If you just want the answer, in my opinion, it’s “no”. Why do I say that? Let’s start with a bit of Microsoft’s roadmap. Starting with Skype for Business, the Skype for Business client will soon be going away and all the functionality will be rolled into Microsoft Teams, so…that would be the first reason to start looking at teams. It would also be the first reason why it isn’t the email killer. It’s not replacing Outlook (your mail client) it’s replacing Skype for Business (your IM client).
Reduce email, not kill it
However, I think Microsoft Teams IS improving on what Skype for Business currently has, assuming they can get the last few lingering Skype for Business features into teams. I also believe, that with that improvement, it has the ability to REDUCE (not eliminate) the amount of email that shows up in your inbox.
Why you still need to care and pay attention to Microsoft Teams.
Email – Email I tend to ignore more…trying to check only a couple times a day. Something like teams or an IM client is much more conversational (and less interruptive than a phone call). I can ignore an IM for a few minutes. In my opinion, it’s in the space between email and a phone call in terms of speed of communication.
Now, some uniqueness around Teams, especially if you’re using Office 365.
- Video/Audio meetings can happen in teams. I use teams for video/audio meetings regularly. It also supports screen sharing if that’s needed.
- Teams/Channels: Think of a team as a group of people, a channel as a specific topic within the team. So, for your business, a team could be “Sales” and then you could have a channel if you sell Spas in various cities/regions within Utah. All conversations (and other resources…see additional points) could be kept in that channel. It keeps resources grouped together…including conversations. It makes it easier for anyone to jump into the conversation if needed as well and view the history (without having to add them to an email chain)
- Integration with other Office 365 resources: Documents, Task List (planner), OneNote for note, or even 100’s of other third-party services. A team can become that central place for a team member to go to access various resources. On the back-end, “Team” files are stored in SharePoint, as well as the OneNote notebook, so you can still leverage the power of SharePoint for storing files. If you want to add a file to teams from Outlook, channels within the Team and have a unique email address. If you forward an email (with an attachment) to that address, the file is automatically saved to that channel (in SharePoint). Planner is similar in that while it’s a part of the “Team” it also shows up in Planner in Office 365 so have access to it directly in Planner or even in the Planner App on your Mobile Device. The Team OneNote is also stored in SharePoint and can just as easily be added to OneNote on your computer or mobile device.
- Conversations around “events”: I mentioned integration with Files and other third-party services. This also allows you to have a conversation around a file. Instead of an email thread with a file attachment, you can attach the file (stored in Teams) to a conversation thread in Teams and discuss changes, updates or anything else. This could also be something like a tweet that mentioned your company that you need to discuss how to handle. A particular task you need to have a conversation about, etc (there are lots of options.)
So…while Teams definitely has that IM functionality and will be the go-to service for IM in Office 365 in the future, there is also a lot of other functionality that Teams encompasses that can really assist in collaboration within your organization.
Sorry, that got long, but hope it helps and again, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want a demo or teams or anything else.