Welcome back to my series about the modern intranet. Long time no see, I know. This time we’re opening the door to the chamber of teamwork with Microsoft Teams. If you haven’t used Microsoft Teams before and you want to get an overview, you can check my articles from the series “Mastering common challenges in Office 365” and read part four and six to get insights on Microsoft Teams.

In this article we are building our next part for the modern intranet and combining Microsoft Teams with the services from the previous article, a modern intranet and the sorcerer’s conflict.

News

Since my last article about Microsoft Teams a lot has happened. Many announcements from Microsoft’s Ignite conference are already here and many new features were announced. Currently one of the hottest is the dark mode on iOS, or the upcoming Safari support for all you Apple users out there! There are too many “new” features to cover in one article, but I try to feature some of my favorite, but first: The new icons!

The new Office icon set

You might have heard of this already, but Microsoft presented us the new Office icons. Microsoft presented those icons also with an awesome video. Everybody has a different taste. Personally, I like all, except of my beloved SharePoint. 🙁 Well, I probably get used to it. Oddly not every service you might think is part of Office 365 has a new icon such as Delve, Microsoft Forms, Microsoft Flow, PowerApps and many others. Your office application icons on PC are still the old ones and also on iOS, at least I have the old icons, but I am quite sure, they will be everywhere soon. So let’s start with my favorite new features in Microsoft Teams.

Dark Theme

Android has a dark theme for a while, but with the version 1.0.66 the dark theme is now supported on iOS as well. I did a short video about that if you want to check it out. It is for sure something cool, but I never got the hype about a dark mode… A major benefit is the battery consumption on OLED smartphone which is of course better and it is also a little bit more pleasing for your eyes!

Record and send audio messages

Also with the version 1.0.66 you can now record and send audio messages. Within the chat function in you app you can hold the microphone button to record audio. After that, the message get’s send directly to the person or group in the chat. If you want to see a ridiculous group chat conversation you can check out my short video on that! Turn up the sound to hear the magic 😉

Record and send audio

Shifts

This is almost old compared to the features above, but Shifts is your new service when planning your staff. It is now directly included in Microsoft Teams. There is a dedicated article coming in the future. Until then, you can check the official Microsoft source and read the official overview below

The Shifts app in Microsoft Teams keeps firstline workers connected and in sync. It’s built mobile first for fast and effective time management and communication for teams. Shifts lets firstline workers and their managers use their mobile devices to manage schedules and keep in touch.

  • Managers create, update, and manage shift schedules for teams. They can send messages to one person (“there’s a spill on the floor”) or the entire team (“the regional GM is arriving in 20 minutes”). They can also send policy documents, news bulletins, and videos.
  • Employees view their upcoming shifts, can see who else is scheduled for the day, request to swap or offer a shift, and request time off.

It’s important to know that Shifts currently doesn’t support guest users. This means that guests on a team can’t be added to or use shift schedules when Guest access is turned on in Teams.

Safari Support

It was pretty high on the users wish list, now it it coming. You can find the request on uservoice. The last update was just recently on the 19th of February and since then we know the following:

This is currently in Preview – planned to release very soon.

In the following weeks, Teams will be rolling out support on Safari 11+ on macOS. While in preview, there are known issues with Safari’s ITP mode and it is advised that users disable Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention.

Hopefully Safari doesn’t get crashed!

Office 365 Pro Plus Includes Teams

Microsoft is really pushing hard for Teams. Take a look at this:

Automatically access Microsoft Teams in new installs of Office 365 ProPlus

Microsoft Teams will now be installed with Office 365 ProPlus on PCs and Macs, along with other apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. IT Pros and end users will no longer have to install Teams separately. The February Monthly Channel; the March Semi-Annual Channel Targeted (SAC-T); and July Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) will automatically install Teams when Office 365 ProPlus is installed on new PCs and Macs. Teams will automatically be installed for users who already have Office 365 ProPlus in the future.

