Microsoft Teams is a web-based desktop app. It is a communication platform part of the Microsoft 365 family of products.
Teams primarily competes with the similar service Slack, offering workspace chat and videoconferencing, file storage, and application integration. Teams replaced other Microsoft-operated business messaging and collaboration platforms, including Skype for Business and Microsoft Classroom.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Teams, and other software such as Zoom and Google Meet, gained much interest as many meetings moved to a virtual environment.
WEB CONFERENCING SOFTWARE
MS Teams allow:
Breakout Rooms: Breakout rooms split a meeting into small groups.
Teams Live Events: Teams Live Events replaces Skype Meeting Broadcast for users to broadcast to 10,000 participants on Teams, Yammer, or Microsoft Stream.
Front Row: Front Row adjusts the layout of the viewer’s screen, placing the speaker or content in the center of the gallery with other meeting participant’s video feeds reduced in size and located below the speaker.
Channels: Channels allow team members to communicate without the use of email or group SMS (texting). Users can reply to posts with text, images, GIFs, and image macros. Direct messages send private messages to designated users rather than the entire channel. Connectors can be used within a channel to submit information contacted through a third-party service. Connectors include MailChimp, Facebook Pages, Twitter, PowerBI and Bing News.
Chats: Teams allows users to communicate in two-way persistent chats with one or multiple participants. Participants can message using text, emojis, stickers and gifs as well as sharing links and files. Messages can be marked as urgent or important. In August 2022, the chat feature was updated for “chat with yourself”; allowing for the organization of files, notes, comments, images, and videos within a private chat tab.
Teams: Teams allows communities, groups, or teams to contribute in a shared workspace where messages and digital content on a specific topic are shared. Team members can join through invitation sent by a team administrator or owner or sharing of a specific URL. Teams for Education allows admins and teachers to set up groups for classes, professional learning communities (PLCs), staff members, and everyone.
Group conversations: Ad-hoc groups can be created to share instant messaging, audio calls (VoIP), and video calls inside the client software.
Telephone replacement: A feature available on one of the higher cost licensing tiers allows connectivity to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) telephone system. This allows users to use Teams as if it were a telephone, making and receiving calls over the PSTN, including the ability to host ‘conference calls’ with multiple participants.
Meeting: Meetings can be scheduled with multiple participants able to share audio, video, chat and presented content with all participants. Teams has a plugin for Microsoft Outlook to schedule a Teams Meeting in Outlook for a specific date and time and invite others to attend.
Microsoft Teams for Education allows teachers to distribute, provide feedback, and grade student assignments turned in via Teams using the Assignments tab through Office 365 for Education subscribers. Quizzes can also be assigned to students through an integration with Office Forms.
Use cases/examples of usage: (tutorial)
Strenght: The biggest advantage of Microsoft Teams is how great it connects with all the other Microsoft 365 collaboration apps and tools. You can add third-party tools into your channels. Using Teams doesn’t mean you need to give up on the other tools you normally use. For example, you can add Trello and cloud storage platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox. See a full list of integration apps you can add to your Teams.
There are also many fun options like emoticons, gifs, and stickers. It may not sound like a big deal, but emoticons can truly lighten up your working day.
Weakness: The way files are stored in this application can be confusing. Here’s how it works: every channel has a root folder where all files uploaded to the conversation are stored. Every time you create a new Team on the platform, you start a new structure from scratch. Unfortunately, Teams doesn’t offer much flexibility in terms of replicating structure. For instance, you cannot move a channel or replicate a Team. When you do need to replicate a Team, you need to do so manually.
People opinion about the tool: https://www.trustradius.com/products/microsoft-teams/reviews?qs=pros-and-cons#product-details
Similar Tool: Zoom; Slack; Skype; Meet; Asana.
Technical and operational requirements: Pc, touchscreen devices, smartphone, tablet.
License Tool: If you don’t need premium functionalities, you can always use a free version of Teams.