Client Success

What’s new to Microsoft Teams.

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Our digital world is evolving, in incredibly resilient ways. Over the last few months, individuals and businesses have had to adapt to, and overcome challenges that few foresaw – ranging from remote work models to adapting to home schooling. Fortunately, having industry-leading technology at our fingertips made these alterations a little easier. Now, with a slow increase back towards normality and an increase in hybrid working and learning models, technological advancements show no signs of slowing down.

In fact, Microsoft have shown their commitment to technology by quickly developing and adapting their Microsoft Teams app. Over the last few months, we’ve consistently seen new features and updates, there to assist the user and make virtual interactions more engaging. Corporate Vice President at Microsoft 365, Jared Spataro, fortified this by stating:

“It’s all about enabling people everywhere to collaborate, to stay connected, and to discover new ways to be productive from anywhere.”

In early July, the software giant announced a set of new features for Microsoft Teams, aimed at those in work and school to strengthen connections, create more engaging meetings and streamline work processes. Some of these features include:

  • Together mode
  • Dynamic view
  • Video filters
  • Live reactions
  • Chat bubbles
  • 1000 participants in interactive meeting
  • Suggested replies
  • Microsoft Teams displays
  • Touchless meeting experiences

It’s likely Teams users will be familiar with these already, but for those who want information on how to use them, click here.

More recently however, further features were released in August – As such, we’ll introduce you to some of the key updates:

 

Meetings, Calling and Devices

  • Spotlight

Meeting presenters are now able to maintain control in virtual meetings; in using this feature presenters can lock their screen as the main view for participants, in turn encouraging focus throughout the meeting – especially beneficial for those who have adopted it for educational support.

  • Meeting recording storage

This update is most beneficial for remote international users – When Microsoft Stream is not available in your country, you can now record meetings which will then be saved in the regional data centre you’re closest to (even if it’s across boarders).

  • Enhanced Teams experience is now available on VMware Horizon 8

In order to keep up with the demand for collaboration tools, modern platform VMWare Horizon 8 can now offer an enhanced video and audio Teams experience. For those who utilise Microsoft Teams across the Horizon virtual desktop, this means they’ll now have a higher quality user experience.

 

Chat and Collaboration

  • Real time presence

A real benefit of being in the office was the ability to steal 5 minutes with a colleague when you needed a quick update or some information. Working remotely hasn’t removed this, but it’s certainly made it harder to get an immediate response. That’s why Microsoft introduced ‘Real Time Presence’ – This feature update increases the precision of your status on Teams so your colleagues know when they can get in contact for a quick chat, or when you might be busy.

  • Access and manage Visio files in Teams

Visio tabs now allows you to access content within a channel or chat of Teams – As it’s available to all users, it’s definitely one of enhance team collaboration and improve project efficiency.

 

IT admins

  • Changes in incoming IP video policy

With these changes, IT administrators have more control over video management in Teams meetings – The ‘Allow IP Video’ policy can now prevent outgoing and incoming videos as required – Great for those who don’t want to experience unwanted visitors on the call.

  • Skype for Business Online Connector consolidated with Microsoft Teams

The introduction of Skype for Business Online Connector into Microsoft Teams results in a simplified experience for IT administrators as they have control over both Teams and Skype for Business Online as they are consolidated into a single PowerShell module.

 

Developers

  • Teams App Submission API

This new feature allows users to develop apps on whichever platform they choose, before then submitting their app into Teams. This ultimately transforms workflows and removes the friction of installing these apps by IT.

  • Graph Resource Specific consent

Team owners can now deploy apps specifically for their team without needing IT administrators to allow access, providing greater control and visibility over their own team, whilst additionally streamlining work processes.

  • Native mobile device camera and location capabilities

Using these new capabilities, developers can deploy device permissions to create resonant experiences, such as taking pictures through the camera, or supplying GPS coordinates. This is also available for developers who are using Power Apps to build Teams apps.

  • New Power Automate capabilities

You can now utilise the ‘create a team’ action to automatically create a team site for a new project or use @mentions in your flows to ensure your message gets to the intended user. Using these new triggers, you can also create tailored message actions to commence a process directly from a message.

 

Enhanced Education

  • Education insights

New capabilities within Education Insights have resulted in a new ‘public view’, allowing administrators to monitor and manage student engagement, whilst additionally providing a view into best practises for remote education.

 

Key Takeaways

This month there seems to have been a particular focus on enabling developers to build and automate custom workflows to boost personal productivity, in addition to providing IT administrators more control.

Whilst this round-up focuses primarily on the feature updates released in August, there are continuous updates year-round from the software giant – To keep on top of these announcements, follow the ‘What’s new with Microsoft Teams’ page here.

If you would like to find out how we can help with the implementation of Microsoft Teams into your business model, get in touch with one of our experts here who would be happy to provide you with a flexible and personalised plan.

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