Focus on Teams | Office 365 (Webinar recording)


Ziad: Hello, and welcome everybody today. My name is Ziad Paracha, and I am the Account Executive at Encore Business Solutions, which is a gold Microsoft partner. So today we’re continuing our beloved Office 365 webinar series and focusing on quite a large beast today, we’re talking about Teams. And Microsoft has emphasized quite a bit on this in the last little while here and launched so many new releases in additions to teams that really kind of empowers team users to be more efficient and empower teamwork.

So the question really becomes is, what is Microsoft Teams? In the short elevator pitch type style, the answer is Microsoft Teams is a new chat-based workplace or workspace for Office 365, which is defined as the new hub for teamwork which brings together people, conversations, content, and other tools that teams really need to collaborate. In essence, different teams have different needs, and Office 365 includes all of that within this application called Teams.

So in order for us to kind of better understand what teams can do and how it can benefit our business, we need to understand how the modern workplace is actually changing and how the organizations have actually evolved to meet those styles. So both work styles and the workforce are actually becoming more and more diverse. And there are several different trends, as well as challenges, that we are seeing coming from that. So when people collaborate today, we are actually using a lot more mobile kind of services, a lot more of the social tools. In fact, 45% of the population actually use social tools in their day to day work, and we have a lot more devices that are being used. In the last five years, the number of devices have actually gone up by 400% per user, which means that a lot of user employees are actually working on their mobile phones, they have tablets, they have desktops and laptops, and a whole bunch of different devices that they’re using, and in addition to that, different apps and services are also being utilized that result them in having to jump from multiple different experiences throughout the day.

We’re also seeing, for the first time ever since cavemen ever came on this earth, was that there are five different generations actually working together in one workplace, all of them which have different backgrounds in technology, different expectations, different ways of communication and collaboration, and different ways of utilizing those tools in general. So people are getting more and more comfortable chatting on their phones and other devices, others prefer email, some would still stick to face-to-face kind of communication. All in all, it’s increasing not only on a level of a per user and employee base, but also on a geographical basis as well. Many of the employees actually don’t work in the same office necessarily, or in the same time zone. In fact, 73% or 72% of the workers actually work remotely and will work remotely by 2020, I think is the number. So this makes it very challenging to have face-to-face conversations and, therefore, creates a greater demand, a greater need to enable communication and collaboration, regardless of where you’re working from.

As well as what we’ve seen in the modern workplace and how that’s changing, is that there is a movement towards transparency, as well as a high level of inclusivity in how decisions are actually made within the organization. We’ve seen organizations become more and more flat as time is continuing to go forward, and people are actually twice…are on twice as many teams as they were, let’s say, five years ago. And those teams are actually becoming more dynamic on its own as well. It’s rare to see people change from one team, where they’re working on multiple projects at the same time, and it’s easier to kind of move from one project to another, or have multiple people work together. So that dynamic has actually increased to a large amount of collaboration within an organization as well. Workers actually report having 80% of their time being spent in collaboration, whether it’s meetings, or calls, or any sort of interactions internally and externally.

So Microsoft Teams is actually built with the understanding of all the things I’ve outlined right now to communicate and collaborate, and to kind of enhance the experience that employees and employers have in this modern workplace. And it thrives really to kind of increase that information sharing, the open, transparency, diverse work style type of way, and creates that culture and really enhances that experience. And we know one size doesn’t fit all and we’ve built Teams to kind of provide that flexibility, and I’m going to kind of go through a demo later on in the presentation as well to kind of show you how you can actually customize and personalize some of the items here based on your team’s needs and other teams that are probably going to be out there as well.

So let’s move on here. We can see the teamwork in the core of Microsoft 365. It really develops the essence of it, right? And twice as many teams we know are working out there, it’s increased. Geographically, we have a diverse workforce. So what are we really going to do at this point? Teams create…I think it has been over a year now, and it’s excelling tremendously, right? We’ve got 60% of Teams users actually reside outside of the U.S. itself, so we got international exposure of Teams. It’s integrated Skype and announced that after, I think in September it was, that Skype is going to be now adopted into Teams and there will no longer be a standalone Skype. It still uses features…I mean, Skype’s not dead, but it still useful features of SharePoint, Skype, and all that together. But the idea again here is to unify all of those great services and tools out there into one great flat form, and Teams provides that on a global scale here for organizations.

