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 Slack, 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 are available to the university community. 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. Refer to the Sensitive Data Guide for more information.
Slack is a collaboration tool that enhances workgroup communications. It provides a searchable platform for individuals and groups to chat in real-time, share content, and keep conversations organized and accessible from anywhere, anytime. U-M Slack accounts are available to all active faculty, staff, students, and type one sponsored affiliates on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses and Michigan Medicine.
Google Chat is available as part of Google at U-M.
Google Chat (formerly known as "Google Hangouts Chat") is an evolution of the classic Google Hangouts chat service, adding additional features that let U-M faculty, staff, and students chat with individuals, send group messages, and engage in team-based collaboration with rooms across the entire university community and externally. For more information, visit the U-M Google Chat service site.
Google Chat is a Google Workspace 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.
Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration platform developed by Microsoft, as part of the Microsoft 365 family of products. Microsoft Teams incorporates a feature set similar to that of Zoom, Google Meet, and other products offering workspace chat, videoconferencing, and application integration. 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.
We are aware of individuals and units across the university are using other third-party workstream collaboration services. 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.