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Presence is part of a user's profile in Microsoft Teams (and throughout Microsoft 365 or Office 365). Presence indicates the user's current availability and status to other users. By default, anyone in your organization using Teams can see (in nearly real time) if other users are available online. Presence is updated in real time on the web and desktop versions when you refresh the page on mobile.

Easily create surveys and polls to collect customer feedback, measure employee satisfaction, and organize team events. Quickly create quizzes to measure student knowledge, evaluate class progress, and focus on subjects that need improvement. Microsoft Forms automatically provides charts to visualize your data as you collect responses in real time. Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app that helps your team stay organized and have conversations—all in one place. Here's a quick look at the left hand side of Teams. Teams - Find channels to belong to or create your own. Inside channels you can hold on-the-spot meetings, have conversations, and share files. Microsoft Teams for Education Help drive the transition to inclusive online or hybrid learning, build confidence with remote learning tools, and maintain student engagement. Welcome to Microsoft Teams free - Office 365 Welcome to Microsoft Teams free Office for business Microsoft Teams Here's hands-on guidance for how to create and manage your Teams free org—and how to upgrade if you need to.

Note

For details about Teams user profiles on different platforms, see Teams features by platform.

Presence states in Teams

User configuredApp configured
Available Available
Available, Out of Office. Note: Out of office is automatically set for the periods of time where the user sets 'automatic replies'. If the user is using the app during these periods of time, a dual presence might be shown, such as 'Out of office, available'.
Busy Busy
In a call
In a meeting
On a call, out of office
Do not disturb
Presenting
Focusing. Focus happens when the users schedule focus time in MyAnalytics/Insights in their calendars.
Away Away
Away Last Seen time
Be right back
Appear offline Offline. When users aren't logged in on any of their devices for a few minutes, they appear offline.
Status unknown
Out of Office. Out of Office is used when an automatic reply is set. (Available in Outlook only.)

Note

For users that there mailbox is hosted onprem it is expected to have presence delays with a maximun of an hour.App-configured presence states are based on user activity (Available, Away), Outlook calendar states (In a meeting), or Teams app states (In a call, Presenting). When you're in focus mode based on your calendar, Focusing will be the state people see in Teams. Focus mode will display as Do not disturb in other products.

Your current presence state changes to Away when you lock your computer or when your computer enters idle or sleep mode. On a mobile device, your presence status changes to Away whenever the Teams app is in the background.

Users receive all chat messages sent to them in Teams regardless of their presence state. If a user is offline when someone sends them a message, the chat message appears in Teams the next time the user is online. If a user state is set to Do not disturb, the user will still receive chat messages, but banner notifications aren't displayed.

Users receive calls in all presence states except for Do not disturb, in which incoming calls go to voicemail. If the recipient blocked the caller, the call won't be delivered and the caller sees the recipient's presence as Offline.

Users can add people to their priority access list by going to Settings > Privacy in Teams. People who have priority access can contact the user even when the user's status is set to Do not disturb.

Dual presence

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The way presence works for most users is motivated by the events in the calendar or device events, such as a call. The user can override this status in the UI by manually setting states, which have some expiration time.

User configured states expiration

When a user selects a specific presence state, it takes precedence over any app activity update. For example, if a user sets herself as Do not disturb, her presence will remain as Do not disturb even if she attends a meeting or answers a call.

User configured states have default expiration settings in Teams, in order to prevent users from displaying a status that may not be relevant after a period of time.

User configured stateDefault expiration
Busy1 day
Do not disturb1 day
Others7 days

Note

A user can also configure manually a duration for her presence. For instance, a user can set herself as Appear offline until tomorrow morning.

Teams

Admin settings in Teams compared to Skype for Business

The following admin settings Skype for Business are different in Teams:

  • In Teams, presence sharing is always enabled for users in the organization. Privacy (where you define who can see presence) configuration isn't available in Teams.
  • Presence sharing with everyone (including Federated services) is always enabled for users in Teams. Their contact list (if they had one in Skype for Business) is visible under Chat > Contacts or under Calls > Contacts.
  • Client Do Not Disturb and Breakthrough features are always enabled for users in Teams.
  • Calendar (includes out of office and other calendar information) integration is always enabled for users when Teams is integrated with Outlook.
  • The Last seen or Away since indicator is always enabled for users in Teams if the organization also uses Skype for Business.

Note

The ability of a Teams admin to customize these settings is not currently supported.

Admin settings in Teams compared to Microsoft Outlook

Teams presence in Outlook is supported on the Outlook 2013 desktop app and later for contacts in the same organization.

If the upgrade mode policy of the user account is set to TeamsOnly, Outlook talks to Teams to get presence. If the user account isn't set to TeamsOnly, then Outlook talks to Skype for Business.

Coexistence with Skype for Business

See Coexistence with Skype for Business for details on how Teams presence functions when your organization also uses Skype for Business.

The global workforce underwent a shocking and rapid switch to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. But that shift was never going to be completely temporary. The pandemic only accelerated a trend towards flex working that was well underway in 2019.

More and more businesses will reopen as the pandemic winds down, but the way they work will be completely different. A survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers shows many organizations want to keep a portion of their workforce remote. Others will shift workers to hybrid schedules, where workers change between on-premise and remote work.

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This expected change poses a question: How will workers collaborate when they’re dispersed and constantly moving? What about connecting multiple, new low-density offices or working with sales and service staff in the field?

An assortment of video, voice and workspace apps have all tried to fill this void until now. But as the post-pandemic normal mode of working takes hold, many businesses will need to find a new solution, yet again, that suits all of their employees’ diverse needs. The best answer for many companies will be a unified collaboration platform, the most effective of which is arguably Microsoft Teams.

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What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams launched in November 2016 as part of the Office 365 productivity suite. Teams is a collaboration platform that unifies chat, voice, video and file sharing. It’s designed to be used by local, remote and distributed work groups—anyone in any company, really!

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Microsoft has steadily updated Teams since its initial launch. A host of new features have been added throughout 2020 and into 2021 as demand for comprehensive collaboration tools has exploded. Its key features include:

Chat

Teams offers both one-on-one and group chats. Both types are persistent, so users don’t need to search conversation histories as they did in Skype for Business.

Teams chat includes a host of modern messaging features, including text formatting, emoji and priority flagging. Users can also share files directly through chat sessions.

Channels

The true power of Teams lies in users’ ability to collaborate through multiple different channels. Channels can be either Standard—public and open to everyone who wants to join—or private and focused on specific topics or activities. Channel owners must authorize new users to join their channel.

Meetings

Teams offers videoconferencing for up to 250 users per session. Due to popular request, Microsoft is actively working on increasing that limit.

Video meetings can be scheduled on a channel’s calendar, or users can create them on the fly. Teams offers meeting broadcasts for up to 10,000 simultaneous viewers using the Microsoft Stream integration.

Calling

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One of the most overlooked features in Teams is its ability to offer outbound calling right from the client. It is an excellent way for remote or mobile users to stay connected through one single, reliable connection.

7 things you should know about Microsoft Teams

No matter whether you’re at a business researching how to manage your new, hybrid workforce, or you’re at a seasoned managed service provider brushing up on the latest offerings for your customers, we think these are the seven most important things you should know about Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Office Teams Tutorial

1. Teams offers secure collaboration, both internally and externally

Teams provides all of the security features of the broader Microsoft 365 suite. That includes two-factor authentication as well as encryption in transit and at rest in the cloud. Data in Teams meets ISO 27001 as well as SOC 1 and SOC 2 compliance. It can be provisioned to meet many strict industry data security standards, such as HIPAA patient data restrictions in healthcare, for example.

Teams may be locked down and secure, but it doesn’t prevent you from easily working with internal and external collaborators. Your administrator can generate guest accounts for Teams within the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, which is an excellent way to collaborate on calls on channels with clients, business partners, contractors, or any other external stakeholders you want to involve.

2. Greater data visibility and better governance

Teams offers business leaders excellent visibility and insight into work carried out within their organization. Because all conversations within Teams are persistent, conversations become valuable information assets available to Microsoft 365’s governance and management tools.

For example, files and conversations in Teams channels are all saved in the Microsoft 365 cloud, making that data available to Microsoft Graph—Microsoft 365’s data intelligence console. You can see which channels users are working in, how they’re conversing, see when work speeds up or slows down, among many, many other things.

Teams also has valuable data governance tools. Most data and metadata in Teams channels is journaled and available to Microsoft 365 eDiscovery tools. When you use Teams to manage all of your work conversations, it’s easy to comply with any legal or regulatory requests.

3. Teams has powerful Microsoft Office integration options

Microsoft Teams Sign In

Teams is, of course, tightly integrated with the rest of Microsoft 365. Users can create and manage Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files within their channels and work with other content in their team’s SharePoint sites. Calendaring connects right into Outlook.

Teams is also tightly integrated with Microsoft Power Apps. Microsoft Power Apps allows any user to create a low-code app and share it with their team. For example, they can script entire workflows to launch when a salesperson tells their ops channel in Teams that they’re onboarding a new customer.

4. Comprehensive third-party integrations

Last year Microsoft opened up Teams to third-party integrations. Many providers quickly jumped in, including ZenDesk, Asana, Polly and CalendarHero. Teams users can use these apps right in their channels, calendars and most importantly, during live meetings.

5. Powerful audio and video calling options

Teams is a robust video conferencing tool, but its calling capabilities don’t end there. Because it allows outbound calling from PCs and mobile devices, Teams is a great way to offer consistent communication and collaboration options to hybrid users who shift from the office, to home, to on the road, and back again on an unpredictable schedule. It can even integrate with your on-premise PBX system.

6. Support for education, healthcare and emergency services

Office Microsoft Teams Free

Teams now offers some powerful industry-specific features for healthcare, emergency services and education. An education Group Policy wizard allows teachers and administrators to quickly provision new channel “classrooms” which are appropriately secured for students and educators. Teachers can distribute class Notebooks via Teams and send an automated alert to every student in the class.

Teams now also supports virtual breakout rooms. These are great tools for teachers asking students to work on group assignments.

For healthcare, Teams now has an EHR connector, which allows healthcare providers to launch a secure video call with a patient or colleague right inside a supported electronic health record system. They can also schedule visits on a Teams calendar right in their EHR portal.

7. Bots and other tools for many needs

Set Out Of Office Microsoft Teams

Teams boasts a variety of different bots to automate time-consuming tasks. Statsbot pulls together reports from sources such as Salesforce or Google Analytics and drops them right in channels. Polly Bot can poll coworkers for more streamlined and automated feedback. T-Bot answers many common questions about Teams, which lowers the support burden for service providers.

Teams has fully arrived

Microsoft Office Microsoft Teams

For organizations looking for a cloud-based collaborative workspace for their distributed users, Microsoft Teams has arrived as the leading solution. Its rich mix of communication, collaboration and automation tools can bring together working groups in even the most challenging circumstances.

Think Teams might be the right solution for your business or your customers’ needs? Contact us or join our partner program to get started.

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