Microsoft Teams is the hub, right? It delivers on four core promises that creates that kind of digital workplace and instills high performing teams. So the first one is for chat calls and meeting. Teams delivers, within Office 365, delivers a collaboration tool that helps and extends these capabilities, and these capabilities are actually powered by Skype. So when it comes to chat, Teams is actually very fast, fluid, and it’s very familiar to the experience if you’ve used other services as well for Microsoft, and it’s easier to share that kind of content and accelerate, in essence, have efficient decision-making processes in place for that and makes it a lot quicker to communicate. You can also have a complete meeting experience that includes where you can actually have preparations done before, throughout, and after, have some sort of a reporting system created. So that process is really outlined, and it helps that kind of onboarding process for this adoption tool.

As well, it has Office 365 apps integrated within Teams that people use on a daily basis, just about every business uses Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, Planner. All of these task management applications are also there, like Power BI or Anystream which is like a video portal. These are all built into Teams, and you can utilize this information and these tools right within one platform. And now because every group is unique, it’s very customizable and very extensive. Teams can be tailored to a workplace that includes apps and services for just the organization. It can access for remote workers, it could be accessed on any device, we can create other platforms from within Teams that enables these applications and provides a rich set of capabilities to have high performing teams. There is connectors and bots and different things that you can use as well that I’ll kind of show as well again in the demo.

Lastly, Teams come with the enterprise-grade security and compliance that you would expect from Office 365. Now, this is actually quite a large issue here or something that Microsoft spends billions of dollars on an annual basis to kind of cope with the security mechanism of Office 365. In fact, Microsoft uses the exact same platform that we use. Office 365 is something that Microsoft uses on an internal basis as well. So if Microsoft can use it, SMEs and other organizations can use that as well.

So Microsoft Teams, again, is this hub for chat and communication. You can actually have engaging private one-on-one chats or group chats within this as well, which makes it really…the conversations are more visible within the team. The modern experience then becomes persistent, consistent. It provides threaded chats so everyone can kind of be engaged. You can even have features like emojis, and memes and other things, other graphics that can be a really creative way of tailoring your messages and really increases and thrives the culture of the organization as well.

So Teams also has the solution I was talking about for meetings, let’s say, video and audio conferencing capabilities are there, enables organizations to kind of transform an ordinary meeting into more of a modern way of doing things. So for example, before a meeting, now a team member can actually share and review information, and even have the conversation history on that subject matter without having to leave the team portal or jump on many different platforms. During a meeting, team members can also share their own desktop and screens, they can add attachments on a real-time basis and actually use that as presentation decks. You can make meetings become either audio or video conferencing, and you can actually even record that to kind of save at a later time as well. And then you can integrate that with OneNote, and we’ve done a webinar just a little while back as well. And you can visit the website to see how OneNote can actually be utilized in this platform as well. After the meeting, then, of course, you can review all the recorded meetings and view the previous meetings that you’ve had. All the details, all the history will be there, and you can update, and monitor, and keep track, and essentially move forward in a forward direction.

So users now have…they can have dedicated phone numbers, right? They have advanced calling features which are new, right? One of the new releases of Microsoft, and you can really transfer, and delegate, and have all sorts of different solutions within Teams. And again, of course, all of this is on a cross-platform basis, so you can have it in a desktop version, a browser version, you can use it on your mobile phone, and move back and forth and everything gets updated on the fly.

Microsoft Teams is also something that they’re trying to access all of the Office 365 applications within Teams to kind of increase that productivity and you don’t have to jump between different apps and different sign-ons. In a sense, you can just access all the information within the Teams experience. So like I mentioned before, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, all of those, even Power BI, these are all built into Teams and you can utilize those and communicate within that context. You can also co-author and edit with all these files without having to open a second Windows. There’s actually abilities to edit the file within Teams in an online version. You can integrate Skype, and Planner, and other kinds of tools that you need to get your teams to be more effective and meet the objectives of those teams. There’s also Microsoft graph, and then a whole bunch of different items that you can kind of get from the store there. There’s built-in integration with email as well, so you can forward an email message right through the Teams channel and instill more of a discussion and a sharing type of platform. So all in all, Office 365 applications are all accessed and integrated within this team environment as well, which makes it a very efficient process all in all.

And now, just on that note, again, of every group being unique, it’s easy for teams to tailor their workplace and workspace to include applications and services that are relevant to their teams or their organization. For example, you can pin important files for quick reference and the whole team can access them just with one click. You can add other bots to interact with Microsoft Teams, and bots can answer natural language questions and perform lightweight tasks, such as finding facts, or finding who’s doing what in the organization, and so on. We’ll kind of tackle that as well in our quick demo here. You can bring in Cloud services as well from updated applications that you use on a daily basis, and third-party services are also included, where you can actually get full notifications on the activities that are customized to your team. And that way, you never have to be out of the loop in anything. And so that platform makes it a really rich experience to use as well.

Last slide here for enterprise security like I was mentioning before as well, we deliver an enterprise-grade cloud solution here with advanced security and compliance capabilities for customers, so data encryption at all times, right? We have the ability for local data residency for core customers at data REST, there’s failover and disaster recovery, which is included in the Office 365, multi-factor authentication for enhanced identity production, and a whole bunch of other IT controls to manage. So, many different departments can actually utilize Teams in various ways. So, security and compliance, it’s critical for enterprise customers and it is Microsoft’s responsibility to kind of provide that and they do that by empowering all of that. So keeping that in mind, let’s move forward into our quick demo here. Let me just pull up our demo version if you guys can all see that.

So I’ve just launched…I’ve already pre-launched the Teams desktop application, and I can show you the online kind of version as well. I’ve launched that here, which is on just Microsoft Edge, the browser version. And you can see that it’s the exact same kind of experience. So I’m going to focus more on this launch team here, and you can see the exact same kind of content is going to be presented. But let’s focus on the desktop version for now. And we can see just within the conversations that are created in the design portion of this conversation, you can see the whole history previously. But let’s start here from the left side here. We’ve got activities, chat, teams, meetings, and files. Now, these are primarily the kind of tabs that you can look into. Activities is great because this is where all your mentions and replies, all sorts of notifications will come here, anything that’s regarding or concerning you or part of your team, you can change that to feed to just see your activity. You can also filter a lot of the things. So whether it’s unread messages that you haven’t seen, mentions, so if anyone’s actually tagged you personally, this can come right in here. And you’ve got also, of course, replies following any of the likes that you’ve done, missed calls that you’ve gotten, voicemail in other applications, which links basically directly to the store here.

You can chat directly from within Teams like I was mentioning as well. So this is the feature that you can collaborate with, integrated with Skype. So if I go to the new chat here, I can actually talk to any of my workers that are right here and be able to kind of collaborate with them right through here. So if I wanted to, for example, talk to Allan, I can pull him up right here and talk about anything with IT, or anything that’s concerning him within this chat. Now, in this particular demo, you can see that it shows you this person’s currently using Skype for Business, and some of the Teams features will actually not be available. This is something that Microsoft does, of course, to kind of get you integrated within Teams most effectively to be able to use all of the features, so you don’t have to jump from Skype to Teams and back and forth. You can do that all right in here. So I can send him a message and have him respond back as it goes. I can also directly go into a call or a video call from the same tab and have that kind of audio or video experience as well as needed. Within here, I can also do attachments and other things as well, which I’ll kind of go into as I’m finishing the tabs down here.

