The Big Picture Changes in Office 365 – Microsoft Teams
Zooming out from the frequent changes to Office 365 tools enables a clearer view of the big picture movements in the overall Office 365 suite of services. Whether this feature is integrated with that feature this week, or what’s happening with another feature in a month or two becomes but a sideshow in light of the megatrends in the overall platform; it’s the main stage keynote at the conference rather than the small sessions that fill in around the edges. One of those megatrends is the emergence of a new kid in town – Microsoft Teams – and the parallel re-direction of Microsoft SharePoint Online and the cancellation of Skype for Business Online. Before Office 365, SharePoint was Microsoft’s collaboration story (and I wrote a book on that a decade ago). When Office 365 came to town in mid-2011, SharePoint remained Microsoft’s collaboration story. But from March 2017, that story has been a’changing. Microsoft Teams is the strategic client and story for team collaboration in Office 365. We should talk more about this.
Despite the new kid in town, SharePoint Online remains important (vital, even) in Office 365. It’s the foundational piece for Files in Microsoft Teams, it powers OneDrive, and while not supposed to be a destination place for team collaboration anymore, has a newly focused destination role to play in supporting internal communications, corporate news, and the building out of both intranets and business applications for teams.
Skype for Business Online has been affected (wounded) more deeply. Microsoft Teams was initially positioned as a parallel capability to Skype for Business Online, with the two having solid roles to play into the future. But that dual track approach gave way to a decision to sunset one and redouble on the other. Skype is out, Teams is in. Microsoft published its roadmap for taking the best of Skype for Business Online and bringing it to life within Microsoft Teams; that journey is now complete, and Teams is the place that Microsoft wants you to be.
In our work at Silverside, we see great potential for Microsoft Teams, and are actively working with clients for the adoption and effective use of this tool. Last month we ran a workshop at our offices in Rotterdam on Collaborating as a Team with Microsoft Teams; next month we are hosting an online webinar on Smarter Sales Meetings with Microsoft Teams and OneNote. It’s too late to register for our July workshop, but get clicking and we’ll see you at the September webinar.
And yes, let’s talk more about Teams.