The one year anniversary of Microsoft Teams has recently passed. As the year has gone on, I have noticed an increase in activity around the client. Document repositories, conversations, planner, OneNote and RSS feeds have already made their way in to our workspace within Teams. I have also been invited to an external teams workspace as a guest. Having used the client more and more and a year’s availability has just passed, I thought I’d write down some of my thoughts and what I hope is improved as more and more features are added.
I should note that this is purely from a user point of view and not an administrative one.
Initially I thought the Teams client was clunky. But over time, stability has been injected and I think the client makes for a good collaborative space. The ability to have conversations, documents, planner, OneNote and more all under one channel is very powerful. A conversation can be had in one tab and then a quick change to another tab can have you updating a document. Editing documents within the teams client makes use of Office Online and for quick and easy edits this can all be completed without leaving Teams. Linking a tab direct to a webpage works extremely well. For static pages that update constantly, this is very useful. The Office 365 Roadmap comes to mind. No need to leave the client to check some information on a page that is accessed frequently.
The mobile client does have some catching up to do. The client is still not very stable, with channels and tabs taking too long to load and in some cases not loading at all. I also find navigation around the app to take some getting used to. That being said Documents open quickly within the mobile Office Apps and conversations are easy to continue when on the go. I haven’t spent as much time in the mobile app as I would’ve liked. However, I imagine that will change in the near future.
As part of a project I was working on, I was invited to a Teams Channel as an external guest. Overall the experience was good. I received an invite in my email, clicked the link and the Team opened within the client after I authenticated. All functionality was the same and I could easily talk, share documents and update documents with external parties. The only downside to this was I found that the option to move between tenants kept disappearing in the client. At one point it was because my external account had been purged from the external tenant, but at others I had to sign out and back in to the client. I hope this is something that does not continue as it has been time consuming trying to resolve and is simply, just a pain if accessing Teams in multiple tenants.
One feature I do quite like within Teams is how Teams Meetings occur. Especially re-occurring meetings. They are shown within the Chat channel and are persistent. Whilst IM was available with meetings managed with Skype for Business I find meetings within Teams a better experience. IM is maintained after the call is finished and files can be shared within the Teams Client if they are particularly required for the meeting. Meetings has been one of my better experiences with Teams in the past year. I look forward to future Phone capabilities becoming available.
So a year has passed and Teams has had update after update made available and I think it is in a good place. There are more features to come and 2018 should continue to improve on an (in my opinion) excellent collaborative platform.