One of the fastest growing collaboration products in the world is Microsoft Teams. Today businesses and organizations are using Microsoft Teams for meetings, document management and sharing, and now voice communication via Direct Routing. But what's new in the world of Microsoft Teams? How is Microsoft working to improve their application and the collaboration of their users?
The following information is from Microsoft on this article outlining exciting new Microsoft Teams updates for 2020 (the list below is not complete, click on the above link for more information):
1. Meetings & Webinars
New Together mode scenes
Together mode reimagines meeting experiences to help participants feel closer together even when you are apart. With new Together mode scenes coming this calendar year, you can transport your team to a variety of settings that can help set the tone and create the experience for your meeting, whether it be an auditorium, a conference room, or a coffee shop.
Coming later this year, custom layouts allow for a more dynamic content viewing experience and enable presenters to customize how content shows up for participants during a meeting. For example, when a presenter is showing a PowerPoint slide, participants will be able to see the presenter’s video feed transposed onto the foreground of the slide they’re showing.
Coming in October, breakout rooms will allow meeting organizers to split up meeting participants into smaller groups to facilitate brainstorming sessions or workgroup discussions. Presenters can choose to hop between breakout rooms, make announcements to all breakout rooms, and/or close the breakout rooms that then bring everybody back into the main meeting.
Meeting recaps help teams stay on track and keep work moving forward after a meeting for both participants and for those who were unable to attend a meeting. Coming this year, a recap with the meeting recording, transcript, chat, shared files and more will be automatically shared in the meeting Chat tab and viewable in the Details tab for each meeting. The recap will also be available in the meeting event in your Outlook calendar.
Webinar registration and reporting
For more structured meetings, such as customer webinars, meeting organizers can use event registration with automated emails to make it easier to manage attendance. And after the meeting, view a detailed reporting dashboard that will help understand attendee engagement. These new features are expected to begin to roll out by end of year.
New Calling experience
Coming later this year, we are simplifying the calling experience with a streamlined view that shows contacts, voicemail and calling history at once, making it easier to initiate or return a call with a single click.
Collaborative calling enables customers to connect a call queue to a channel in Teams. Users can collaborate and share information in the channel while taking calls in the queue. This feature is ideal for scenarios such as an IT help desk or HR hotline. IT admins can quickly connect call queues to specific channels, and team owners can manage the settings.
3. Chat and Collaboration
Teams templates, now generally available, help your team get started faster and be more effective. Choose from common business scenarios, such as event management or crisis response, and industry-specific templates, like a hospital ward or bank branch. Each template comes with pre-defined channels, apps, and guidance. Administrators can also create custom templates for your organization, helping you standardize team structures, reveal relevant apps, and scale best practices. Learn more
Info pane, pinned posts, and new conversation button in channels
Available now, the channel info pane provides an at-a-glance summary of active members, important posts pinned by members, and other relevant information in each channel. This is great for new members getting up to speed or existing members who want to stay in the know. We’re also making creating new channel conversations versus replying to existing ones more intuitive with the new conversation button. Learn more
25K member teams
While there isn’t a limit on the number of people in a Teams tenant, team membership is currently limited to 10,000 members. Later this year we’ll increase this to support up to 25,000 members per individual team.
4. Microsoft 365 Integrations
Wellbeing and productivity insights in Teams
Wellbeing features and productivity insights – powered by MyAnalytics and Workplace Analytics – are coming to Microsoft Teams starting in October. Individuals, managers, and business leaders will get insights personalized to their role with recommended actions to make changing habits and improving productivity and wellbeing easier. Additionally, new personal wellbeing experiences including a virtual commute to add structure to your remote work day and Headspace guided meditations to help you unwind will be available in the first half of 2021. Learn more
SharePoint Home site in Teams
The new home site app brings the power of the SharePoint home site and an organization’s intranet directly into Teams to give employees a gateway to their organization’s intranet, with customizable naming, branding and multi-level navigation to teams, communities and resources. Coming later this year, the app name and icon match the brand for the users organization and can be pinned to the app bar in Teams, providing quick access to search and a personalized view of news and important sites.
Recent updates to Teams Admin Center
We continue to improve the Teams Admin Center as the one place for IT professionals to manage all Teams related activities. This includes recent updates for device, app, and policy management as well the new announcements below.
Bulk policy assignment
Policies allow administrators to efficiently control the Teams features available to their users, now administrators can apply policies in batches of up to 50K users. Learn more
Delegate device management admin role
We recently introduced a new delegate device admin role that can only view and manage the devices section in Teams Admin Center. This allows Global Admins to restrict and control the permission of managing other Teams Admin Functions. Learn more
Call Quality Dashboard enhancements
We recently released new PSTN data for calling plans and direct routing advanced data into the call quality dashboard. By the end of this year we’ll also preview real-time data for live events troubleshooting and remediation. Learn more
6. Power Platform and Custom Development
Meetings extensibility with apps in meetings
Developers will soon be able to integrate their apps into Teams meetings and create scenarios that have deep awareness of the meeting context – including roster, roles, and permissions. New meeting surfaces, such as meeting tabs, in-meeting side panel, and content notifications will enable developers to build powerful scenarios and provide end users with a richer meeting experience. More than 20 launch partners who have been integrating these new extensibility points in their Teams apps and will be ready for use when it becomes generally available in October.
Approvals in Microsoft Teams
Approvals will become generally available in October enabling user to easily create, manage, share, and act on approvals directly from Teams. Approval flows can start from a chat, channel conversation, or from the Approvals app.
We expect to launch integrations with Adobe Sign and DocuSign later this year to get legal consent or approval on electronic documents from people inside or outside the organization. Additionally, approval flows from across the organization can be integrated in Teams with over 350 systems using Power Automate, including ServiceNow, Dynamics, GITHUB, and more. Learn more
Enhanced Power BI app for Teams
Enhancements to the Power BI app for Teams, coming in public preview later this year, will make it easier to discover data from across the organization and quickly create visualizations from Excel datasets right within Teams, collaborate more effectively, and make decisions based on real-time insight. It creates a centralized place for users to find and analyze data, while enhancing usage of Excel and Teams with embedded channel, chat, and meeting experiences.
Azure API Management capability for Power Platform + Teams
It is important to keep in mind that Power Apps can also help professional developers accelerate their app development process. To that end, we are excited to announce that professional developers will soon be able to build Power Platform connectors with Azure API Management and Azure Functions to any Microsoft hosted third-party, legacy, or line-of-business apps. Apps built with Power Apps that utilize these new connectors can then be deployed to users in Teams at no additional cost. These capabilities will be available for preview in October 2020. Learn more
GitHub for Teams
The GitHub Teams app has provided developers a single hub to collaborate across their project teams and streamline workflows – from managing pull requests to staying on top of notifications and issues. We’re excited to share that the GitHub team is taking a fresh new approach to their app and has released a new version, which available for public preview – with many new enhancements on the way! You can install the new app from AppSource or directly from the Teams app store.
Is your business or organization prepared to make the transition to using Microsoft Teams? Do you need advice on how to make the transition to Microsoft Teams? For more information on Microsoft Teams and its features including audio conferencing, reach out to CallTower at the link below: