Microsoft Teams - A lot to it!
January 17, 2020
Microsoft Teams - A lot to it!
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Teams
We have been a long-time Skype customer (and before that Lync and Office Communications Server), so we're following the evolution path for internal communications workloads. We are using Teams all across our organization. As an education institution, we have also used Skype and will be using Teams in a classroom setting to support teaching and learning activities, particularly for our online and distance education offerings. Aside from the communications aspects and needs of our various internal groups and classes, we are also starting to leverage Microsoft Teams for our more collaborative groups that create and manage a lot of content and documents. Many of those groups have been using a combination of email and traditional SharePoint team sites (going back to SharePoint 2007), but the Microsoft Teams experience allows them to work more collaboratively and in a more connected way, while still having the power of the backend storage in SharePoint. For example, our team that manages policies and business procedures recently completed a large effort to review and revise many of those documents. Using Teams, they were able to take advantage of simultaneous document editing to make those processes quicker.
- It allows for "in the moment" or "in the flow" collaboration. For instance, you can share a document while chatting about it. The chat and document are always connected and it is easy to see the surrounding context of comments and how they relate to portions of a document.
- The Teams mobile client is excellent. Far superior to the Skype mobile client.
- The name "Teams" can be confusing, particularly if your organization has used SharePoint team sites much in the past. Also, it is a plural noun name, so it can be grammatically awkward as an IT person to suggest to a group that they "may want to try a new Teams".
- There is a lot to the Teams experience. The communications portions (chatting and Teams meetings) can be fairly straightforward to understand on a basic level, but when you start combining that with ongoing work for standing groups (i.e. real-world teams), then Teams can get overwhelming to think about how that team works. It isn't a technology capability problem - it is an issue of making sure the work (and processes) fits the technology.
- It is helping us reach more students through online teaching and learning.
- Teams is collapsing some of the "work panes" (different windows open to many systems at the same time) that many groups have since you can bring those web-based experiences right inside the Teams experience.
Teams is an evolution and shift from Skype for Business. It has many of the same functions and allows for even more features and functionality in that communications based workstream. Teams continue to use SharePoint as the storage and file+content services backend, so this is also a bit of an evolution as opposed to a replacement. The difference Teams brings is, you can work with those files in ways that are often easier and more productive.
The support positives are usually around the "evergreen" nature of this cloud service. Issues are usually fixed pretty quickly (often before we can completely register, assess, and report them) and new features emerge almost daily, which improves the product each time. This rapid pace of change can be negative and may add support incidents (mostly for training or retraining), but the overall effect is positive.
Do you think Microsoft Teams delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Microsoft Teams's feature set?
Did Microsoft Teams live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of Microsoft Teams go as expected?
Would you buy Microsoft Teams again?
To accurately answer this, there may need to be some distinction around the functionalities Teams can provide. So for online meetings, chatting, and even webinars and online events, Teams is a great option. Licensing variations may be a bit confusing, but an organization could easily use Teams to hold meetings and other online events for groups internally and externally. That meeting content can be recorded, transcribed, and even translated on the fly for various audiences as well. If the people in your group (or organization) are naturally open and collaborative, then this technology can easily support and extend those actions while still providing the necessary security and compliance needs around any content or documents. If your people aren't as open or collaborative, then Teams will not fix that issue. No technology will. If your people or organization are not open and collaborative out of a desire or a perceived need, then Teams may be able to put some of those concerns to ease if properly implemented and trained. The security and compliance controls are quite strong and are worth a look.