Microsoft Teams, a chat-based collaboration tool for enterprises, will be available to Office 365 users in India by the end of March. However, commercial users with access to Office 365’s Enterprise or Business Plan can access the preview version of Teams right away.
Chat-based collaboration tools such as Slack and Flock are very popular with professionals as they make communication and collaboration easier even if all the participants are not in the same room.
Microsoft Teams has the advantage of belonging to the Microsoft family of services, which means better integration with other popular Microsoft apps and tools. Slack, which has an active user base of 4 million, works on a freemium model, which means one can access many of its services for free, but pay to enable more. Teams will only work for users who have an Office 365 subscription which starts at Rs360 per month for the basic version. User won’t have to pay anything extra to use Teams.
Mint takes a look at some of the key highlights of Microsoft Teams.
Why Office 365 integration matters?
What gives Microsoft Teams an edge over its rivals is the close integration with Microsoft’s Office 365 productivity suite. This means user can access or embed any data from Word, Excel, One Note PowerPoint and Planner for reference or for sharing with other participants in Teams and get their work done in no time. The fact that many enterprise users are already familiar with these tools makes it all the more logical to go for Teams.
Multiple communication options
One of the highlights of Teams is that it allows users to communicate with individual or a group via chat, voice calls or video calls. The group chats will show up in a threaded format and will be visible to all the participants. For video calls the integration with Skype comes in handy.
Users can use emojis, stickers, GIFs and custom memes to personalise their profiles. User can also customise their workspace and save their frequently used docs, files or apps as tabs. Tabs works like tabs in a web browser and provides instant access to user data. One can also link third party services such as Twitter and GitHub and get notification and updates from them within Teams.
Is it secure?
To ensure very communication or file shared over Teams remains safe from prying authorities or hackers, Microsoft uses end to end encryption. Even Microsoft can’t access the customer data shared through Teams. It also uses two-factor authentication to protect user identity and keep their data secure.