So here’s some of the teams like I was mentioning. So there’s different sorts of teams that are created within that different channels that you can have. So we’ve got, within business development, there is a general team. You can see all the people, or the list of people that have been added by that team. Now, what’s really cool here is that if you add a person right now, that person can see the entire history and be up to speed with whatever is happening so far in that team. That way, you don’t have to kind of loop them back in. You can just have them review and point out general things that need to be there. So there’s different pages that kind of follow up with each of these teams that are here.

You can also go into meetings right from here. So you can actually have company meetings that are here. Again, this includes your calendar, as well as your mail, so this is your email version, as well as Skype, all of that integrated together, comes into this team, I can join a team, I can cancel a team, I can see who’s attending, who’s invited me, what all of that details look like, I can post agendas in here, and attend the meeting right from here and manage my schedule. Now, what’s really cool in this as well as within your team, you can actually see who is and who is not available for a meeting or for a call, right? And you can make that sort of arrangement. You can also make those meetings occur either a single occurrence or in a series if you have regular meetings that you do as well, and you can check out the entire calendar right from within this area, right?

Then there’s a really cool feature called Files here, which is amazing because you can actually have different…connected to different storages like SharePoint or OneDrive as I have here. And I can add different Cloud storages here as well to be able to synchronize all of my information here in the files. This little tab here, it kind of pinpoints certain applications that our tools that I use on a daily basis to engage, so OneNote, for instance, Planner, Stream, or even the WhoBot that we’ll discuss as well. And you can utilize these right from the go. You can actually get these apps from either here with your phone number, or more suitable areas just through the store, or you can actually access all sorts of different tools to engage, and you can actually filter them out depending on what it is that you’re doing. So you can look at all apps just in general, so it comes with Adobe, all sorts of different applications that are here, Flow, Facebook Pages, Evernote, Twitter, all of that will be here. You can also just search out bots. So there’s different bots that you can kind of create. Forms is here as well, but different bots. So you can have tabs, different connectors that you can search, and all of those will be here that you can access.

You can also have top picks depending on what kind of industry or kind of department you’re in. So let’s say if it’s Analytics and BI, you can look over here and there are also filtered out some sort of an Analytics and BI, or Developer and IT kind of tools that are there for you to use as well. And all you have to do is click it, or you can pin it to your channel and I’ll show you how you can do that by just, let’s say, if we want to get this one, you search a team that you want to include it in. So I can search this team right here and have that installed onto that team right then and there, and it will show up in my team when I’m back, and I can set up the connector and whatnot later on as well. But just for the sake of time because Teams is, like I said, a very large beast, it would take probably another three hours to go through all of it. But here’s Teams, again.

So within my one team that I want to discuss, if you look at these little dots that are right here, and you can actually remove it from your favorites or add it to your favorite team. That way it’s almost like pinned to your stuff. You can also manage your team, add different channels like these pages that are here, add members. You can even leave a team, edit any content into that team, or have a link to share with the team. So if I was to just go into those settings to manage a team, you can see here there’s certain tabs that you can add some members, there’s different channels within that and other settings that I can actually change, so any of the mentions and stuff, anything directly use, anything with privacy, member permissions. So you can actually see which members can access what within Teams as well. These are all the apps that are there. I just download or I just set up this Airbrake one, if you guys remember just a little while ago. Again, these are all set up here as well.

Within members, I can also add. You can see there’s owners and members here, and what department they are from, what they do. You can add members from here just by simply putting in their email. Or if they’re from the team already, or from your internal team, you can just add a name to it and it would actually add them into the group as well. And you can have different security allowances for them as well, see what they can and cannot see within that. This, however, is a public team. You can also have private teams to have that as well.

