• 22 Feb 2023
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Article summary

Getting Started With Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is an intuitive collaboration and communication platform that allows groups to work together seamlessly. These can be entire departments or cross-functional teams collaborating on tasks, projects, or committees. Microsoft developed Teams as its premier collaboration tool and it is the next natural extension of UMass Lowell’s investment in Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity tools. Teams is included in our system-wide Microsoft 365 agreement and provides seamless integration with all Microsoft products.

Some features of Teams include: 

  • Team-Focused Discussions

  • Each group can have their own communication area or “team”
  • Team owners create “channels” for different topic areas within their team
  • Discussions are “thread-based”, making it easy to find specific communication and driving more productive collaboration
  • Adding a new member automatically gives them full access to everything previously discussed and shared, easing their entry into the team and making them more productive

Document Storage & Sharing

  • Each team has their own secure area for file storage and sharing
  • Since Teams is tightly integrated with Microsoft 365, access is seamless and intuitive
  • Documents can be viewed and edited directly in Teams, in the native Office apps, and in SharePoint
  • Multiple people can collaborate by simultaneously editing the same document
  • When needed, the full capabilities of SharePoint can be used for advanced file sharing

Online Meetings

  • Audio and video meetings can be easily set up with any mix of UMass Lowell and external guests
  • Documents can be easily shared and edited during the meeting
  • Meetings can be scheduled with specific people (like a traditional invitation) or with an entire team

Full Phone Services

  • IT has starting to migrate UMass Lowell faculty and staff phone services from Skype for Business to Teams
  • All phone services and other telephony functions will eventually migrate from Skype for Business to Teams
  • Microsoft’s Unified Communications R&D efforts are focused on Teams and they plan to end support for Skype for Business in 2024
  • The migration of UMass Lowell’s phone service to Teams will leverage our knowledge and investment in Skype for Business

  • Expansion

  • Microsoft Teams is designed to be modular, expandable, and flexible
  • The platform can be customized to support both business and academic use
  • There are hundreds of add-on applications or plug-ins – many of which are free – that can enhance the native functionality and integrate with other solutions

The shift to Microsoft Teams will be a significant evolution in how we communicate. Email will remain an essential tool, and Teams offers a way to shift from static email to “living” threads of information. This encourages discussions, promotes collaboration, and allows more focused attention to specific topics.

All faculty, staff, and students can log into Teams from a computer (Windows, Mac, and Linux) or from a smartphone (Android and iOS) using their standard UMass Lowell credentials.

If you do not have the Teams client installed, you can download Microsoft Teams.
You can also access most of the Teams features from a web browser.

If you are looking to have a new Team created for you or your department, please submit a ticket with UMass Lowell TechServices to request a new team be created.

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