Recently, during the Microsoft Ignite tech event, Teams was in the spotlight with new features and tools. The application is basically a hub for teamwork tools and capabilities to help teams in their daily routine. It’s the primary client for Intelligent Communications in Office 365, replacing Skype for Business Online over time. Despite all the possibilities included, communications and collaboration are the most attractive ones.
According to the numbers highlighted from Microsoft during the event more than 329000 organisations are already using Teams. Out of 87 of these companies belong to the Fortune 100 list. Teams it’s also available in 44 languages and a considerable amount of theses companies have more than 10000 active users. This impressive data demonstrates why Teams is getting so much attention and has the potential to grow even more.
Features focused on productivity are always welcome in the market and with businesses creating more and more work remote schemes, it’s essential to have the most adequate tools to keep productivity levels and collaboration between employees. Among the features Teams is a powerful hub for meetings, devices, calling, collaboration and app development.
New Tools for Meetings
Microsoft announced new capabilities to make the online meetings easier and productive.
Background blur: Users can remove distractions and focus the video on what matters most, which means that you don’t need to worry about your background while doing that meeting with your colleagues.
Meeting recording: As the name suggests, you can record your meetings, so you or other invitees who missed the meeting can playback recorded audio, video and content at any time. You can also search for keywords and optimise your time, thanks to a transcript powered by Microsoft Stream.
Cloud video interop: Companies which already have room technology investments can bring it into Teams as well. Through partner offerings from Polycom, BlueJeans and Pexip, a full portfolio of legacy devices can now be full-fledged audio/video participants in Teams meetings with content sharing.
Tailored Experiences Focus on Roles and Industries
Teams brought new tailored options to industry-specific and role-based workflows. For example, there are more than 2.5 billion first line workers worldwide – that’s a group that includes factory workers, store clerks and electricians, among other roles. Focused on this industry Microsoft announced new capabilities in Teams to help first line workers in their daily routine.
With Home, first line workers can clock in and out of shifts/breaks, receive important notes for the day or shift, find out who is working during the shift and save time by easily reviewing information and schedule.
It’s a feature to enable first line managers to plan schedules in an employee self-service and integrated experience. They can create, update and distribute schedules for teams as well as broadcast open and unfilled shifts so that other employees can cover them. Finally, they can review and accept time off requests and swap shifts – all from mobile. For first line employees, they can swap/offer shifts and request time off, right from their phones.
Security and Compliance Needs
Some industries require more security features than others. To this audience Microsoft is releasing two new secure messaging features, which are particularly relevant to the healthcare segment. Image annotation and priority notifications. These capabilities support HIPAA compliance, and enable clinicians to communicate about patients while avoiding the privacy risks that arise when healthcare professionals use consumer chat apps, for example.
Image annotation – capture images, annotate, and share them on a secure platform. IT Admins can set policies to prevent images from being stored on a mobile device or local drive.
Priority notifications – alert the recipient to an urgent message and automatically notify the recipient every two minutes for up to twenty minutes.
Microsoft also announced the expansion of their device portfolio to provide a better experience for Teams users. These devices across personal and shared spaces are made possible through partners, such as AudioCodes, Crestron, HP, Jabra, Lenovo, Logitech, Polycom, Plantronics, and Yealink. You can check the list of integrated devices clicking here.
Improved Develop Tools
One of the core values of Teams is the developer platform, which provide to the organisations the possibility to extend their experience with develop tools and third-party integrations.
To improve the Teams experience for developers, Microsoft announced the general availability of Adaptive Cards, which provide rich, interactive, and flexible card system that works across Teams, Outlook, Windows, and Cortana.
Task Module Integration
A tool that enables a rich popup experience using either an adaptive card or embedded web content. They also recently released the Teams App Studio Enhancements. The feature allows developers to perform the below actions from within the App:
- Register and manage your AAD App and Bot directly within App Studio
- A revamped card editor with a new design allowing for editing multiple cards
- Convenient one-click side loading and testing of your app
- .NET and Node.js support for Bot Framework 4.x is coming soon (in preview)
Microsoft Teams is quickly emerging as one of the most rapidly growing extensibility surfaces in Office 365. All the new API’s, integration with SharePoint, security features for data and more are some or their most attractive features. You can check an extensive list of features at this link provided by Microsoft and which served as source for out article.
*The article above is based on the information provided by Microsoft in this link.
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