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15 November 2016

Testing Microsoft Teams

Office 365 Teams iconMicrosoft has announced the upcoming release of a new app for Office 365: Teams. In a new Teams article in the Office 365 from Scratch series, I show how to get started with the preview of this workspace for group chats and collaboration.

Preview version
In the beginning of this month, Microsoft introduced Teams at an event in New York. It is now available as a preview version for most Office 365 subscribers that are on the Enterprise or Business plans. Teams will be officially available in the first quarter of 2017. Office 365 Teams panel

Chat hub
Microsoft Teams is intended for chat communication, but a lot of existing Office 365 applications have been incorporated in the new app. Thus users can easily add tabs for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Team Services inside Teams. Also third party tools will be supported in the final version.

Meetings can be scheduled, and recent files can be reached from the panel to the left of the workspace. You can also click on the icon for each person who is a member of the current team chat and have options on how to contact him or her – for example by a Skype call.
Office 365 Teams member actions

Worldwide collaboration
I was a Product Manager at Skype for five years, in the early days before it was sold to Microsoft. During that time, the kalmstrom.com team was smaller than today, and we did not have as many SharePoint and Outlook products. But we already had offices in Sweden and India, and I was often travelling for Skype, so we needed an efficient way to communicate.

See what was said
Skype logoThe obvious solution to keeping in touch where ever we were located, was the Skype chats, and they have served us well for more than 10 years. One of the big advantages
with Skype chats compared to telephone calls is that you have everything kept in writing and can go back and look at what was actually said. Now Microsoft Teams gives the same benefits as Skype and much more.

Testing
The kalmstrom.com team members are always interested in new technology, so right now we are using Teams to cooperate on one of our custom solution projects. So far our overall impression is positive, but we miss a pop-up message or similar when a new entry has been added to the chat. I am sure Microsoft will fix that before the full release.

Get started
If you are a SharePoint admin and want to try the new Office 365 tool, you can enable the preview. In the demo below I show how to do it, and I also give a short Teams overview. You can find more info in the Tips article on Microsoft Teams. Welcome to visit the kalmstrom.com website!

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions