In order to compete with services such as Slack, Microsoft has announced its own collaborative service for the workplace called Microsoft Teams.
The company held an event in New York City during which its CEO Satya Nadella revealed the new product will be available as a service that will directly tie into current Office 365 subscriptions. Microsoft has also released a video (opens in new tab) that highlights how Microsoft Teams will offer users a chat-based workspace that is conducive to real-time collaboration between team members.
Nadella noted that the goal of the new service is to enable teams to accomplish more through having all of their favourite programs and services in one place, saying: “Microsoft Teams will bring together chat, meeting, notes, Office, Planner, PowerBI, and a host extensions and applications to help teams get work done.”
Microsoft Teams does bear a resemblance to Slack as it works in a similar way by offering users the ability to work together using either private or open threaded chats. The company's new service also sports a similar look and includes a sidebar where meetings, files, chat and activity notifications can be accessed. Using Teams' conversation view, users can also bring meetings, files, notes and project boards directly into their cats.
Office and Skype will both be deeply integrated into the new service while Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote will all be built into it. Microsoft has also integrated SharePoint, Power BI and Planner into Teams to accommodate businesses that are already heavily relying on its ecosystem. Exchange will be used to provide notifications and users will be able to search across people, files and chats in the same way as they would using Slack.
Office 365 customers will be able to preview Microsoft Teams from today and Microsoft is already offering its new service in 181 countries and 18 languages. The new service is expected to release during early 2017.
Jason Khoury, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Jive Software, commented: "The launch of Microsoft Teams is simply another iteration on the conversational apps that we’ve seen from others in the industry. Where it falls short is in helping companies understand their ecosystem as a whole. At Jive, we foresee a digital workplace that seamlessly connects employees, customers and partners in a single, virtual Collaboration Hub. As we offer a better way to quickly “find knowledge and people,” our Interactive Intranet solution tracks and analyses the meta data behind all those employee searches and activities across a multi-system network.
"As a result, customers who use Jive as their Collaboration Hub can more holistically solve the fragmentation problems that result from using traditional stack vendors’ products and newer conversational apps."
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