Microsoft Teams is a chat-based collaboration tool that is part of the Office 365 suite of services. Teams enables local and remote co-workers to work together in real and near-real time. It provides customizable workspaces and guest access to facilitate business-to-business (B2B) project management.
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Teams includes the following core capabilities:
- Group chat
- One-on-one (private) chat
- Document collaboration
- PSTN dialing through the Microsoft PSTN service
- Integration with Skype for Business for contacts and presence sharing
- Integration with Active Directory
Teams launched in March 2017 as part of Office 365 and provides advanced security and compliance capabilities that supports global standards including HIPAA, EU Model Clauses, ISO27001, SOC 1 and SOC 2. Teams is available in Office 365 Education and competes with collaboration cloud services Slack and HipChat. Unlike its freemium competitors, however, Teams has no free tier and does not offer standalone pricing.
Teams integrates with Microsoft Office and a wide variety of other Office 365 services, including SharePoint and Exchange, as well as third-party services such as Google Drive, YouTube and DropBox. Although Microsoft announced it will launch a new Skype for Business server in the second half of 2018, it is expected to have the Microsoft Teams user interface (UI) and the company is urging Office 365 users to make Teams their primary communication and collaboration client in the future.