One of the products we have been using in the Mirazon R&D team has been the preview (read: beta) version of Microsoft Teams. This preview product launched last November and has taken off like wildfire as an excellent Team-based supplement to the Microsoft Skype for Business unified communication tool. As the leader of R&D, I took all of our team communication and collaboration away from the traditional location on a file server and threaded email communications mindset and went all-in with Microsoft Teams in January 2017. We use this tool for our weekly meetings and use it throughout the week to present ideas, or carry on threaded conversations with each other. We have run into bumps along the way as with any preview product; however, this product goes Generally Available today, March 14.
Interestingly, last Friday March 10, I noticed the preview version of my Microsoft Teams client received an automatic update. In fact, my Teams Client is now a 1.0 update version!
I don’t know if this is the GA version, or, if there will be another 1.0 version update on Tuesday at the launch event. Here are a few new things I’ve noticed SO FAR in this 1.0 version …
Teams has always had search functionality but, I’ve noticed search now “appears” faster (yes that’s subjective, I know) and the new search interface really helps find the right content across Microsoft Teams.
You can easily search and find appropriate Messages, People, Files, etc. as needed, and you can filter down appropriately through channels or anywhere!
Bots – Lots of Bots!
As I mentioned above, search is really great. As I searched for “Mirazon,” one of the options at the bottom of my search window was to “Discover bots.”
What are bots? These are things you can interact with inside a chat window – either individual windows or within a team itself. There are a number of them you can see below, and you can develop your own bots for teams!
If you use Microsoft Teams, and also house your email in Exchange Online via Office 365, you have even more capabilities inside Teams related to meetings. Microsoft Skype for Business is an amazing UC (IM, presence, voice/video, etc.) tool; however, Teams has the ability to embed meetings directly into the product as well! And, a new feature I found is a built-in scheduling assistant!
Notice in this example, I tried to set a meeting on March 13 from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. between myself, John and Barry.
Email to a Channel
Each channel within Microsoft Teams now has great email capabilities built in.
And notice above how you can restrict that email address capabilities to anyone, only members of that team, or even specific inbound email domains.
The email address is interesting too!
I’m sure there are many more interesting things within Teams that I’ve missed, but these are some of them that caught my eye.
I’m going to watch the Teams Launch Event today, and you should join me!