Microsoft Teams

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams (AKA Teams) is a workspace for real-time collaboration and communication, meetings, file and app sharing, and more. Teams builds on the functionality of Groups. When you create a Team, you are also creating a Group. Keep reading for a comparison of Teams and Groups.

Who can use it?

Teams is available for free for all faculty, staff and students as part of the Office365 Suite. 

Features and benefits: 

  • Create Teams and channels for tracking projects, conversations, files, and meetings  
  • Chat with text, audio, video, and file sharing
  • Store all your files, docs, and more in one place
  • Schedule meetings that automatically integrate with your existing Outlook calendar 
  • Meet with up to 250 people at the same time
  • Share your desktop, applications, or a whiteboard during meetings
  • Presence indication based on each person’s Teams activity, manual status settings, and Outlook calendar

Why should I use Teams? 

Here are a few examples that show how your department could use Teams. 


If you... 

You could create a Team to... 

Easy Meeting Recordings 

record meetings using Webex and send out or upload the recording to a shared space afterwards 

schedule meetings that will record and automatically upload to the team space 

Document Collaboration 

send a group email with an attachment asking for feedback 

upload a document to edit directly in Teams and collect feedback in the comment section 

Calendar Coordination 

have a group calendar that each person adds to their Outlook  

schedule meetings that will show up both in the Teams calendar and on each member’s Outlook calendar 

Communication Hub 

have an inbox overflowing with quick email exchanges 

use the chat area for internal communication and leave email for more important tasks 

Shared File Storage 

have a shared drive for your department or a cross-departmental group 

store and share files securely in the cloud with everyone in the Team 

Project Management 

have frequent meetings with your team to update on work 

give updates in the chat space, or use the Planner feature to keep track of tasks and due dates 


already use other Office 365 apps like Outlook, OneDrive, Notebook, Planner, or Skype for Business 

keep all your O365 content organized in one place 

How do I start using Teams? 

Any actively enrolled student or currently employed staff or faculty member can create their own Teams. To get started:

  1. Download Teams for your desktop, iOS, or Android, or just use Teams on the web at
  2. Sign in with your SMU email and password.

Training Resources

Teams resources from Microsoft: 

What is the difference between Webex and Teams for meetings?

Virtual meeting tools enable people to socialize, work, and collaborate in new and powerful ways. Samuel Merritt University offers two video collaboration resources to its community. While there is some feature overlap between the services, each one has its own specialty. This document will help guide you to the best tool for your needs. 

SMU supports Microsoft Teams and Webex for virtual meetings.

Each has its strengths. Please read the following use cases and decide which one fits your needs.

Online Meeting Scenario

Recommended Product

I want to have a one-to-one online meeting 



I want to offer virtual office hoursWebex
I want to run an online session for my class in CanvasWebex
I want to poll my participants or assign them to breakout roomsWebex
I want to record an online meeting in the cloud for later viewing by attendees



I want to record an online meeting in the cloud and publish it for public viewingWebex
I want to record an online meeting without using the cloud Webex
 I want to hold an online meeting where restricted use data may be shared Teams

Product Comparison



Desktop App

Windows, Mac

Windows, Mac 
Mobile AppiOS, AndroidiOS, Android
Browser support Microsoft Edge or Google ChromeGoogle Chrome is Preferred
Canvas integrationnoyes
Maximum meeting attendees250


Join meeting with audio onlyyesyes
Chat within meetingsyes


Screen sharingyes


Annotate shared contentno




Breakout roomsno




Cloud recordingyes


Local recordingno


Join before hostyes


Outlook calendar integrationyes


More Teams FAQs

How do I create a new team? 

How do I add a team member? 

How do I start a private chat? 

What's the difference between a team and a channel? 

What does it mean to be @mentioned? 

What are apps in Teams and why would I use them?