Microsoft Teams: one interface, many opportunities for Partners in Australia

In November 2016, we launched Microsoft Teams in preview mode. Since then, more than 150 Developers and Partners around the world have come on board to build applications into the platform, and more than 50,000 organisations have started using it to reinvent how they work.  Today, I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft Teams is generally available in Australia to most Microsoft Office 365 subscribers. This presents a range of compelling opportunities for you as a local Microsoft Partner, as I will discuss below. But first, what is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace with everything a team needs to get work done.  It’s a central place to chat, start a video or voice call, access documents and notebooks, and search for contacts. Users can also tap into other Office 365 applications and third-party applications and services, without leaving the hub. These apps appear as tabs inside ‘channels’, meaning there’s no need to toggle between apps or windows.

Microsoft Teams brings all the tools individuals are familiar with into one place that is easy to navigate. It’s like an open-plan office – but digital – and it also meets the strict security and compliance standards that users expect from Microsoft.

[caption id="attachment_26465" align="aligncenter" width="643"]screenshot of Microsoft teams featuring third party connectors screenshot of Microsoft teams featuring third party connectors[/caption]

So, what are the benefits for you as a Partner? Here are four big ones:

  1. Microsoft Teams further strengthens the value of the Office 365 suite. So, when you consult with new customers considering implementing Office 365, you can identify how Microsoft Teams extends the suite while bringing together its various applications into one unified view and communications environment.
  2. Teams lets you to reconnect with current customers who are looking to expand their collaboration capabilities. Customers can be overwhelmed by all the options in Office 365 and feel uncertain that they are making the most of their investment. By offering adoption and change management services, you can not only remain a trusted advisor to your customers, you can expand your managed service offerings and drive your profitability further.
  3. You can expand your support for customers by using Microsoft Teams’ open APIs to develop custom applications, build rich integrations and surface applications through available bots, tabs and connectors. This is another great way to expand your services.
  4. Teams opens new entryways into organisations beyond IT. Because it has direct implications for how people work within organisations, it will be of interest to a wide range of managers – from sales and operations leaders to HR and even finance groups. Some of our Australian Partners, such as Readify and Objective Corporation, are already seeing great results from Microsoft Teams.  Readify has the opportunity to build new revenue by using Microsoft Teams to create deeply focused experiences for its customers. For example, Readify can place customised connectors, tabs and intelligent applications that translate messages into actions automatically, in-context for end-users. This enables the end-user to be more efficient than when they relied on traditionally isolated interfaces.

To really understand what Microsoft Teams offers and the range of possibilities it presents to you, I would strongly encourage you to start using it within your own business. I know that when my team at Microsoft adopted it, the impact was immediate. The way we collaborated became simpler, faster and more efficient. It has also reduced our email traffic and made it easier to quickly access tools that we commonly use, such as Power BI.

Top resources for Microsoft Teams