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Microsoft Teams turns Office 365 inside out

News around Microsoft Teams is flying thick and fast these days, underlining Microsoft’s emphasis and intent on making Teams the primary user experience for pretty much all of Office 365. 

Some recent news (and what it means)

Microsoft Teams will now be installed with Office 365 ProPlus on PCs and Macs, along with other apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. IT Pros and end users will no longer have to install Teams separately.

This is important because it illustrates the degree to which Teams will be pervasive and you’ll have to opt out, rather than opt in. Apart from Skype for Business Online, there’s been no significant development of, or interest in, desktop clients other than Microsoft Office. And of those, Skype for Business Online won’t be with us for much longer, and the gap between desktop Office apps and their online counterparts is closing all the time, with new features and functionality prioritised for the online apps.

“Live Events” in Microsoft Teams will enable large townhall-style meetings.

This is significant as it because this represents yet another nudge toward the cliff-edge of deprecation, for Skype for Business Online, and yet more affirmation of Microsoft’s intentions for Teams.

Easier access to Yammer communities with a built-in tab in Microsoft Teams.

Also significant as it demonstrates the extent to which Microsoft is busy integrating Office 365 (and beyond) into Teams, rather than Teams into Office 365. Philosophically, rather than being simple a component of Office 365, Teams could turn Office 365 “inside out”, with all the Office 365 apps being integrated into Teams. This is “Teamwork”, people.

Microsoft Teams turns Office 365 inside out

All of this serves to illustrate the size of Microsoft’s bet on Teams. And, so far, they’re winning: Teams is the fastest growing app since Office 365 was launched. The interesting point is that, until now, Teams has been considered by many to be an “optional extra”, with varying degrees of commitment to implementation. Some haven’t turned it on at all, understandably cautious about how they’ll manage the governance load, others have turned it on “just for the IT team” (a place from which, once an app has entered, it sometimes never returns …) while others have gone The Full Monty and turned it on, only to hastily retreat a few weeks and several hundred random Teams and SharePoint Sites later.

But now, or soon (we’ve informally heard Q2 2020), the final nail will be hammered into the S4B coffin, and then what? Those who have prepared for Teams (and there’s a lot of preparing to do) will be well placed, but others will be caught in an undignified scramble to catch up. In the worse case scenario, a forced and rushed implementation of Teams – or any business app – with insufficient emphasis on the user experience and training, could lead to an ungoverned productivity sink-hole.

For these reasons, Empired has developed an approach to Teamwork which starts with a short business value assessment, from which you can move seamlessly into a controlled start pilot, covering technical and user experience design, enterprise voice, business change management and governance.

Run – don’t walk! - to find out more and get onto Teams before your world is turned inside out.

Posted by: Doug Baxter, Solution Specialist | 27 March 2019

Tags: Collaboration, Microsoft Teams, Teamwork

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