Welcome to another article in the Mastering Office 365 series. This time: Microsoft Teams reloaded, where I show you a bunch of new things in Microsoft Teams. I also have a feeling, that this will not be the last update 😉 If you want to start your digital transformation, start with yourself and check my article on that.

Check out the other parts of this series Mastering common challenges in Office 365 about PowerShell, OneDriveSharePointSharePoint Hub Sites the first original article about Microsoft Teams and my latest article about Microsoft Forms.

You know by now what’s next, right? The table of contents with clickable links to the sections.

Let’s start with a few questions I always have to answer when I talk about Teams. Ahhh, I forgot… Please be my follower on Twitter 😉

Most asked questions

What is Teams and what is the hype about?

Well, I already tried to answer that in my original article and the section Mastering common challenges in Office 365 Part 4: Microsoft Teams – The digital hub. You’re welcome 🙂

Isn’t Slack much better?

Well, if you like a tool which you can’t connect that seamless to your other Microsoft tools, then yes. But who wants that? 🙂 Teams has the best integration in the Microsoft universe by far. Also quite obvious, but it has also much more to offer and the development is insanely fast! By the way, did you saw that there is a free version of Teams?

Isn’t Teams a super new tool?

It is, but never have I seen a product from Microsoft which is that mature in this short amount of time. Web-browser support, desktop app, a free version, mobile app, integration, third party connectors and much more.

But Teams is expensive, right?

Well, yes and no. You also get the whole Office suite, OneDrive, Microsoft Forms, Flow, Stream, SharePoint, PowerApps, Sway and much more for the same price depending which pricing / plan option you choose. This is the same for Slack. Slack had one big advantage in the past, but now Microsoft Teams has that as well! A free version!

So what tools is better? Hard to say… The best service for you depends a lot on which platform you use to manage your content and services. Google or Microsoft. If you’re already using Google’s G-Suite, then Slack is probably the better choice. Teams is ideal if you already have for an Office 365 subscription or mainly use Microsoft services. Also is this only my point of view. I prefer Microsoft Teams. Try to make yourself a picture of those tools if you can. There is no ultimate truth!

Sorry
Sorry

Microsoft Teams free

For me the last step to be the real Slack competitor is since the 12th of July done. The Microsoft Teams free version.

Microsoft Teams for free
Microsoft Teams for free

Just go to the Microsoft Teams free website, enter your email address and try it yourself. It is available in over 40 languages. Just enter your email address (I used a dummy) and click on Sign up for free.

Microsoft Teams free setup
Microsoft Teams free setup

The free version includes:

  • Unlimited chat messages and search.
  • Built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups, and full team meetups.
  • 10 GB of team file storage plus additional 2 GB per person for personal storage.
  • Integrated, real-time content creation with Office Online apps, including built-in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
  • Unlimited app integrations with 140+ business apps to choose from—including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello.
  • Ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organization, backed by Microsoft’s secure, global infrastructure.

Source from the official Microsoft article

You can also check out the video on YouTube with Jeremy Chapman, Director, Microsoft 365 and Dan Stevenson, from the Teams Engineering team at the Microsoft Mechanics channel.

The admin center

Better late then never, right? It took some time, but the new Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center is now available. To access the new admin center log in as you global administrator and go to Settings (1), Services & add-ins (2), Microsoft Teams (3) and click on the link in the yellow box (4).

Access the new Microsoft Teams admin center
Access the new Microsoft Teams admin center

If you don’t have that yellow notification box you can still try to access the admin center directly with the link https://admin.teams.microsoft.com. Maybe that will work for you. I also now have a direct link in my admin center section.

New Teams & Skype Admin Center Quick Link
New Teams & Skype Admin Center Quick Link

Click on that link if you have it and then you will see it:

Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center
Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center
Dashboard

The Dashboard isn’t that big of a deal yet, but there is so much room for other information, that I think, that there will be some new things in the future!

If you click in the dashboard View Users or you click on the left hand side on Users, there is already more to explore.

User overview
User overview

You can filter and choose the columns you want to display in this view. Just click ion those icons on the right side. Hopefully we can create views in the future. You can also edit a specific user by selecting the user and than click on Edit in the top left.

You get than a bunch of information of the user. General information, Assigned policies, Audio Conferencing and more.

User Edit in Admin center
User Edit in Admin center
Message policies and settings

The next thing I like is the Messaging policies and the Org-wide settings. You can change policies and assign them to specific users. Pretty handy. Also the org-wide settings. Directly managing the settings inside the admin center makes total sense to me. In the past they where under the Office 3665 Admin Center, Settings, Services & add-ins, Microsoft Teams and then within that panel.

Messaging policies and Org-wide settings
Messaging policies and Org-wide settings
Call quality

The Call quality dashboard is a little bit old-school (check the URL 🙂 ), but I offers now also great information about Microsoft Teams, so this is the right direction, no doubt!

Call quality dashboard
Call quality dashboard
Call analytics

The call analytics portal on the other hand is stunning. You can search for a user in your tenant:

Call analytics user search
Call analytics user search

And you can then check the call history from that specific user in an really awesome look and feel:

Call History
Call History

You can also click on almost everything to change the details. You can go to ADVANCED:

Call History advanced view
Call History advanced view

You can go to DEBUG or in the overview onto Network, or Connectivity, or System… I think you know how I feel about this. This is great! Try it, I think you will like it as well!

Call History Network
Call History Network

Mobile app updates

The mobile world is changing as fast as Microsoft Teams itself, so nothing new, that there are also a bunch of new cool features. In this article I will focus on switching between accounts on mobile + the new Join a Call of Meeting and share from you mobile device.

Switch between accounts

If you are working with another company, partner etc. together in a team, it is now pretty easy to switch teams or tenants.

When you first start your Teams mobile app you will get the first screen below where you can decide if you want to get notified if something is “new”.  If you have only one account you menu will look like in picture in the middle and if you have an guest account in another tenant you will get the section Your accounts and an indicator for that.

Notification and account settings on mobile app
Notification and account settings on mobile app

If you want to switch accounts, just select another account in the menu and you will get logged in.

Join a call or meeting and share content

With the latest Microsoft Teams mobile update you can now easily join a call or meeting and share content from your mobile phone. In call you click on the three dots and click on Start screen sharing. You will get a little help on how to share your content.

Start sharing from your mobile phone
Start sharing from your mobile phone

When you made sure, that the Screen Recording is available in your Control Centre, just swipe up, then force touch the record button and then select Microsoft Teams to start sharing! Pretty neat!

Recording your screen and share your content
Recording your screen and share your content

To find out more about this you should check the official article from Microsoft.

Search | Command box

With the command box you can search for people, content and much more. You can also jump directly to a team, even if you don’t marked it as one of your favorites. Currently, commands are only available in the desktop or web app, but check out how easy it is:

Command box - GoTo command
Command box – GoTo command

You always wanted to see that flying dog, right? 🙂

Since beginning of May you can also send a direct message to a person. This is also pretty easy by just @-mentioning the name and start typing.

@ mention someone and start a 1:1 chat
@ mention someone and start a 1:1 chat

This is also pretty easy.

To be honest, I don’t use the command box that often. It just doesn’t fit into my normal working style. Maybe I have to force myself to use it more often and to see the real benefit.

If you are interested to learn more about the capabilities of the command box you should definitely check out the article Use commands in Teams.

Of course you can search for files as well. Just go ahead an type in whatever you are looking for and see the magic happening:

Search for files from the command box
Search for files from the command box

There is much more to cover when we are talking Search | Command box, but the best way is always to discover it yourself. If you want to get more insights, check out the articles in that internet… 🙂

Inter...what?
Inter…what?

Integration updates

Well, apps and integrations. That’s a topic which is not even up-to-date when this article is published (currently 103 apps). At least GitHub is currently on the top left 🙂 So kind of current state 😉

Go to AppSource to see it yourself. AppSource is the destination to find apps and add-ins that work with Dynamics, Office, Power BI, Azure, and more. Now you can search a list of apps available for Microsoft Teams in the same place.

You should check regularly for updated listings to see what you can bring into to your hub for teamwork.

AppSource Microsoft Teams app results
AppSource Microsoft Teams app results

Planner also continues to add new features to the Teams integration. With the recent update, you can now include Schedule and Chart views in your Planner tab.

Schedule view: get an overview of upcoming tasks and drag and drop them to set dates
Schedule view: get an overview of upcoming tasks and drag and drop them to set dates
Charts view: stay up-to-date on the status of your plans
Charts view: stay up-to-date on the status of your plans

Happy Teams for Education

June marks the one-year anniversary of Microsoft Teams in Office 365 Education!

Happy Teams for Education
Happy Teams for Education

Teams is doing pretty well in the education sector from my point of view. Check out the video below to see how the University of New South Wales (UNSW) uses Teams to increase student engagement.

Teams for Education is also getting new features. Now inside of Teams, Microsoft is enabling rubric criteria and skills-based grading of assignments.

  • Students will also be able to see how they’ll be assessed upfront, before they start working on the assignment.
  • Teachers can save a lot of time with a grading tool that’s easily applied to multiple assignments at once.
Rubric grading in Teams
Rubric grading in Teams

There are also more features coming. Archiving of Teams (and yes, Microsoft is developing this for non-education users as well), mute all students and much more. Check the article in the Education Blog and a big thanks to Microsoft for letting me share this with the community!

That’s it for Mastering common challenges in Office 365 – Part 6: Teams reloaded

Microsoft Teams Reloaded
Microsoft Teams Reloaded

Hope I could made you smile while you learned new things at the same time!

If you want to check out the whole Mastering common challenges in Office 365 series, do it. I have the ambition to make IT fun and try my very best with this series or my Security and Compliance Center series. When you are not interested in a series, I really hope the article on How to use 7 tools to create 1 simple survey (available in German and English) makes you smile. 😉

Last but not least: Stay tuned and please be my follower on Twitter!

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