I’m delighted to announce the launch of Microsoft Teams – a new chat-based workspace that powers collaboration like never before.
The way we work together is changing. Teams are increasingly diverse, spread out across locations and must work to address evolving business goals and tasks.
Also, did you know that most of us work on twice as many teams today as we did just five years ago, and that 80 percent of this work is collaborative by nature?
Microsoft recently surveyed employees across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region to learn about their experiences in this new fast-paced and collaborative world of work.
One of the key insights was that only 37 per cent of respondents believed they had access to tools that would simplify and standardise their workflows, while less than a third thought their organisations were investing in tools that would help them make informed decisions quickly.
Most respondents also felt they weren’t sufficiently empowered or encouraged to communicate and collaborate when working outside their offices.
How can organisations overcome these challenges and build a modern, mobile workplace?
The answer is that successful collaboration comes down to empowering teams to work quickly, communicate effectively and easily access information from anywhere.
Microsoft Teams is built to support this new level of convenience and collaboration. The latest addition to Office 365 , it is a teamwork hub that brings people, conversations and content together in a single interface. Think of it as a digital open-plan office.
If you have a commercial Office 365 licence, your IT team can turn on Teams for you today – it’s additional value that has been added to your existing subscription service. If you’re not using Office 365 yet, you can try Microsoft Teams as part of a free Office 365 trial.
So, what does it offer?
- Chat for today’s teams: Each team and project has its own channel where members can chat, start a video or voice call, access documents and notebooks, search for contacts and tap into other cloud services. Bots can also be integrated to issue relevant workflow alerts and automate key tasks for greater efficiency. Teams can have fun with their communications too, with access to stickers, emojis, GIFs and design-your-own memes.
- A hub for teamwork: All the Office apps that teams rely on every day are integrated into Microsoft Teams – from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote to collaboration apps such as SharePoint, Exchange and Skype. Teams no longer need to toggle between apps as they are all accessible inside the one digital environment.
- Powerful customisation: It’s easy to add third-party apps and services as tabs in a team channel. These can be used without leaving the hub. Members can also add ‘connectors’, which are apps and services such as Bing News and Twitter that directly feed updates into the team’s newsfeed. Partners and developers are rapidly customising their services for the Teams environment. We’re especially looking forward to DocuSign, SAP and Trello being integrated later this year.
- Security and compliance: Microsoft Teams delivers enterprise-grade security and compliance. It has built-in advanced security and compliance capabilities including multi‑factor authentication and continuous data encryption.
Since its launch in preview mode in November 2016, more than 50,000 organisations worldwide have started using Microsoft Teams. Among the most active of these organisations, numbers of individual users have been growing by 30 per cent per month on average. These statistics show how quickly Microsoft Teams can go viral inside an organisation.
Australian enterprises have been particularly enthusiastic about Teams, realising its potential to help them connect their employees that are spread out across Australia and the world.
For example, Blackmores has implemented the software to power more efficient collaboration between international colleagues and support its IT teams as they launch new projects.
Objective Corporation, an ASX-listed software developer, has integrated Microsoft Teams with Planner, SharePoint and other Office 365 apps as well as its own enterprise content management system to create one digital world that teams can connect to wherever they are and via any device.
Queensland RSL recently moved from Slack to Microsoft Teams to help it deliver a rich, secure digital workspace where teams can collaborate quickly on complex projects, such as a major update of its national lotteries system.
Microsoft Teams redefines collaboration for the mobile workplace. I have no doubt that it will become a universal hub for teamwork where employees feel empowered to achieve more.
I’d encourage you to check out the possibilities for yourself and discover how your organisation could be transformed by this new way of working.
Learn more about Microsoft Teams
See resources for developers, including a unique developer platform where you can experiment with Microsoft Teams.
See a blog post from my colleague Jace Moreno, which explores how our partners can benefit from Microsoft Teams.