Faculty, staff and students have a new option for videoconferencing and team-based collaboration: Microsoft Teams at U-M.

Information and Technology Services announced that Microsoft Teams is available to those who have an active affiliation on the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses. The tool is available at no additional cost through the university’s Microsoft 365 license.

Microsoft Teams can be used to hold online meetings with optional auto-transcription, connect with colleagues in a virtual chat room, host a webinar or collaborate on documents. Departments, student organizations or other groups that regularly use Microsoft documents or spreadsheets may find Teams to be a useful way to stay connected.

The university’s existing videoconferencing tools, including Zoom at U-M and Google Meet, will continue to be available, as will BlueJeans until it retires in May.

Microsoft Teams at U-M is FERPA-compliant and can be used by students and instructors in a class. The tool is not HIPAA-compliant, so it should not be used to store or transmit sensitive information, such as patient health information. Members of the community who work with protected health information can use Zoom at U-M, which is HIPAA-compliant.

Michigan Medicine will soon offer its own Microsoft 365 and Teams environment. Content developed in the campus instance of Microsoft Teams cannot be migrated to the Michigan Medicine instance of the tool.

A Google Calendar add-on is available to integrate Microsoft Teams as a videoconferencing option into calendar invites, along with Zoom at U-M and Google Meet. ITS plans to make additional enhancements to the tool throughout 2021, including possible Canvas and Blackboard integration.

“Across ITS, we are here to serve the campus community and provide a diverse portfolio of innovative tools and infrastructure to our increasingly remote campuses,” said Ravi Pendse, vice president for information technology and chief information officer. “Whether someone prefers to work in Google Docs, Microsoft Word or pen and paper, we are here to support our students, staff and faculty as they engage in world-class teaching, learning and research.”

Additional information, including a schedule of online training sessions and help documentation, is available on the Microsoft Teams website.

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