Collaborate in a chat-based workspace with Microsoft Teams

Published Sep 27 2017 12:46 PM 6,284 Views

Collaborate in a chat-based workspace with Microsoft Teams was presented by

• Praveen Maloo, 
• Patience Wootton, 
• Laith Al Shamri

You will find the recording at if you search for BRK2009 


Teams intro

Teams builds upon some of the other great tools in Office 365, like Groups, Planner, PowerBI and Skype for example. You could see it as a superset client and a Hub on top of them.
When I talk to customers they are often uncertain of what client to use when. They often fall back to email or at best case Skype for Business, what we have seen lately is that they also more and more fall back into 3rd party tools like Facebook messenger or whatsapp where they have their colleagues as friends, the problem with this is that you as an organization then lose control over your communication and this could lead to data leakage and it’s not acceptable from a compliance standpoint, but this is how people work today so we need to live up to these requirements and Teams is exactly the tool to do it with!


Teams as a client bridges this gap by letting users work with all their communications, files and tools (even external 3rd party tools like jira, mindmeister or Adobe Cloud) from one single client.

Microsoft is working with more than 150 partners to unlock productivity by integrating them into Teams!




Demo and usability

The admin can configure who can create new teams (and my personal recommendation is to start by letting users create their own Teams and channels to give the users power over their collaboration).
As a user you can then create a new team and you will then be a Team Manager in the same flow you can also add new users and even guests, (I will write more on guest later in this post) that are not part of your organization to the team to collaborate.

In a team you can then create channels that will show up to the left under your Teams that you are a member of. The cool thing about channels is that it also reflects in to OneNote notebooks and OneDrive.


For example, we have a Team called “Events” and under that we create a different channel for all the events we are attending, during the events we then have a channel that we can communicate in and a file are for PowerPoints and files that we find that are related and of course a OneNote for notes from the sessions that we attend.




In each channel you can then have Tabs. A tab is different tools and third-party apps that can be integrated directly into the Teams view. This eliminates users to have to jump in and out of different systems during their workday.




On the left of the client there are right now five buttons or more if you are a School using Teams.

  1. Activity
  2. Chat
  3. Team
  4. Meeting
  5. Files

And then at the bottom you will see your picture and name, and this is where you change over to the Teams that you are invited to as a guest, but more on that later.

When it comes to communication you have the Chat button to the left that will open the Chat page in the client. There you’ll have all your Chats and history that is direct with people, either 1-to-1 or group chat messages. Keep in mind that the Teams and Channels also have a chat that is for all the members of the respective Team, so to clarify, direct chat, like the one that you might have used Skype for business for before is under Chat and Persistent group chat is under the Teams tab.

Your chat windows can also be enhanced with Tabs to make your communication more intelligent.

This can be files, a OneNote page that you and the person your chatting with can share, you will also see the OrgChart so that you know where in the org a certain person is, and you have the possibility to add  PowerBI or a webpage.


The next button is meetings and this is where you will see your calendar and Teams meeting, you can book a meeting directly from Teams or from Outlook (like you normally do if you book a skype meeting). To start a meeting the users that have the Teams client will just click the join button in the invitation and their Teams client will start the meeting. If a user doesn’t have the client installed, the Web client will be used to make sure that users can collaborate without having to install things and lose time getting in to the meeting. Audi conferencing information is also shown in the invite so that users can just dial in if they are not at a computer or have the mobile client installed (this is in preview as of this post)




Customer Case

Dentsu Aegis has 150 brands and was 15000 employees by the year 2014 and they expect to be 75000 by 2020 so if the company don’t go fast enough, someone else will! This requires them to use tools that help their employees to be more effective and they talked about how they had rolled out Teams to help on this journey.

Mindset was a big thing on rolling out Office 365 over 150 different brands. So how do you change the mindset of one person and how do you change four different generations? At first, they did what I think is the traditional rollout plan and turned everything off by default, and only let IT test. They did it by the book and they were given all the best tools to manage the roll out, they planned well, but didn’t see much usage. (My personal reflection here is that we see this all the time at our clients as well and Office 365 requires a new way of thinking when rolling it out and the same way and rollout plan may not work for two different services.)

