Microsoft Teams chat-based hub currently in pilotFeb 13, 2018
The university is currently testing Microsoft Teams, the chat-centered collaborative workspace launched last spring in Office 365. Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based app that helps teams work together more efficiently and easily from any device and any location with an internet connection. Teams encourages members to connect with each other through conversation threads in channels (instead of email) and quick access to shared documents through tabs (instead of file folders). Users also may conduct quick virtual meetings with individuals and small groups and move from one collaboration tool to another with ease.
This is a workspace that is both interactive and highly collaborative, making it a great tool for higher education. Scott DeMers, web application administrator and developer for the Constituent Services team in the Office of Information Technology (OIT), has delved deeply into usage of the pilot to test its capabilities. “Teams has unparalleled document collaboration capabilities,” says DeMers. “Faculty, staff and students can manage all their digital assets – files, images and video – in one place and collaborate as you create them.” The integration of applications used every day allows faculty the ability to create teams to collaborate with students as well as with colleagues on interdisciplinary research projects.Pilot testing incorporates looking at best practices for how Microsoft Teams can help make groups more productive, the best ways for pulling in content from other apps, safely connecting with third-party storage options (including Dropbox, SharePoint or Google Docs) and adding other third-party apps to the conversation with YouTube, Trello, and Twitter, to name a few. Members of the Technology Support Community (TSC) are currently testing Microsoft Teams through the end of February.