Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering | Engineering Technical Services

ETS is rolling out Microsoft Teams, the newest addition to the Office Suite of applications. Teams is a collaborative communication tool, with usefulness that complements Outlook/Email. It replaces Skype for Business (and is a competitor to Slack). Email is a great communication tool for individuals, less so for Groups. Teams is designed for team collaboration – and is best used with the people you communicate with the most. For an interactive demo, visit https://teamsdemo.office.com. To request your own Team, please reach out to your IT Manager.

Features Include:

Presence: You always know when sending someone a message if they are Available, Away, or Busy at that moment. Their Out of Office message from Outlook also shows up while typing messages to them. 

Persistence: Unlike other ‘chat’ software, the entire history of communication is preserved and searchable. New additions to the team immediately have access to the Teams communication history.

Instant: Messaging is quick and compared to Email, more informal. Responding or acknowledging messages can be as quick as clicking the Thumbs Up icon.

Organized: Messages arrive in pre-defined Teams and Channels, rather than one giant inbox. Responses are to Message Threads, rather than individual emails (that may be out of sequence).

@mention: Call out someone (or a group) to make them pay attention to a message – everything else is FYI. People can choose to follow specific Channels of importance to them and control notification levels – with alerts on the Desktop, on Smartphones or via Email as desired.

Shared Documents: Add a document from any source (Hard Drive, Dropbox, SharePoint, OneDrive, Google Drive, …) and all members can collaborate on it – at the same time. No more passing of newest edits back and forth via email and trying to figure out which copy is the latest. All Teams come with a shared OneNote notebook as well.

Planner: Built-in with the Teams platform is Planner, an effective task management and tracking solution for Teams.

Guests: Guests can be added to Teams – both from within ASU, and externally. If someone has an email address, they can be invited to collaborate.

Meetings: Schedule meetings within Teams, or from Outlook with Teams integration. Share desktops, work on applications together, with live audio and video.

Teams is platform independent, with client applications available for Windows, MacOS, and iOS/Android based phones and tablets. It also works within web browsers, allowing use on borrowed systems as well as Linux systems.