Then all of a sudden Teams came, the businesses loved it, but IT hadn’t planned for this :o

So, they basically decided to try something new and posted one yammer post, Teams is over there, we will not offer support for it to start with, but please go ahead and try it out.




They now have more than 5000 active users of Teams


Another success story was one of their brands “Gyro” that was very Slack Happy, but they needed to be onboarded to 365 to be able to collaborate and work with the other brands in the organization. But they needed slack to be able to work fast and don’t slow down during the transition, so Teams was exactly what was key to a successful onboarding of them into the group.


Governance and compliance is of course important at a large enterprise and what Gyro did was to say that the users can come to IT where they provide value added IT services, and get help with creating teams, but they could also create them by them self if they preferred and followed policys.

What then happens is that a Team is created and a Wiki gets added for all teams, with instructions on what to do in Teams and what to NOT do in teams and other things to keep in mind.

After the success with Teams they now learned a lot and the onboarding and rollout plan is now fully automated, so they created kind of an automated application rollout that uses features like Forms, Flow, SharePoint Lists, Flows, Automated Emails, Flow, Teams, Flow, Automated email to automate the process. This process saves 18 days per new Office 365 service rollout, it took like 20 min to setup and they now have more time to innovate and help the business to get to value instead of do legacy IT things.

My personal comment is that this was one of the best presentations at Ignite so far! Its worth watching the recording just for this story on how to successfully roll out Office 365 services to end users!

Great work!!




Guest access



Guest access was released 3 weeks ago along with new developer tools for Teams, which you can read more about over on the Office Dev blog. With Microsoft Teams Guest Access organizations will be empowerd to collaborate with other partners, vendors and customers in highly secure way.

With Guest Access external users can be granted access to Teams to collaborate with internal users.

A guest is an external entity that has a work or school account in another Azure Active Directory and  Office 365 tenant. In addition, if your organization doesn’t have an existing Office 365 tenant you can separately sing-up for an Azure Active Directory free subscription at no additional cost. This is required as Microsoft Teams Guest Access do not support none Azure Active Directory accounts to be added as guest. Microsoft Teams will be adding support for Microsoft Account (MSA) in the very nearest future.

Since guest access rely on Azure AD all passwords and accounts are securely managed in the respective company’s own AD and Azure AD. Guest access leverage Azure AD B2B platform to federate in a secure fashion without any hustle from IT departments.

You could also require your guest users to use Azure Multi Factor authentication if you for example will share classified information in a highly secure manner.

There are some differences between an internal user and a guest user, for example a guest cannot upload files in chat, or discover other teams and a guest cannot see the org chart since this could expose sensitive information.

Guest access is disabled by default and an admin need to enable the feature by going to the Office 365 admin portal and select Teams, choice guests from the dropdown menu and then enable it. You could as well define a lot of different settings that will apply for guests specifically.



To add a guest, you just write their email as you would when adding a normal user. To re emphasis those email addresses must be associated with an Azure Active Directory account at this time.

This will then notify the other members via a message in the channel and also by adding additional guest branding to the team.

The guest will then receive an email, but it  will also be shown as a notification in the Team client.

When you switch into a Team that you were invited to you will actually switch tenants and this looks kind of like a reload of the client, this is important so that the guests know that they are in a new tenant and changes to files or uploads will actually be stored in the Office 365 tenant of the company that invited you and files will be “owned” by that company.

To change back to your home tenant you just select your name badge down in the left corner and you will then see the different organizations that invited you, you could there select your own organization and the client will then reload and you will see all your home Teams.

Microsoft is very committed about improving the Guest Access experience to be more seamless and simple. So you can certainly expect many improvements very soon.


For additional details watch the Microsoft Teams Guest Access deep-dive video:


Microsoft Teams Youtube channel -

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