Office 365 business users get access to Microsoft Teams today Office 365 business users get access to Microsoft Teams today
Microsoft's chat-based workspace and collaboration tool is out today and available for use for Office 365 business customers. Office 365 business users get access to Microsoft Teams today

Today marks the general availability of Teams, Microsoft’s new “chat-based workspace in Office 365”. If you’re an Office 365 business customer in any of the 181 markets Teams has launched in (including South Africa), the new collaboration tool is available to you.

Since Microsoft announced the Teams beta back in November 2016, Over 50 000 companies the world over have chosen Teams as their primary means of collaboration, including Deloitte, Sage and Three UK.

“In a world where information is abundant and human time and attention remain scarce, we aspire to help people and groups of people be more productive, wherever they are,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Office 365 is the broadest platform and universal toolkit for creation, collaboration and communication. Today we are adding a new tool to Office 365 with Microsoft Teams, a chat-based workspace designed to empower the art of teams.”

Microsoft Teams joins SharePoint, Outlook and Skype for Business as another workstyle-enhancing app, focusing on team-based collaboration.

Since the launch of the beta in November last year, Teams has expanded with over 100 new features, all of which are detailed on the Office Blog. They include an enhanced meeting experience, mobile audio calling (with video calling on Android available now and “coming soon” to iOS and Windows Phone); email integration as well as new security and compliance capabilities.

It’s even been given a number of accessibility enhancements, like support for screen readers, high-contract graphics and keyboard-only navigation; even more features are planned for a June release window.

Here are the four “core promises” which Microsoft says Teams is built on:

 

  • Chat for today’s teams. Microsoft Teams provides a modern conversations experience, with threaded, persistent chat to keep everyone engaged. Team conversations can be either private or visible to the entire team, and users can access multiple teams, making it easy to switch between projects. 
  • A hub for teamwork. The Office applications and services that teams use every day — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote and PowerBI— are all built-in, so people have the information and tools they need. 
  • Customisation for every team. Microsoft Teams offers the ability to customise work spaces with tabs, connectors and bots from third-party partners as well as familiar Microsoft tools like Microsoft Planner and Visual Studio Team Services. Today, more than 150 integrations are available or coming soon, with companies like SAP, Trello, Hipmunk, Growbot and ModuleQ building on the platform.
  • Security teams trust. Microsoft Teams is built on the hyper-scale, enterprise-grade Office 365 cloud, delivering the advanced security and compliance capabilities our customers expect. Teams supports global standards including SOC 1, SOC 2, EU Model Clauses, ISO27001 and HIPAA.

Start using Teams today

Should your organisation be interested in making use of this new collaboration tool, you can click here to start using Teams today.

And in case you want even more information and would like to speak to Microsoft directly about Teams and the philosophy behind it, tune in for an “Ask Us Anything” session that’s being hosted on the Microsoft Tech Community website next week.

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