Microsoft Teams released last week, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it to test it out. A few days in, here are a few initial observations.
Teams has group chat, video conferencing, file management, and other collaboration support tools. I’ve had 3 days to test drive it and here are a few notes on my favorite features.
Video conferencing is a huge improvement over Skype for Business
With up to four simultaneous webcams on continuous display, I can see more of my team at one time. The UI is great, with full screen video that resizes based on the number of active cameras. No clunky manual resizing and no waiting for the next speaker to appear on screen. (Roger Courville‘s note: as a Mac user, this is especially true.)
Searchable chat is phenomenal
I’m a hardcore Office 365 user. You could not find a team more entrenched in O365 tools (we’re an entirely virtual company!). But the chat history for S4B is useless. So useless, in fact, that I implemented Slack for our team. The search in Teams pulls up clickable results that jump to the exact location in the channel or DM you need. We can leave Slack behind.
Meetings and ongoing chat are integrated
I can create channels by topic or department where team members chat day to day. When we hold a meeting in a channel, any notes we enter in the meeting room also appear in the channel. No extra steps are needed to keep notes collected and organized.
The bottom line
There are tons of features still to explore and integrations with O365 that will no doubt help my team to collaborate and streamline communications. Microsoft Teams is a welcome addition to the O365 ecosystem.