As we discussed in our last post, Microsoft retired Skype for Business Online at the end of July and is urging users to migrate to its Microsoft Teams communication and collaboration platform. Although transitions from familiar apps and services are never easy, even the most steadfast Skype fans are likely to be impressed with Teams.
Delivering chat, voice, videoconferencing, file storage and application integration, Teams proved to be an immensely popular hub for team collaboration over the past year. Daily active users rose from around 32 million at the start of the pandemic to about 145 million as of April 2021. During that time, Microsoft has continued refine the platform. Here are a few of the more useful new features:
- PowerPoint Live. Instead of sharing your screen and turning on presenter mode, users can upload a PowerPoint directly into a meeting and get a full view of their presentation and slides. Presenters can draw attention or clarify certain sections of the presentation with a virtual laser pointer and ink annotations.
- Teams Connect. This feature is currently in preview mode and is scheduled for a full release in Q4. It allows users to collaborate with people inside and outside the organization in a shared channel. This has traditionally been a difficult process, requiring users to switch between systems or be added with a guest account. Administrators have granular control over what data and information external users can access.
- Large meeting support. Teams now supports meetings and webinars with up to 1,000 attendees and can accommodate up to 10,000 in a view-only experience.
- Live transcription. Participants can follow and review transcriptions of meetings in real time. Anyone who joined late can easily catch up by reading what was discussed and searching the transcript by speaker.
- Meeting recap. When a meeting ends, you can see a summary, including a recording, transcript, chats, notes, attendance and attached files. This is useful for team members who missed a meeting or just want to revisit what was discussed.
- Better together mode. Users can pair their PC with their Teams phone or display, allowing them to stream audio and video on their Teams device and view files and content on a larger PC display.
- Call merge. Users can merge an active one-to-one call into another one-to-one call or group call. The feature works with both Microsoft Teams VoIP calls and PSTN calls.
- Voice-enabled channels. Users can connect a call queue to a Teams channel, allowing them to collaborate and share information within the channel while taking calls in the queue. This is particularly useful for IT help desk and HR hotline uses.
Chat & Collaboration
- Mobile chat organization. Users can now pin chats and filter chat lists when using the Teams mobile app. This helps users quickly get back into important conversations.
- Approval templates. Templates streamline workflows by creating a repeatable structure for common tasks such as filling out expense reports or requesting overtime.
- File sharing. The ability to share files is essential to the collaborative experience. Users can create a shareable link for any file stored in Teams and directly set appropriate permissions.
- Advanced threat protection (ATP). Teams supports integration with hundreds of third-party apps. ATP allows administrators to determine if any content in these applications is malicious in nature and block this content from user access.
- App risk evaluation. Teams administrators can view the security, compliance and data privacy details for apps to ensure they meet company standards. Details are generated by Microsoft Cloud App Security, a built-in cloud access security broker.
- Safe attachments. This feature helps detect and block existing files that are identified as malicious in team sites and document libraries.
Cerium is here to guide you through the process. Give us a call to discuss how Teams can benefit your users and start planning your upgrade project.