Is Microsoft Teams Coming of Age?

Nick Hobbs
Jun 17 · 6 min read

Microsoft Teams turned 2 years old in March, and already has more than 500,000 organisations using it, with 150 organisations having 10,000 or more users, and supports 44 languages so far, and 91% of the Fortune 100 companies in the US are using the product.

Teams will soon be getting some exciting new features such as:

However cool and useful these features may become, and despite how much Teams is used already, there are some basic challenges that many organisations still face when looking to adopt Teams, particularly those who are already used to using SharePoint team sites and are looking to switch to Teams for their day-to-day team collaboration.

The challenges do not seem to be so much around what Teams can or can’t do per se, but mostly around what important features they will lose by switching from using SharePoint Team Sites to Teams, even though Teams brings a whole host of new features that don’t exist in SharePoint alone.

So, what are these missing features that concern them so much, and when will Teams be ready in their eyes?

Having recently completed some research on this topic for a client, I am pleased to report that the Microsoft Teams Roadmap seems to cover the major concerns on their roadmap this year.

The main concerns I have encountered are around the Teams/SharePoint interface around document management, where to perform some common actions against documents they need to open the library in SharePoint and perform those actions directly in SharePoint rather than in Teams, e.g.

Then once users are conditioned to going into SharePoint to perform these actions, inconsistencies start cropping up when going back to Teams, e.g.

Another significant concern appears when organisations have more than 1 O365 tenant, often due to the result of acquisitions and mergers, inheriting additional O365 tenants, and users from each original organisation still using different tenants. Teams requires the user to login to a single tenant and can work in that tenant only.

Although it is possible to have the users guested into the other tenant, and then they can switch tenants within the Teams user interface, so that they can collaborate with users in the other organisation, this is far from ideal as the user must actively switch between tenants before they will receive any notifications from that tenant, and cannot collaborate in 2 teams from different tenants concurrently. Also switching tenants can easily take 15–20 seconds to complete, so switching back and forth feels cumbersome too.

Fortunately, it appears most if not all these concerns are being addressed on the roadmap in the very near future. Here are the roadmap items that relate to these concerns, and a few other important related roadmap items, with a summary of each and an indication of when Microsoft says they will be made generally available for use at the time of writing this article:

Other than “Secure Private Channels” which has no formal roadmap date (but has already been demonstrated at a recent conference), all other items on the roadmap appear to be about to be released or are already rolling out. I am hopeful that these improvements will open the way for many more organisations who currently use SharePoint Team Sites to feel they can make the switch to Teams comfortably knowing that users are not missing out on common important document management functionality or having to get used to switching back to SharePoint and being aware of the quirks and inconsistencies that may crop up by doing so.

It seems to me that Teams is now coming of age!

This article has been reproduced with permission from my personal blog.

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Nick Hobbs

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Senior SharePoint Solution Architect at Capgemini UK plc

Capgemini Microsoft team

To share best practices, knowledge and experiences of the Capgemini Microsoft team