Now, within the actual enterprise…This is like the newsfeed, right? So the Twitter, the Facebook, so if you kind of keep that in your mind. Within this platform here, you can see, again, the whole history, these are meetings that you can have and I can directly enter this meeting now from the newsfeed here and join the meeting here using the Teams online version. I can see who is and who isn’t involved and, obviously, I have not accepted or responded to that meeting. But if I was to, I can join right from within there as well. Now, if I wanted to update my team here, I can just say, “Hey, all, let’s meet up tomorrow after this great presentation to discuss,” and that every single person will kind of have that. Now, if I wanted to take some people like, let’s say, my friend, Allan, which I met a little while ago, or we’ll call him Alex for now, I can actually tag him and he will get a notification with the entire message. Within that as well, I know exactly what Alex does, where he is, where he lies in the organization structure, I can mail him from here, I can call him, video call him, and just send him a direct message here. If I send them a direct message here, it also leads right into the chatbot here as well that you can use.

Different features down here as well. I mentioned to you, guys, that you can have smiley faces added in, you can have different gifs and memes added in as well within the text. You can attach files and browse different ways of…and you can connect other things in here as well to do that. And of course, there’s stickers and memes and other things that you can add as well as edit, right? And you can send that in. And again, everything gets updated right on the go. You can also have a Meet Now feature, which means you can actually create a meeting right away with any subject that you have. So let’s say, “teams”, create a meeting. You can actually have your video turned on or off, or reschedule a meeting for another time. If I click Meet Now, my camera will turn on and you will see my beautiful face, but I’ll leave that out for today. There is a store here as well. You can actually have different links that are directly there. So if I wanted to have a search for a YouTube video, I can do that from within this thing and actually add it to my conversation in Teams as well.

One real cool thing I wanted to kind of share before I kind of call it off is there are really, really cool bots that you can actually use and some of them that I’ve actually added on, and simple as if you read the commands here as well, there’s type/and or @. So if I go @something, I can actually access anything that I need right there. Actually, these are people that I work with, perhaps it’s the people that I work with more frequently, as well as other things that you can access here as well. But what’s really cool is the WhoBot here. So if you go, Who…sorry, slash first on these ones, Who-Enter, so slash and Who-Enter, I can actually access people, for example, who knows about marketing, and this bot will actually…Oh, great. I haven’t solved the bot on the demo version, but this bot will actually find out and send you a reply on who knows anything about marketing, right? So who is someone…you can actually search that right through here as well. But who is, let’s say, an X number, so who is Alex? Right? And this bot will actually come up with an answer. And I haven’t allowed it yet, but if I was to, it would actually come up with a whole bunch of different answers for me and give me a visualization of the full idea of who that individual is. For example, here is Alex and you can see everything he messaged, work with him directly from here.

I can do that from here as well like I was mentioning So who knows about marketing? Right? And you can have someone. So for example, these are the three people that they found that knows about marketing and that they are a member of whichever team they are, so Miriam or Emily. I can contact them directly and say, “Hey, Miriam. I have a marketing question. Can you help me out?” And I can pin that and create. And so within that, you can have a whole conversation with a bot that will actually give you conversations.

Now, one thing before I kind of end it off here is that a lot of AI capabilities are actually being involved now as well within Teams and still using it. And so, Teams is going to be something that’s going quite big and you can bet your money on that for sure. And again, this whole…so you can see where…This is Megan and you can see where they are in the hierarchy, and you can set all this up for your employees to kind of see and visualize as well.

And if you have any more questions, obviously, we are here to help, and Encore can provide those kinds of services. And keep in mind that Teams is something that, of course, is going very big and something that’s going to be utilized throughout the Microsoft Office 365 experience.

That’s it for me today, guys. Hopefully, you guys enjoyed and learned a lot from it. Again, if there’re any questions, here is my contact information that you can directly reach out to at. Stay tuned on the Office 365 series moving forward, and thank you very much again.

If there’s any questions after…

Tess: Thanks, Ziad…

Ziad: …please put that into the menu and test, let me know if there’s any questions so that I can answer right away.

Tess: Yeah, that sounds good. So far, we don’t have any questions in the queue, but we’ll wait a minute or two if anyone wants to type in a question, and if not, you guys can reach out to Ziad after the webinar is over.

Ziad: Awesome. Thank you so very much, guys. See you guys again in the next series.



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