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Microsoft Teams is a chat- and video conferencing-based teamwork application that provides a single application experience to most of the services and capabilities of Office 365. In many ways, Teams flips the way we have worked on its head. Instead of utilizing multiple applications to work on and discuss something, you can now complete almost all of it inside of Teams.

Rather than constantly switching between emails, phone calls, file shares, documents, websites, and other resources, you can now talk about the report in-line with the video call while also sharing a screen to review a website with your peers.

Chats take place either in channels inside of teams of people where they are referred to as “conversations”, or utilizing the one-to-one or one-to-multiple private chat area. Teams can be accessed on PC, Mac, web, tablets and mobile devices, ensuring that conversations can continue regardless of what device the person is using.

While chat is at the core of Teams, it also provides access to other Office 365 components, including SharePoint, Planner, Flow, Office, Forms, Power BI, and Stream. Beyond that, there is an ever-growing list of Microsoft and third-party applications that can be added into Teams as “tabs”, allowing users to access content and information that is within the context of the channel.

Notably, Teams is the successor to Skype for Business. Skype for Business Online (Office 365) is in the process of replacement; Skype for Business 2019 (on-prem) can remain by itself, though no future plans of an on-prem upgrade has been announced.

The Skype-to-Teams replacement ensures that organizations can integrate physical meeting room equipment such as conference phones, video devices, presentation screens, as well as desktop-based conference equipment (e.g., webcams and headsets), allowing you to have meetings in a style that works for you.


Similar applications

  • Slack
  • Cisco Webex Teams
  • Stride (now owned by Slack)
  • Google Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet