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Ignite Live Blogging: Microsoft Teams Behind the Scenes

Introduction

Teams is the big new collaboration buzz here at Ignite, and at today's session we get to see behind the curtains and get a little insight about the announcements made at the conference. This is an open Q&A session where the panel will talk about the news at the conference, the reactions to the announcements, and take questions from the audience.

 

20170928_132754947_iOS.pngAbout the team onstage

Darrell Webster - @regarding365

Dan Stevenson - Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft

Loryan Strant - Consultant Prime - Office Server and Services MVP

Alistair Pugin - Productivity Evangelist - Office Server and Services MVP

 

Presentation 

Dan gave an introductory presentation with a few important  Key points

  • Microsoft is committed to Skype for Business. I have personally been asked if Teams is replacing SfB, but that is not the message here. There is at least one more server version in the making, and there is no announcement about any termination of SFBO
  • Teams is ready now, but will get readier over time. It is an application in constant development.
  • Microsoft and partners are ready to help customers adopt Teams One great place to start is using faststart  http://aka.ms/SkypeAndTeams or http://successwithteams.com
  • More on Compliance, management and administration will be coming soon
  • All other office 365 teams are integrating their products into Teams 

 

Introduction to the Teams team

Dan moved on to go through a couple of slides to set the agenda for the Q&A, and letting the audience hear some of the Teams team (this being the software engineering organization that builds Teams) experiences and reflections. I reccomend looking at the slides for accuracy, but here are some of the highlights I want to share:

  • The team uses Teams for all internal meetings
  • Teams is used for most 1-1 communication within the engineering team
  • Many use chat, but the general trend is to use channels more than basic chat
  • A few core teams
  • 100 channels (by function, products, announcements, competitive, fun staff and more)
  • Apps and extensions are widely used

After working with Teams for a while, here are some of the Teams team wishes for the future. The wish list is not a roadmap, but rather examples of areas they could look into in the future.

  • Private channels within teams, creating a hierarchy
  • Shared channels between teams
  • Read-only channels for informational purposes
  • Sharing chat history
  • Participant controls in meeting ("Desperately" - Dan Stevenson )

 

Dan also shared some of the key findings when it comes to factors driving the usage, growth and retention

  • Get the users to use the Mobile app - Users tend to be more productive when using mobile: (mobile users tend to be more active overall when mobile).
  • Make sure users already belong to a team before adding them to Teams. This gives them something to start with.
  • Smaller teams usually tend not to work, 3 is to small, 6+ tend to work better
  • File sharing: People got to the places their files are
  • An IT-led adoption tends to get things going at a quicker pace, where an organic approach will take some time to catch up in volume of active users.

 Q&A

The host tried to create 4 different topics/areas which the audience could ask questions, but the audience seemd to ask what was on their mind regardless. Here are some of the important questions and answers (ain my opinon).

 

Q: Looking at the way we work, many workers like to multitask. Teams does not allow for pop-outs or side-by-side actions: How can we multitask in Teams?

A: These are areas where the Teams team are looking into improvements, they feel the same "pain".

 

Q: What about existing sharpoint sites, how to tie those into Teams.

A: Remember this is SharePoint  Online only. You may use groupify on existing sites and associate them into Teams. More features to bring the products together is on the way. When you create a Team, the Team create a new site. You will have to migrate existing SharePoint content in the background.

 

Q: What's the story on Guest Access, federation and cross-organization collaboration?

A: Guest Access is already here, but it requiers AAD and will only work with other O365 tennants. MSA will be coming soon. There will even be other authentication sources available in the future. Federation is coming as a part of getting SFB feature into Teams. Anonymous join into meetings is on the roadmap.

 

Q: How can we automate creation and administration of Teams and channels.

A: Administration through PowerShell scripting is on the way

 

Q: Where can I get information on features as they are rolled out?

A: The office road map will be the place to or in the future, or the tech community.

 

Q: We have challenges with translating user training into many languages.

A: We know there is a challenge around keeping customers aware of the new features and we are looking at some ways to improve that; for now consult the Microsoft Tech Community and Office 365 roadmap.

 

Q: What about legal requirements regarding auditing and retentions?

A: Retentions is coming, auditing is already working and discoverable from the compliance center.

 

20170928_124631718_iOS.png My own summary

"On the way", "on the roadmap" and "coming soon" are often a part of the answers we hear, and it just shows this is a product in the making. And it will be evolved over time, just as many other products now are continuously being improved. Microsoft encourages us to use Teams and SfB side-by-side until required functionality is ready in Teams. But if the features a group of people require is already available in Teams (like internal chat, meetings and document collaboration) you should really consider to make the swap to Teams right away. 

I think it will take some time until the consumers and IT-pros get used to the idea that the product is "never" being finished the way things were done in the "old" days. This is the power of the cloud, it's a new way to deliver funtionallity into products continously. The time when finalized products are shipped every "X" years is simply over.

Don't heistate to get started. Use tools side-by-side, and gradually phase out obsolete tools when the new tools cover your requirements. That's the real message here at Ignite.

 

A great place to go for information on what is happening, or to submit your own requests is the user voice. Use the "feedback" link within the application to be redirected to the user voice site.

 

Please follow the sites http://aka.ms/ignitesfbblog and http://aka.ms/igniteteamsblog for more insight from me and my fellow MVPs throughout the week.

If you want to hear more from me, you can find my personal blog at http://uc.lawedo.net, or follow me on twitter for more unformal updates @lawedo

And please engage in the community. Now question is to short nor to long. We are all here to help each other, and not just for Ignite. The techcommunity is the place to ask questions and have them answered. It's also the place where you can contribute with your own experience and answers.