The general shift away from private silo communications and towards social collaborative tools has been notable for some time. Although the business community has lagged somewhat behind the consumer social media explosion in the last decade, there are now many mature tools out there for business use. Products like Slack (slack.com) got an early lead in this space, but with the introduction of Teams into to the Office 365 ecosystem, Microsoft have a tool that really competes. Joseph Wiley has been championing our internal adoption in recent months and here he shares some insight and background from an administrators perspective.
Microsoft released Teams in preview in November 2016 and then announced it would be released for general availability in 181 markets and 19 different languages from March 2017. From the get-go Teams was quickly adopted by businesses across the globe. Within the first three months of releases it was actively used by more than 30,000 organisations, worldwide. By the time it was released for general availability it had been used by more than 50,000 organisations worldwide and at the time of writing adoption has grown to 85 million users.
Microsoft Teams is the new chat-based workspace within Office 365. This new platform brings four core components together into one unified solution; a communication platform for today’s business environment including voice calling, video calling or instant messaging; a central hub for collaboration within a team; integrations and customisations for different teams using the 150+ integrations available; and enterprise level security.
Teams collaboration capitalises on its ability to use the full breadth of its Office 365 reach to ensure that the user is provided with an environment rich with collaborative tools and features. Having Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Power BI, Delve, Skype for Business, Stream, OneNote, SharePoint and Planner all in-built within Teams ensures that every user has collaborative abilities within just a few clicks.
Teams communication, with Skype for Business deeply integrated, is designed and perfected for internal communication within organisations and, from June 2017, allows for communication with external organisations. This is achieved by providing a workspace where instant messaging, voice and video calling and meetings are actively encouraged.
Microsoft understands that every team is unique and that the chances of one team being a carbon copy of another are highly unlikely and so they’ve given us the ability to customise and integrate these teams to our liking and to our business requirements. This degree of customisation is made possible with more than 150 integrations currently available or coming soon.
Microsoft takes security and compliance extremely seriously and are making continuous efforts to ensure that their applications conform to the long list of compliance standards that industries have to abide by. Microsoft Teams complies with the following compliance standards; ISO 27001, ISO 27018, SSAE16 SOC 1 and SOC 2, HIPAA, and EU Model Clauses (EUMC), to name a few. Teams also implements organization-wide two-factor authentication, data encryption at both rest and transit and also single sign-on via Active Directory.
Files within Teams are stored in SharePoint and therefore secured with SharePoint Encryption and any Notes stored within Teams are backed by OneNote encryption. Microsoft Teams also has the ability to support the Cloud Security Alliance compliance standard.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be doing a deeper dive into further components mentioned and highlight some of the great features and a few of the pain points that are worth considering if you are planning to on-board your team in Teams, so be sure to check back soon for Part 2.