SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Beth Schultz
Beth Schultz is editor of No Jitter and program co-chair for Enterprise Connect. Beth has more than two decades of...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Beth Schultz | March 14, 2017 |

 
   

Microsoft Teams 'Feels a Lot Like a Bicycle'

Microsoft Teams 'Feels a Lot Like a Bicycle' Microsoft shares the latest features and functionalities of its team chat app as well as user stories, including from the folks at Trek Bicycles.

Microsoft shares the latest features and functionalities of its team chat app as well as user stories, including from the folks at Trek Bicycles.

As of today, with general availability of Teams, Microsoft is now "fully immersed in the team collaboration market," as Ovum analyst Brian Riggs noted in the "Email Killers 2017" slideshow we posted yesterday.

GA comes roughly four months since Microsoft took the wraps off its Teams development, and gave official notice that it would be delivering a team chat app as part of Office 365 in the first quarter of 2017. That "as part of Office 365" is an important distinction among the many similar tools on the market today, Riggs also noted in his team collaboration tools slideshow. As part of Office 365, Teams tightly integrates with other Microsoft apps in the suite, serving as a hub for all sorts of documents, analysis, conversations, meetings, and so on.

"We view Office 365 as the engine of collaboration," with Outlook for enterprise-grade email, SharePoint for content management, Skype for enterprise voice and video, Yammer for "CXO connections and broad company discussions," and now Teams for team chat, said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate VP, during a lived streamed briefing event Microsoft held to mark the occasion of Teams GA.

Since Teams became available in a preview mode in early November 2016, it has been put into use by more than 50,000 organizations, Koenigsbauer said. In the most active instances, he reported, Microsoft has seen 30% month-over-month growth in the number of people using Teams.

Teams is available globally -- in 181 markets and 19 languages with this release, Koenigsbauer said. Some early users, a couple of which participated in the GA event, include Alaska Airlines, Conoco Phillips, Expedia, and Hendrick Motorsports. On hand were folks from WeWork, which offers physical working spaces for individuals and teams, and Trek Bicycle, a bike manufacturer.

With Teams, "I think people are feeling less lost," said Nathan Pieper, collaboration manager at Trek, during a short roundtable discussion during the GA event. "It brings everything together in one place -- the documents you're sharing and the conversations you're having. We're seeing channels that are definitely broken out by functional areas -- development, analysis, DBA -- but then also channels that just spring up for a short-lived project."

Training sessions have been interesting, added Eric Bjorling, brand marketing manager at Trek. "You look around at the faces in those sessions, and you can already see people starting to think 'what sucks right now for me that this could fix?' -- everybody's got their own things."

Teams has a nice synergy with a bike, in fact, he added. "Teams feels a lot like a bicycle -- a collection of moving parts and pieces all working together to move a rider forward as efficiently as possible."

Teams users do have a lot of features and functionality at their disposals, with more than 100 features having shipped since the preview version, Koenigsbauer said. They revolve around the four core pillars Microsoft outlined for Teams with its initial unveiling: chat, a teamwork hub, customization, and security. As discussed during the GA event, a sampling includes:

  • Built-in audio calling available on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone now; built-in video calling also is available now on Android devices, and coming soon for iOS and Windows Phone
  • Ability to schedule private meetings with select participants, with auto-assistance on scheduling
  • @mentioning a bot within a specific team channel allows chat with that bot
  • Support for audit log search, eDiscovery, and legal hold for channels, chats, and files, as well as mobile management with Microsoft Intune
  • More than 150 integrations are available or coming soon, including bots from Meekan, Growbot, and ModuleQ, and tools from SAP and Trello

Automatically provisioned within Office 365, now that it's readily available Teams may serve to dissuade users from turning elsewhere -- i.e., Slack -- for their team chats, Riggs noted in his slideshow. "Of course [Microsoft] can't prevent Office 365 customers from doing so, but why would you pay for team collaboration from Cisco or Slack or whoever when you can get it for free -- and presumably more tightly integrated -- with Office 365?," he questioned. "It's a perfectly valid approach, and one that should appeal greatly to current and future Microsoft customers."

To see how Microsoft Teams stacks up against 13 other team collaboration tools, check out Riggs' slideshow here. Many of the apps he features will be available for demos in the Expo Hall at Enterprise Connect 2017, coming March 27 to 30, in Orlando, Fla., while many discussions of team collaboration trends and technologies will take place during the conference program. If you're attending Enterprise Connect and looking to learn more about team collaboration apps, be sure to check out these sessions:

Register now using the code NOJITTER to receive $300 off an Entire Event or Tue-Thu Conference pass, or a free Expo Plus pass.

Follow Beth Schultz and No Jitter on Twitter and Google+!
@nojitter
@Beth_Schultz
Beth Schultz on Google+





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.