Microsoft Teams Release to General Availability

Just yesterday Microsoft announced the general availability of Teams, an Office 365 application that takes collaboration to a new level of innovation. Last November Microsoft released a public preview of Teams and now, in less than six months, Teams has become a go-to teamwork tool for many organizations. Currently, there are 85 million active users on Teams and we are bound to see that number rise now that Teams is public.

With this new tool, Microsoft plans to expand how people interact with one another. To keep Teams customer-centered, Microsoft has integrated client requests by developing over 100 new features. Further, Microsoft Teams has partnered with over 150 companies to ensure that users find the right integrations for them and their organization. Some of the partners, include Hootsuite, GitHub, and Visual Studio.

Key Takeaways from the Announcement

From Microsoft Word to Groups, Teams pulls from your favorite Office 365 applications. During the online event to celebrate Teams global availability, Microsoft emphasized the four promises they plan to keep with Teams. These focuses include Chat, Teamwork, Customization, and Security.

Chat

Chat in Teams is threaded and persistent. Your communication history will remain in a channel, so you never miss a beat. Also, don’t let the name fool you, Teams isn’t just for your teams, users can choose to have an open group or private conversation between two people. Users can also express themselves by sending emoji’s, stickers, and custom memes to communicate. Yesterday, Microsoft also announced that chat is going mobile, now you can do audio calling from mobile devices and even video calling on Android.

Teamwork

New applications can be scary. As a former Slack addict, I wasn’t sure that Teams could stack up, however, one thing that made me a believer was its integration with pre-existing Office 365 applications. From Word to SharePoint, Teams incorporates the features we already know. Teams not only saves us time but also the money a business might spend for the user adoption of a new platform.

Customizable for Teams

Unlike other application releases, Microsoft Teams acknowledges that each person communicates a little differently. Rather than ignoring these differences, Microsoft embraces them with the numerous collaboration avenues. Now you can tailor your channels to your audience, integrate your favorite cloud services with tabs, and receive notifications via a shared connector model. Even Bots can be used across channels to get tasks done faster.

Security & Trust

Security can be a big determining factor in the user adoption of an application and Microsoft took this into account when they created Teams. Teams uses the advanced security of the cloud. Further, the compliance standards of Teams are up to par. Microsoft developed Teams to be compliant with, “SOC 1, SOC 2, EU Model Clauses, ISO27001, and HIPPA.” With new built-in information protection and accessibility features, business users will build trust with Teams over time.

Conclusion

The primary goal of Teams is clear, to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” It is a powerful tool that can help you do your work faster and smarter while building strong social networks in the process. Now in 181 markets across 19 languages, Teams will begin to be adopted by many, from all walks of life. Teams helps build interpersonal relationships, allowing the left-brained, right-brained, and both-brained people to communicate and operate on the same platform effectively and efficiently.

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