Chapter 1:Microsoft Teams Basics
Microsoft Teams is a new collaboration tool that is transforming the way people work and collaborate around the world. It reached more than 44 million active users in 2020 Q1 and does not show any signs of slowing down.
Workers spend part of their day switching between platforms to chat with their peers, access the project’s documentation, schedule meetings, share files, and more. All of these tasks can be finally centralized in a single workspace, and that workspace is Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft has a lot of experience with communication and collaboration tools and Microsoft Teams is an evolution of their previous solutions. Teams inherits all the experience and know-how acquired from other Microsoft enterprise solutions over the last 20 years and is the natural successor of Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business.
If you are reading this book, you have probably asked yourself – Why Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams connects...
Accessing Microsoft Teams
First things first, before we start digging into Microsoft Teams concepts, you need to know how and where you can access it so that you can begin working with Teams right away.
Microsoft Teams plans
Microsoft Teams has two different plans: a free version that is available for anyone to use and a paid version that is included in the Office 365 Business plans.
If you do not have access to an Office 365 subscription and still want to implement Microsoft Teams, you can start with the free version, but be aware of its limitations. The following table shows a comparison between the free and paid versions that might help you decide which version suits your needs:
As you can see, the free version of Microsoft Teams has some limitations and it might not suit all scenarios. However, if you are building a proof of concept to drive the adoption of the platform, it can be a starting point. A detailed and updated comparison of all the...
How to sign in to Microsoft Teams
After installing Microsoft Teams, you will need to sign in to the application. You can do this using your work, school, or Microsoft account.
When you first open the Microsoft Teams application, you will be asked for your email, as shown in the following screenshot. Once you’ve typed in your email, click on Sign in. When you do this, the application will request your password:
After providing your credentials, the application will take a few seconds to load all your teams and conversations. Then, you will be ready to communicate with your colleagues.
When using the web version of Microsoft Teams, the sign-in process is a bit different. The first thing you need to do is type https://teams.microsoft.com into the address bar of your browser.
If you are not authenticated with your email account for any Microsoft service, you will be redirected to...
What does Microsoft Teams look like?
Now that you have Microsoft Teams installed on one or more devices, it is time to take a look at the application layout and learn how it is organized.
The following screenshot represents the web or desktop version of Microsoft Teams. All the major components are identified with numbers:
Let’s take a look at the different components, all of which have been numbered in the preceding screenshot:
- App bar: By default, the app bar shows Activity, Chat, Teams, Calendar, Calls, and Files. These are the main default features of Microsoft Teams. This bar can be customized, and a Microsoft Teams administrator can add more apps to it and define the position of new apps. However, the default apps cannot be removed. If a new app is added to the first six positions, the default app is moved to the submenu, which can be accessed through the … icon.
- Left pane: The context...
What is a team?
A team is a group of people that can represent a department, a project, a class, or even a sports team. Besides grouping people, Teams also gathers a set of tools that allows members to share information and work together.
The following scenarios will be used to explain the ways you can tailor team creation for a specific team’s requirements. I’ve tried to add as many examples as possible from multiple sectors, even though they may not fit in the overall setup of the book, just so that you are be able to connect these scenarios with your own realities.
Team Scenario #1 –Mary the marketing manager
Mary is the marketing manager for a multinational company leading a global marketing team currently working on a worldwide campaign for the holidays.Mary has created a team in Microsoft Teams that allows her to do the following:• Keep conversations about the campaign with other members of the marketing department.• Share documents...
What is a channel?
A channel is a section inside of a team that helps you organize conversations, files, and tools inside a container.
By default, all teams are created with the General channel, which includes the conversations tab, files, and wiki.
Channels are public by default, but if it's been enabled by the administrator, it is also possible to create private channels. Private channels will be explained in detail in Chapter 5, Public versus Private – Teams and Channels.
Channel Scenario #1 – Mary the marketing manager
Mary is working with the company designers to create advertisements for a campaign. To avoid distracting other members of the team and to keep the information about this topic centralized, Mary has created a new channel.In the new channel, the team members working on the advertisements are doing the following:
• Chatting about the ideas to promote the campaign • Sharing files, either specifications or the design...
What is a tab?
Tabs allow team members to access tools and content in the context of a channel inside a team. Tabs also allow team members to have conversations in the context of a tab to discuss the content the tab is displaying.
On Microsoft Teams, you will find two types of tabs: the built-in ones that come by default with the application and the custom ones that are added by apps that have been installed on Microsoft Teams, either from the store or manually uploaded.
Tab Scenario #1 – Mary the marketing manager
Mary wants to make sure the advertisements for the campaign are on track and to do this, she’s added a new tab to the channel with Microsoft Planner, along with the tasks of each designer.
Tab Scenario #2 – Geno the basketball coach
Geno continues to prepare for the season. He wants to share the plays and the plan for his practice sessions with the players without printing everything out. Geno has added two tabs to the Pre-Season channel...