Microsoft Teams – Release and Preview

Yesterday (Nov 2, 2016), Microsoft announced a new persistent chat app called Microsoft Teams. If you use Slack, you’ll immediately see the resemblance. However, with Teams as part of Office 365 it’s going to be pretty interesting to see how the integration with the rest of the platform brings all the other O365 products, services, and capabilities together. My first thought is that the integration piece will set Teams apart from Slack. Time will tell. 

To get started, check out a few of the Microsoft announcement blog posts and videos, then jump in. You do need an Office 365 tenant. If you don’t have one now, you can quickly sign up for a trial and you’ll see those links along the way.  

Check it out:

Turn it on in your Office 365 tenant:

  1. Log in with an Admin account
  2. Navigate to:
    Admin (waffle) –> Settings (left nav) –> Services & add-ins (left nav) –> Microsoft Teams (main window)
  3. Turn it on. Smile 


Then, go to
When I first turned it on in O365 admin, Teams didn’t show up anywhere in the interface for me. No tile on home page or in the ‘waffle’. Once I went to the link however, logged on as I already was for O365, it recognized me and we were off and running. A few other quick notes if you’re getting started and trying to use Teams with existing Groups:


  • The Group must be ‘Private’
  • If you change the setting for your Group to ‘private’ it may take a little time for the change to go into effect before Teams are available for that group

Note: Remember this is in PREVIEW right now. So, things can and will change as features are enabled, functionality is flushed out, feedback is acted on, etc.

Personally, I’m excited because this fits right into a use case I’ve been in for a while – remote teaming. For 4+ years I was working with a team that was based 5 hours away, also working with other remote resources. We mostly used Skype (non-Business) for our day to day communication which mostly worked, but could have been better. While Skype took us a few steps forward with collaboration it certainly didn’t deliver the experience we would have had with Teams.

As a remote worker, this is huge. This is a wonderful way to be engaged on a team whether they sit together or not. Whether they are in the same building, or not. It’ll be even nicer once they have external users working so I don’t need to sign in on a particular domain – but can use ‘partner’ domains – similar to Skype for Business today.

As with any new product, there will be some adjustment time. Time to see if and where this product fits in your organization and culture. Time to flush out where Teams works with Skype, Yammer, any third party products your organization is using, how licensing with all your tools impacts your tech choices, etc. At the end of the day it’s a great addition to the Office 365 family of tools and services.

WHERE is it?

I turned Teams on in O365, but couldn’t find any other access to it – either on my O365 home page or the ‘waffle’ menu. No tile was showing up yet. Well, you can also go to:

It starts you out in the web interface, but from here you can download the client as well.

Beyond the Basics

Bots – they’re all the rage. These are pretty cool. Microsoft already has an interface and development framework for bot creation. Teams will be another area where bots can and will surface. Smile 

A Quick Response from Slack

I thought this was an interesting post from Slack in response to Microsoft Team’s launch: 

References and Links:

Microsoft Teams – the new chat-based workspace in Office 365.

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