Welcome back to the series about becoming a Microsoft Teams Rockstar! Part 1 & 2 are wrapped up and we are ready to rock & roll to the next part in the series. We are discussing Bots, Chats, Meetings and Files.
Are you ready? I know I am!
Bots are your friends. Designed to make our lives easier and provide support in our day-to-day work lives. Microsoft Teams integrates the Microsoft Bot Framework to allow developers to design their own. You can view all the available bots within Team by clicking "Discover bots" in the search bar:
After clicking on "Discover bots" an overview of the latest bots appears:
The offering of bots has significantly increased since the launch of Teams. I am not going to discuss these bots because there are just too many. I would advise finding a bot that fills your current demands or requirements and try it out. Microsoft provided their own bot in the shape of T-bot. T-bot is basically a help bot, answering questions about Teams. For example:
During the official Teams presentation, a bot called WhoBot was introduced. His role is helping users in finding people with certain expertise or skills. The bot is nowhere to be seen but I am guessing it’s going to be released during the upcoming Ignite event.
Chat within Teams is very similar to Skype for Business. You can expect audio calls, video calls and text chats with one or more colleagues. In my eyes, Teams really surpasses Skype for Business with the following features:
Come on, who doesn’t like to have fun while chatting? I know I do! That’s where Teams comes in. You can use smilies, giphies, stickers and memes. You don’t have to use these, but “Fun Chat” can be used to lighten up the chat room, so to speak.
File sharing through Chat in Teams is great! That’s because all the files are stored within the Files tab:
At any moment in time, I can go back to my chat with Alex and view our shared files. That’s awesome, isn’t it? You probably wonder where the files are stored. Don’t look any further:
The files I share with Alex are stored in my OneDrive for Business and vice versa.
The activity tab displays all the activities of your colleagues in a Team or Channels. Of course, you need to have access to the corresponding Team or Channel to view the activities. You can use these as shortcuts to conversations, for example.
You can add a shared tab to a website or Power BI report, allowing you to collaborate with one or more colleagues outside of a channel. Ideally, more options will be added soon.
The big question that rises is probably: When should I use Teams or Skype for Business to chat? Honestly, that’s totally up to you. The beauty and power of Office 365 is choice. You pick the tools that work for you. Skype for Business and Teams are integrated with each other. But! A really big but here (sorry, lame joke) you need to be aware of two things:
The availability status isn’t synchronized. You can be online in Teams but away in Skype for Business.
Starting a chat from Skype for Business to Teams results in another chat screen:
Teams provides you with the option to view your calendar:
Nothing special, right? What I do love is the option to create a meeting for your Team:
The meeting appears in the channel:
All the members are now aware of the meeting and able to add the calendar to their own agenda.
Last up is Files. Pretty straightforward. You can view all your recent files, files of your Teams & Channels and downloads. A new feature that was recently added is Cloud storage. We can add the following:
I love the new, not that new anymore but still, Microsoft! Allowing the integration with 3rd party services & tools. The main goal is getting the job done! No matter the tool or service.
I hope this article showed you how Teams can really become your day-to-day work tool. Apart from collaboration in teams and projects, you can chat with colleagues, view your agenda and your files. Office 365 services and tools are integrated into one application: Microsoft Teams. I am positive this is a huge selling point for Teams that will help increase adoption very quickly. That’s one of the main reasons I really love Teams and want everyone to embrace this promising Modern Workplace tool. Stay tuned for the final part in this series. Rock on!