Microsoft is betting big time on Teams, their latest application for modern collaboration and communication. If you have been a Microsoft customer for a while you are used to the constant changes – from Exchange Instant Messaging to Office Communication Server, to Lync, to Skype for Business and now to Teams. Whether you are ready for it or not, Teams is the default meeting solution for Microsoft moving forward. You will still be able to use Skype for Business for some time, but Microsoft is using their muscles to push users towards Teams. At Storyals, we are currently using both Teams and Skype for Business for online meetings –  which is not ideal. If you, like us, have started to use Teams for your online meetings you will benefit from knowing the following:

1. You can schedule Teams meetings in all the Teams apps

No matter if you are on your phone or laptop, you can always schedule Teams meetings via the Teams apps – the desktop app, Teams Online and the Teams mobile app. Just like in Skype for Business, you can invite anyone to join a Teams meeting (internal or external) – they don’t have to be part of any team. Teams is available for free.  However, in order to get the best functionality, you need to have an Office 365 subscription. You can compare the various Teams plans here and download the Teams apps for various devices here.Teams online meeting | © Storyals

2. You can schedule Teams meetings from Outlook 365 for Windows

Since many users use Outlook to schedule meetings and make appointments, it’s convenient that you can send invitations to online Teams meetings directly from within Outlook. Just select “Teams Meeting” in the meeting menu bar. Outlook ribbon (Teams inked) | © Storyals

If you are using a Mac you will have to wait a bit longer to be able to schedule Teams meetings via Outlook – currently, you can only schedule Skype for Business meetings.

3. You cannot schedule Teams meetings in the “normal” Outlook Online

You currently can’t select Teams for your online meetings using the “normal” Outlook Online. You only have the option to select Skype for Business for your online meetings. Outlook online meeting (old) | © Storyals

4. You can schedule Teams meetings in “The New” Outlook Online

If you want to be able to schedule Teams meetings in Outlook Online you can switch to the “new” Outlook Online. The option to have a Teams meeting is there as a toggle when you create a new meeting request. Just be aware that the option to use Skype for Business is not available in the “new” Outlook Online.

Outlook online meeting (new) | © StoryalsYou need to be part of the “Targeted Release” channel to view “Try the new Outlook” toggle switch (ask your Office administrator if you have this feature enabled)new outlook online toggle | © Storyals

5. You cannot schedule Teams meetings in Outlook Mobile (yet)

Update: Microsoft has announced that they will be rolling out native support for creating and joining Microsoft Teams meeting in Outlook for iOS and Android in late March. Check out the Roadmap for it here.
If you want to schedule an online meeting using the Outlook mobile app (iOS or Android) you currently only have the option to make it a Skype for Business meeting. Microsoft has announced that the ability to schedule Teams meetings in Outlook for mobile will be available in late December.Outlook iOS & Android meeting | © Storyals

Get your users ready for change

Having online meetings can be quite challenging for users. If there are uncertainties regarding the technology, this becomes an irritating nuisance that stands in the way of end users’ productivity. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to actively work with end-user engagement and information sharing. If you want to discuss how you can help your organization get ready for Teams, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!