What Is Workstream Collaboration?
Workstream Collaboration combines messaging, notifications, files, bots, and other application integrations into a unified service within a single chat interface. Examples include Google Chat and Microsoft Teams. These tools provide an alternative to email and allow for work to be done by teams in a persistent, searchable, and transparent way.
Services at U-M
The following workstream collaboration services will be available to campus. The university has negotiated institutional agreements for these services, allowing them to be used for university business.
Some types of sensitive university data may not be stored or shared using these collaboration services. See the Sensitive Data Guide for details.
Google Chat is available as part of Google at U-M. All members of the university community with an active affiliation are able to use Google Chat. For more information, visit the U-M Google service site.
Google Chat is a G Suite for Education core service. It is free and covered under U-M’s agreement with Google and also can be used for certain kinds of sensitive data. It should not be used for protected health information (PHI) or HIPAA-regulated data.
According to Google, Google Chat development is still in progress and essential additional features and functionality are currently unavailable. These features include Gmail integration and the ability to chat with individuals outside of U-M (umich.edu). Google states that Chat will officially replace classic Hangouts sometime in late 2020, until then, the two services will co-exist.
Microsoft Teams is available as part of Office 365 at U-M. All members of the university community with an active affiliation are able to use Microsoft Teams.
Individuals and units across the university are using other third-party workstream collaboration services, such as Slack. Some solutions are free, while others are for-fee services. These are considered personal accounts that are not covered by university agreements. They may not be used to store or share sensitive university data.