Integration via mobile phone

The dedicated Microsoft Teams app is a great option to be productive on the go. Not only Teams can help you here, but also SharePoint, Stream and many services are available on iOS and Android. If you are using a Windows Phone.. well, first congrats 🙂 for staying strong, but you don’t get all the services.

Sorry, Windows Phone users. It’s time to move on…

As shown above, the Microsoft Teams app has a dark mode, but it integrates so well with SharePoint and many other services. Let’s take a look at a SharePoint Hub Site from PC and you will see how similar it looks if you open Teams and integrate SharePoint into it.

SharePoint Hub site with connected Communication sites and integration of Microsoft Stream

And now here how this looks integrated in the Microsoft Teams app on iOS. It is important to mention, that this is SharePoint in Teams embedded as web page.

I assume that also that is the reason, why Microsoft Stream has an issue. If you would like to just use Microsoft Teams als your “Company WhatsApp”, you can do that of course as well. To give your employees the option to use services like they’re using in their private life is such a great example how you can really show that you care about your employees needs and attract the younger generations even more for your company.

You can always use the SharePoint app if you prefer. It works of course slightly better if you are certain, you only need SharePoint.

You can switch from SharePoint to Teams as well and create a similar experience as on PC and Mac. The only question is, which services are relevant to you and how you’re are going to manage those. If you would like to stay in the Microsoft universe, then Intune is your best bet, but of course you can use services from MobileIron, VMWare or other vendors as well

There are many Microsoft service which can boost you productivity on the go and the experience is way better than I first expected. If you haven’t tried it yet or tried it some while ago, I highly recommend to at least give it another shot.

Just give it another shot

One of my favorite apps on my phone is currently Microsoft’s To-Do. It is my go-to grocery shopping list app. It is super easy to use and you can use To-Do on the web as well so you are able to have it always right where you need it. You can check out the short video below to get a little overview. Worth checking out, especially you don’t need an Office 365 license, so it is something really for everybody. To check out more, visit the official Microsoft page.

Who’s who

The who is who is who. Everything clear, right? 😀 Well, who is a bot based integration in Microsoft Teams which gives you a great out-of-the-box experience for finding information. I use it most often to find people. New employees in your company will appreciate this feature as well. Too often you heard a name or met a new colleague, but forgot many information. His or her name, or the department, the manager or something else. This is where “Who” can help out in a great self-service-based way.

Who can help out if you need information about a colleague

In the tabs you can also check your meetings to find an upcoming meeting with a person from you company. For example if you have an Jour fixe with Minerva, the Head or the Gryffindor House, you find it there 😉

Overview of upcoming meetings

Not only meetings are there to find, but also an organization chart. You can search for a person and you find the people he or she is the manager of. You can call, chat, mail or video call the person directly from there. For video calling you have to use the Microsoft Teams Desktop Application.

Organization chart shown for Minerva McGonagall

Last but not least you find the “About” tab to check your version and get more information about “Who”. With just a few videos or short articles “Who” can boost your employees satisfaction by a significant amount and also introduces a maybe first use-case for bot conversations.

About “Who”

Summary

To collaborate in Microsoft Teams is a real blessing. You can integrate so many services, even none Microsoft services such as other file storage services and many more, but from my point of view there is one catch with Microsoft Teams: Your users need to understand Office 365 Groups, SharePoint, OneDrive and all the integrated services first to have a benefit and use Microsoft Teams in the right way. So don’t start off with Teams. Use the services like OneDrive first, then introduce SharePoint, Microsoft Forms, Stream or other services and to sum it up, use Microsoft Teams!

I hope you liked this article. I know, I haven’t published an article in a while, but to be honest, I didn’t enjoy writing articles anymore and did some articles because I had the feeling “I need to write this”. This is why I took a break. More articles and especially videos and quick tip videos are coming in the future. If you have just a question about something, get in touch via my social networks (Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) and I try to create short video answers if possible. What do you think about an Instagram account where I publish Office 365 services on mobile only? Let me know!

Until the next time, don’t be AFRAIT

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