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What is Microsoft Teams All About, and How is it Changing the Workplace?

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On Wednesday, software giant Microsoft Office unveiled its newest product to add to its long list of workplace staples. As well as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, the corporation has now introduced Microsoft Teams: a tool enabling workers to chat and share files online.

It’s a way for Microsoft to capitalise on a current global trend

We’ve seen it before: workplace collaboration tools like Slack, Convo and Salesforce Chatter have all rolled out on the marketplace and instantly skyrocketed to popularity. Even just a few short weeks ago we reported on the announcement of Facebook at Work, soon to be gracing the online world with its presence.

Essentially, Microsoft has recognised the success of these pioneering systems and incorporated the idea into their product range to help them regain their mass marketing status. They’ve acknowledged that amidst their variety of services, they were missing something – so, they’ve gone and filled that void with the latest digital innovation gripping the workplace market.


What will Microsoft Teams offer us?

The new tool from the global software manufacturer is said to offer a platform for staff to connect online via the following functions:

  • Private one-on-one chats
  • Group chats
  • Virtual video meetings
  • Threaded conversations
  • File share options

Combined with the plethora of software that currently offer similar services, Microsoft Teams is a clear reflection of the times.

The way workplaces operate is rapidly evolving

The digital revolution has certainly transformed our social lives, and now it’s changing the way we work, too. It has already bred a brand new culture of employees who work in their own time from the comforts of their own homes, but it’s currently shifting up the in-house office dynamics as well.

Slack can be credited as the first company to identify and take advantage of a gap in the workplace market. It initially rolled out in February, 2014 and quickly became a much-loved tool of Silicon Valley. Essentially, its creators had coolly fashioned a highly-adaptable new software that richly enhanced workplace operations and improved work flow.

Startup Stock Photos

Following this, Slack paved the way for a new kind of online collaboration designed to replicate the way workers interact in person, but in a more efficient way. Communication is simple and instant, allowing staff to work together on projects while juggling their independent workloads. Thus, it allows for multi-tasking, optimises time management, encourages departmental communication and boosts team morale.

It’s no wonder then that so many other companies – including Microsoft – have latched onto the trend.

So, when can we expect to start using Microsoft Teams?

A free trial is currently available for those with an Office 365 Enterprise or Business subscription, but the official version won’t launch until March 2017.

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By Trish O'Loughlin

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