If you were in Vegas for MS Inspire back in July then I'll wager you probably heard the expression Teams, Teams, Teams! at some point during the conference. Microsoft used it a hell of a lot. Partners did too. And Vendors. Even my colleague Graeme - who I shared a room with over at the Tropicana - proudly proclaimed it Day 1 having returned from the Hub and having - in his words - caned Fifteen K purely on the freshly brewed organic coffee they were serving outside the breakouts. Now, I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that after he'd left for the evening he went on to recreate the pose he did in the room - something I can only record for posterity as bordering on lunging - at some partner event at the Venetian, or the Wynn. I personally wouldn't be surprised if he partook in a bit of photo bombing too.
An increasing amount of our working lives are spent in Team meetings. The biggest issue of mine - at least with the meetings I attend on a regular basis - is that they still often lack insights from data, lack open team discussions based upon and challenging these insights and data driven decision making. All too frequently meetings tend to descend into wild conjecture or arguments based on emotion without anything to back that up. Even worse, not all members of the team always have access to such data to be able to counter arguments based upon data hoarded by other individuals.
We all love Microsoft Teams. Day in and day out, you'll see us evangelising it on social. On forums such as the Tech Community we help others with enquiries and issues. We run user groups. We write blogs. We speak at events. We vote and create uservoices. We ask all the questions we can think of at that time on the community AMA's.
My son is two and a quarter years old - two and a quarter already! I feel a bit like the subject in The Scream by Edvard Munch - where the hell did time actually go? And as any parent well knows, they grow up so fast. If you are a parent, I hope you experience the sheer joy of always being incredibly proud and biased of them; that every single day you find yourself waxing lyrical on what they have achieved - however small - and of all their possibilities and potential.
When I was young, I had MSN Instant Messenger. I used it a lot. Some of my friends at used AOL. Others used Yahoo and ICQ. Let's be honest - chat has always worked - and in many ways, we can be defined as the instant messaging generation as opposed to the email generation. There is a real beauty about an app that just focuses on chat - forget for a moment about all the bells and whistles. Remember back in time. Why did that chat apps work? Why does WhatsApp work? And Twitter? And Skype?
In August 2018 I became a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). I had just passed MCSA Office 365 and having been a secondary school teacher (QTS) prior to IT (a Geography Teacher no less) it was a fantastic opportunity to dive head first back into the field. From a personal perspective, I don't think there has ever been a better time to be a learner. With so much uncertainty in the job market and in such a competitive market (at least, here in the UK) it is really important to get certified for both job security and career prospects. With Microsoft overhauling certifications with roles as opposed to products it really is an exciting time to follow the path for the job you do, or the job you want to do.
Teams is my favourite application within Office 365. Like the IT Pros in our panel today, it is a subject I'm very passionate about. As a hub for team collaboration it integrates people, content and tools to make the Team more engaged and effective. It has been a runaway success. Since it's introduction it has been the fastest growing app in Microsoft history. Back at Ignite 2018 we saw the numbers - 329,000 organisations using it (over 400,000 at the time of writing), 87 Fortune 500 companies and 54 companies with more than 10,000 active users (Microsoft, 2018). Yet it is also a young application and as such it is still evolving rapidly. Whilst positioned as an Inner Loop collaboration app, by introducing features such as the 5000 user limit or (soon to be) Private Channels, we ask - is it evolving into something different from it's original design and purpose?