Background; Teams was released in Beta form last November and released in New Zealand in June of this year.  It is the Microsoft answer to Slack (which is a very similar business team chat app that has been around still mid 2015).

So what is Teams ? It is a new collaboration tool for businesses, designed to help share ideas and enable chat based conversations.

We think there is still room to improve but over all we have been really impressed with the product and we are really looking forward to the updates as they come out.  Saunit and Greg both went to the Microsoft Labs and came back buzzing.  We really think this will change the way staff will communicate and work with other, if you have Office 365 then you already have access to Teams and its free as part of your subscription (if you have Essentials or above).

So what did we like ?

  • Available on Windows, Apple and Android devices (and your web browser).. .. Thank you MS for being all inclusive 🙂
  • Super easy to set up
  • You can add any of your staff to teams very easily
  • You can have channels for topics within a team
    • This makes it very easy to separate work flows and ideas.
  • It has a really nice look and feel
  • Easy to set permissions for staff – a few clicks and you are good to go – however any permissions that you set are applied to that specific team and it’s the entire team  – you can can’t have one user with one set of permission and another user with a different set.  You can set it so only the “owners” of the team can post.
  • Only owners are able to add team members – if you have been put as a team member you can’t add other people.  Only the team owners can do that.
  • It has OneNote 🙂  I LOVED this… I can create a OneNote note book for a channel.  Fantastic when you are doing meetings etc.
  • Its allows you to add cloud storage from multiple different platforms – this is fantastic and again will suit many businesses (not just us Microsoft fans)

What did we not like ?

  • It creates a SharePoint site for each team you set up (Sorry we really don’t like this Mr/Mrs Microsoft) BUT you can add existing SharePoint sites to your teams as well (this will require a bit of team discipline so staff don’t end up using multiple sites).  However on the upside having a SharePoint site allows will be great for projects, so not all doom and gloom.
  • You can’t yet add outside (external parties) however this is on the road map – we can’t wait for this to be added.

Some good tips

Create a separate Jokes team … that way staff can have a bit of fun but those that don’t want the distraction don’t have to be included.

Create a team for businesses ideas and suggestions – we have done this and it a good way for people to quickly put ideas and thoughts out there while its top of mind.  You can put in extra channel for different parts of the business you want to focus on.

Also … check out Bots:

Click on members, then settings  – we have not investigated all of these yet but there are some very cool tools in here… we have included a small sample below.


If you would like any more information on Teams or would like a quick demo – please get in touch with one of the our team here at IT Engine.

Links to news articles and blogs on Teams.