Friday, November 11, 2016

Back from the MVPSummit and a little wiser

I am typing this as I have checked my bags, and I'm waiting for the first of my flights to get back home. The head is yet again full of impressions from the summit. Not only after four days packed with interesting sessions, but also from all the activities after the official program. The summit is such a splendid opportunity to meet with the best of the best in their field, and many of them whom I only get to tweet or email the rest of the year. We have conversations and discussions for hours, both within our specialization groups and across all branches.

I have to admit I was not too excited by the original agenda, and the topics listed. But as it turned out, there were a lot more going on, and we spent every lunch as extra sessions to cover a lot more than originally planned. My hat of to the organizers who managed to pull all of this off.

Now then, did we learn anything new? Of course we did, that’s part of the reason for the summit. To enlighten and ignite the MVP community about things to come. One of the things we did get a glimpse of, that I really can't wait to share with you, is the view and strategy behind Microsoft's new offer; Teams.

My fellow MVPs and I had a lot of questions regarding the new application, as it was not clear to us what it's place really is in today's market. As many of you may know, the new client has a lot of nifty features, such as one to one chat, one to many chat (both being persistent), and the group chat can be saved in the context of projects, channels or threads for later viewing. You may even place audio or video calls to your team mates or one to one. The answers we got left with has helped me understand it's place and purpose much better.

First of all, let's not forget the Teams application is in preview just now. And features we have now, may or may not be there once the application goes GA. Other features may be added as well. Teams is an application built not to replace anything, but rather to strengthen the toolbox which Office365 now is becoming. It is meant to give the desktop worker another way of performing his or her work. It is not meant to be THE tool for everyone, but it can be the right tool for certain workloads among teams. Then there will be all the other known tools for other workloads as before. With the Teams offering, Microsoft gives the user and the organization more flexibility, and the power to choose what's best for them. Some will want to embrace the tool, others will choose not to. In this way, Teams makes Microsoft's universal communication story even bigger and better, and I wouldn't be surprised if see even more from this application in the future.

Having said that, there is one feedback we gave to the product team I want to share with my readers. And that was  to either include Teams into the SoF  or to create a similar framework for the application itself. The reason for this is that some of the workloads in teams (Audio, video and sharing) will have most of the same challenges when it comes to end`user peripherals and the network used to transport the media. And this is a point I want to stress to all who wants to deploy it in a large scale. Make sure you understand its capabilities and the impact it may have on your infrastructure. If we do the deployments properly, and teach the users when to use what, Teams may indeed me a great option for many.