Jan 25

Microsoft Teams – the Basics

You may have heard of Microsoft Teams. But a lot of people might think what is? And how do I use it?

If you want to acces the client (note you must be on Office 365).

Type: “portal.office.com” and you will go to the Office 365 portal where you can see what kind clients you can use. It looks a little bit like this (note: this is the admin view but a normal user has a similar view)

Main landing page for Office 365












When you click on Teams it opens in de webclient and you will be asked to install the pc client. There is a lot of commotion about teams replacing Skype Online. More details about this can be found in my two previous blogs:

This blog is however not focussed on the voice part, but more in general what can you doe Microsoft Teams.

Gartner and Microsoft position Teams as an activity hub, where you start from and initiate all kinds of tasks. See also: Microsoft’s New Vision for Communications and Collaboration in Office 365 Impacts Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business Customers. Read the whole gartner article for their thought, but these are two important pictures from the report

Activity Hub









Gartner recommendations
















So you may think, I am interested, but what is it exaclty:.

Here below I’ve collected some resources for you to get acquainted:


The main functionality of Microsoft Teams can be summarized in the following functions:

  • Activity with Feed – here you can quickly search through all you conversations and persistent chats
  • Persistent Chat  (can be compared to WhatsApp, iMessage functionality, but then a business tool, not a consumer tool)
    • Persistent Chat can be done 1-on-1 and with multiple people at the same time
  • Teams – create teams, compare it to Slack, Cisco Spark. Persistent chat in group, creates a separate Security Group, adds a Teams SharePoint, give you the ability to really work together hop to other 3rd party tools like a Jira board, Trello, Planner etc.
  • Meetings – Overlap with Outlook and Skype. Conduct Team meeting with optional audio conferencing dial-in numbers. Different than a Skype meeting. Audio conferencing requires the Audio conferencing add-on.
  • Calls (optional requires Phone System and Domestic/International bundle. Planned in Q3 2018 with Direct Connect, bring your own SIP trunk For more details see the previous blog.
  • File – a quick view to all you Office 365 files you have access to.

This is what an empty Teams client looks like:

Empty Teams client












When you have downloaded the client, you may want to look at some colleagues if they are already using Teams. You don’t want to fall behind 🙂


  1. Nicely done. If you would like another hyperlink for Teams resources, please do refer to my blog – https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/scottblog/2018/01/11/skype-for-business-and-teams-feature-comparison/
    I have posted a feature comparison chart.

    1. thanks for the comment Scott, I’ve added it. I’ve made a reference to Luca’s site on the other blog’s as well (teams voice dialing – a closer look), but it fits good on the Basics too.

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