work with other content in their team’s SharePoint sites. Calendaring connects right into Outlook.

Teams is also tightly integrated with Microsoft Power Apps. Microsoft Power Apps allows any user to create a low-code app and share it with their team. For example, they can script entire workflows to launch when a salesperson tells their ops channel in Teams that they’re onboarding a new customer.

4. Comprehensive third-party integrations
Last year Microsoft opened up Teams to third-party integrations. Many providers quickly jumped in, including ZenDesk, Asana, Polly and CalendarHero. Teams users can use these apps right in their channels, calendars and most importantly, during live meetings.

5. Powerful audio and video calling options
Teams is a robust video conferencing tool, but its calling capabilities don’t end there. Because it allows outbound calling from PCs and mobile devices, Teams is a great way to offer consistent communication and collaboration options to hybrid users who shift from the office, to home, to on the road, and back again on an unpredictable schedule. It can even integrate with your on-premise PBX system.

6. Support for education, healthcare and emergency services
Teams now offers some powerful industry-specific features for healthcare, emergency services and education. An education Group Policy wizard allows teachers and administrators to quickly provision new channel “classrooms” which are appropriately secured for students and educators. Teachers can distribute class Notebooks via Teams and send an automated alert to every student in the class.

Teams now also supports virtual breakout rooms. These are great tools for teachers asking students to work on group assignments. For healthcare, Teams now has an EHR connector, which allows healthcare providers to launch a secure video call with a patient or colleague right inside a supported electronic health record system. They can also schedule visits on a Teams calendar right in their EHR portal.

7. Bots and other tools for many needs
Teams boasts a variety of different bots to automate time-consuming tasks. Statsbot pulls together reports from sources such as Salesforce or Google Analytics and drops them right in channels. Polly Bot can poll coworkers for more streamlined and automated feedback. T-Bot answers many common questions about Teams, which lowers the support burden for service providers.

Teams has fully arrived

For organizations looking for a cloud-based collaborative workspace for their distributed users, Microsoft Teams has arrived as the leading solution. Its rich mix of communication, collaboration and automation tools can bring together working groups in even the most challenging circumstances.

Think Teams might be the right solution for your business or your customers’ needs? ContactSherweb or join our partner program to get started.

How To Use Microsoft Teams

Guest blog courtesy of Sherweb. Read more guest blogs from Sherweb here.