Microsoft Teams, Slack-like chat-based tool announced as part of Office 365

By Karthekayan Iyer | Published on 03 Nov 2016

Microsoft Teams combines the power of Office 365 with modern conversation platform for enterprise audience

Microsoft Teams, Slack-like chat-based tool announced as part of Office 365

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Microsoft Teams is the latest tool in the ever growing Office 365 productivity suite. Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace that borrows design and workflow from Slack, the popular conversation platform for workspace collaboration. Microsoft Teams is design as a unified platform that brings together people, conversations and content.

Microsoft Teams will be offers as part of Office 365 enterprise and small business suite. The tool is being introduced as a modern conversation platform for team conversation and collaboration. Microsoft Teams offers threaded conversation for direct access to important messages and unified search across the message flow. Microsoft Teams also integrates Skype deeply for voice and video conferences. Microsoft is already the leading software as a service (SaaS) provider with services like Skype for Business and Yammer. With Microsoft Teams, the Redmond-based software maker is doubling down on its enterprise productivity platform.

Microsoft Teams combines the power of chat with access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint and PowerBI tools. Microsoft Teams also brings analytics to the forefront with access to Graph and other intelligent services. Microsoft Teams also brings a tabbed interface allowing users to plugin to third party services like Twitter or GitHub. Microsoft says integrations are available from over 150 partners with Zendesk, hootsuite and Asana available immediately.

Kirk Koenigsbauer, Corporate VP, Microsoft Office says there are over 85 million monthly active users on Office 365 platform and with Teams, enterprise can bring modern day communication to their workspace. With Teams, Microsoft is also leveraging its Bots Framework to bring intelligent first- and third-party services into your team environment.

Microsft Teams also borrows advanced security and compliance standards available with Office 365 programs. The data shared on Microsoft Teams is encrypted in transit and at rest. Microsoft says it gains no standing access to customer data like other commercial services. Microsoft Teams also deploys Azure active directory and will be served out of global data centers.

Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has transformed itself by leaving behind the Windows 8 debacle. Nadella is turning Microsoft into a platform driven company with key growth in fields like Cloud and Office services. Microsoft recently reported strong growth in third quarter of FY2016 and has hit all time high in terms of stock price. Microsoft also introduced a new all-in-one PC named Surface Studio for creative professionals with focus on enhanced productivity and serviceability.

With the introduction of Microsoft Teams, the software maker has enhanced its already rich productivity suite. Microsoft Teams is available as customer preview to enterprises using one of the following plans - Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Enterprise E1, E3 and E5. Microsoft Teams won't be an immediate threat to Slack but it will limit Slack from expanding into enterprises already using Office 365 services.

Karthekayan Iyer

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