Everything you need to know about Microsoft Teams: definition, history, future objectives.
Microsoft Teams: a definition
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that allows users to work together, even remotely. In this way, it is perfectly adapted to the new configurations of hybrid work.
The platform has many features, including:
- An instant messenger that can bring two or more people together;
- An audio and video conferencing application;
- Teams within which it is possible to create channels, to which all team members have access. For example, it is possible to create a team for a department, and channels for a project.
- Co-editing of documents (several people can work on a file at the same time);
- Opening up to third-party applications, such as the online management tool Trello.
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Being integrated with Microsoft 365, Teams is also linked to the Office package applications, including Word and Excel. It has document storage and sharing services like PowerPoint, OneNote and SharePoint.
In short, Microsoft Teams allows its users to chat in real time, share and collaborate on files, hold online meetings, and create teams to work on a project. It is widely used by businesses to facilitate communication and remote work, a phenomenon that has kept on increasing in recent years.
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The history of Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams was created in 2016 and officially launched in 2017, replacing the Skype for Business application. It takes over Microsoft's Skype Enterprise, Exchange, SharePoint, and StaffHub features.
Since its launch, Microsoft Teams has become one of the most popular collaboration and messaging applications for businesses. Its users particularly appreciate the centralization of tools (everything is in one place), but also its openness and accessibility to all. Overall, using Teams is a real time and productivity saver for employees.
Furthermore, and this is no stranger to its success, Microsoft is committed to continuous improvement by developing and evolving Teams over time. Thus, new features are added regularly, while third-party applications are integrated to improve the user experience.
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Microsoft Teams today
With the strong growth of remote working, Microsoft Teams has gained in popularity. By enabling teams to stay connected and work as efficiently as possible, the platform has tripled its user base in one year: its use exploded in the first lockdown, from 44 million users in March 2020 to 115 million in 2021!
Later, in January 2022, Microsoft announced that Teams had passed 270 million monthly active users. A number that is constantly growing. Windows 10 and 11 combined, meanwhile, have over 1.4 billion monthly active users.
Initially used primarily for its conversational tools, Teams, as a hub for Microsoft applications, has gradually emerged as the platform for collaborative work. This has happened as usage changes, with companies having an increased need for collaboration tools to bring together onsite and remote employees.
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Workers now have the following tools at their disposal:
- Private conversations;
- Conversations with text, sound and video, and the ability to share files in real time;
- Teams to collaborate effectively;
- A storage space for all files and documents in one place;
- The ability to connect to SharePoint;
- Organizing online meetings;
- Audio calls;
- A video conferencing application;
- Integration of third-party applications;
All this, compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
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Microsoft Viva, the employee experience platform
Microsoft Viva is an employee resource platform that enhances the work experience and provides tools to improve employee well-being and productivity.
It is integrated with Microsoft Teams and offers features such as learning, communication, health and wellness information, and task and project management. Companies can customize Microsoft Viva to fit the needs of their employees and their corporate culture. In short, Microsoft Viva is an all-in-one solution that enables employees to work more efficiently and comfortably while fostering a positive corporate culture.
✅ To go further, find out everything there is to know about Microsoft Viva
What are Microsoft's plans for Teams? After the growing success of the last few years, what can we expect from now on?
For Microsoft, one thing is certain: hybrid work is the future .
To ensure the development of this new form of work, Microsoft recently announced that it wants to improve meeting and video conferencing capabilities in several ways, including smarter meeting rooms, with cameras that can track a person's position in a room.
To make each employee feel more involved in meetings, Microsoft recently introduced shared whiteboards, where each participant can take notes and propose ideas in real time. In addition, a live transcript is now available for meetings (scheduled or unscheduled), making it easy to find the information needed after the meeting is over.
Microsoft's overall goal remains to put the user at the center of everything, with accessibility and inclusivity as the watchwords, and each innovation carries its own set of functions and accessories to be accessible by the greatest number of people. And, of course, Microsoft wants to make Teams the first hub specifically dedicated to teamwork.
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The latest in Microsoft Teams
ChatGPT integration with Teams
One of Microsoft's latest offerings? Teams Premium, a paid plan that incorporates ChatGPT, the popular language model developed by OpenAI. With this feature, users will be able to get meeting notes and minutes automatically generated by artificial intelligence. For Microsoft, this is an essential feature, as time spent in virtual meetings has increased significantly in recent years. The "smart recap" is just one example of the many opportunities offered by ChatGPT. In the future, the popular language model is expected to be integrated into more Teams features, especially since Microsoft wants to incorporate it into its Office suite.
New tools for an optimized and more inclusive experience
Live streaming of team meetings and webinars to Meta Workplace Live
Now it is possible to stream any Teams meeting or webinar directly to Meta Workplace with the Workplace Live application. This allows participants to watch live meetings and webinars in their Workplace groups, or watch them later via a recording on Workplace. Simply add the Workplace Live application to your meeting, log in with your Workplace account, and select the event you want to livestream.
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A better webinar management experience with customized options
Advanced features are now available to customize registration details and settings for each webinar, such as:
- Presenter's Biography;
- Designation of co-presenters;
- Event Theme;
- Participant Status;
- Event configuration.
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Greater accessibility to meetings
When interpreters are present in a meeting, it is now possible to prioritize their videos so that they remain in the foreground. This is especially useful when sign language is used.
It is also possible to set subtitles to stay on automatically throughout the meetings.
🚀 To go further, find out how to optimize the employee experience with Microsoft Teams
By bringing together various instant messaging, file sharing and video conferencing tools, Teams facilitates teamwork and remote working. A true hub for Microsoft applications, it has become the platform for collaborative work in recent years.
Every year, Teams Premium integrates new features to improve the user experience. This year, for example, ChatGPT, a conversational tool, was integrated into Teams Premium to provide more efficient and intelligent meetings.