What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a new Office 365 chat-based workspace that brings teams, conversations, files, notes and project plans from Office 365 together in one place. You can chat privately and share files and notes with anyone in your organization or have video calls and schedule online meetings.
Microsoft Teams is automatically part of Office 365 Enterprise Plans. To turn on Microsoft Teams in your tenant, navigate to the Admin Center. Go to Settings –> Services & add-ins, and click on Microsoft Teams.
Turn Microsoft Teams setting on and customize the settings
Now navigate to https://teams.microsoft.com and create a name for your new team or you can skip and add later.
Configure Themes, Notifications and Availability
Click the Settings button and Themes to set Microsoft Teams to a theme of your liking.
In this example, I will change my theme to a Dark Theme.
Click the notification settings to configure how you want to be notified when someone mentions you, the team or a channel and when someone sends you a direct message.
You can also set your availability by clicking your profile and selecting the appropriate setting. Setting your availability to Do not disturb will prevent any Pop-ups from coming up in Microsoft Teams.
Teams are collections of people surrounding different projects and jobs within an organization. Teams contain one or more channels which are open collaborative workspaces where members can share conversations, files and more. A Team Owner can create a team or add members to a team.
To create a Team, select Teams in the left bar and click Create Team.
Name your team or if you have an existing Office 365 Group, you can add a Team to an existing group.
Add Members to your group or you can skip and add later. Members you add to your team will have access to all channels under that team.
Channels keep team conversations organized. You can dedicate channels to specific topics, areas, projects or something fun. Anyone who is a member of the team can add channels. Private Channels are not available at the moment, so if you would like to chat and share files privately, create another team where you can restrict membership.
To create a Channel, click the menu button next to the Team and select Add Channel.
Name your channel based on a topic, a project, a product or something random.
Now you can begin having conversations with the rest of your team, add files or take notes all in one place.
Microsoft Teams has lot of potential and something that ties into the rest of the Office 365 collaboration spectrum. You may find it useful for your organization if you are already on Office 365 and especially since there is no additional cost incurred.
Pros of Microsoft Teams
- Give your team quick access to the information they need right in Office 365.
- Integration with Office 365 Groups.
- Easy to work with files and collaborate using the chat window.
- Schedule Meetings and add files directly from Teams.
- Connectors to external Applications outside of Office 365.
- Create your own Bots or use T-BOT, an intelligent assistant that will answer questions and provide guidance.
Cons of Microsoft Teams
- Adding External Users as Team members is not available at the moment.
- Private Channels are not supported.
- No way to automatically notify a team. You have to mention an individual or a team to notify them.