Collaboration and productivity software such as Microsoft Teams are now essential to the fundamental day-to-day operations of modern businesses. Finding a solution that integrates your critical workflows and allows for intelligent collaboration is key to facilitating digital transformation in the current hybrid working model.
The Microsoft 365 suite comprises of several business applications that offer organisations the ability to operate seamlessly across the board: the primary tool being Microsoft Teams.
With Microsoft rapidly enhancing and adding functionality to its flagship platform, it is important now more than ever to keep up to date with what is possible.
You can take a closer look at the Microsoft Teams roadmap here.
All of these new features within Teams are aimed at enhancing activities such as conferencing, file sharing, meetings and communication. With such a powerful suite of tools and application integrations available, we have decided to take a look at the latest Teams feature updates and announcements your business should be aware of.
A closer look at the latest features and functions in Microsoft Teams
Teams Calling: detailed call history
Users will now have access to a complete view of their respective call histories. The audit trail will include a full log of transferred or forwarded calls.
They will also be able to view how calls were controlled once they were received. Additionally, there will be easier access to call recordings and transcriptions for increased efficiency. This is a particularly useful feature update that will remove the need to have to create a new Teams meeting if a user requires a recorded call or transcript.
Collaborate more effectively within Teams Meetings
-Assign seats in Together mode
Organisers and presenters of meetings can now assign seats to call participants with Together mode in Teams. This feature creates the feeling of being in the same room with other members on the call.
Organisers will be able to select the Together mode so that everyone in the meeting will have the same view.
This latest innovation is Microsoft’s move to make virtual meetings feel just like in person ones. This is a particularly good feature for businesses that have a remote workforce and looking to foster a more collaborative culture.
-Mesh avatars for Teams
This is Microsoft’s first real move into the Metaverse in the workplace.
With Mesh avatars, users will be able to create customised, animated versions of themselves. There is also the option to design up to three avatars using features such as accessories and physical elements.
The Mesh avatars themselves are audio-driven and allow you to choose from a spectrum of reactions without having the need to turn on a camera. This may seem like quite an out-there feature to include for a lot of businesses; but for those of us looking to freshen up the teams meeting experience, Mesh avatars is an option to consider.
Mesh avatars are available for private preview customers who are interested in making use of the feature.
Pop out shared content into a separate window
In our view, this new Teams feature has been a long time coming.
This new feature allows Teams users to share content easily during meetings via separate windows without having to interrupt workflows.
You will be able to open shared content in separate windows for easy viewing by other call participants. Although this seems like a small update, this now means that all individuals within the meeting will have access to multiple views whilst still on a call, without impacting their user experience.
Suggested replies in Microsoft Teams group chats
Keen LinkedIn users will be accustomed to this new Teams feature.
There will now be the option to use suggested responses within group chats and discussions. With a simple click, you can reply to messages quickly without having to spend time typing long messages.
The automated replies allow for convenience when responding to multiple or recurrent chats requiring the same answer. This feature is made possible via AI generation and machine learning.
Users can now send video clips directly into Teams
Users will now be able to create snappy and lightweight video clips to allow them to express themselves with a personal and social touch. The videos can be shared directly via chat with contacts or can be sent as normal messages. Recipients of the clips can also easily respond with a corresponding video or chat message.
The feature will be generally available in desktop and will be in public preview in mobile before the end of the year.
Teams calendar now includes scheduling form pop-outs
With this add-on, existing meetings can be popped out into separate windows. This will replace all meetings having to be in one big window. Now each individual window can be viewed while creating another one.
This will allow Microsoft Teams users to edit files or attend to their messages without needing to switch in between applications.
Adobe PDF experience improvements are now available in Teams
Adobe Acrobat is now available as the default app in Teams admin centre for viewing and editing of PDF files in Teams. End users will now be able to search, view, annotate and comment on PDF without having to own an Adobe subscription or ID.
Microsoft 365 connected templates
Microsoft will be combining Teams templates with SharePoint templates to streamline workflows.
For example, when creating teams with a default template such as the Manage a Project template, project management channels, applications and the SharePoint templates are automatically applied.
This is exciting news for Teams and SharePoint admins who will no longer need to deploy Teams or SharePoint specific templates separately.
Excel Live is coming to Microsoft Teams
This feature gives call attendees the ability to interact, edit and collaborate in real-time within an Excel document straight from a meeting.
This can be done without having to open Excel separately on a device. All call participants will be able to freely interact with the Excel file at the same time from a same shared meeting window.
This move is solidifying Microsoft’s commitment to a more engaging and productive working environment, and is a big move to ensuring the end of multiple versions of the same documents running all over the place.
Integrating live camera feeds into PowerPoint with Cameo
Continuing the theme of creating a more engaging way of working, Microsoft have just announced cameo integration in PowerPoint.
Cameo essentially allows users to integrate Teams camera feeds into presentations, enabling them to customise how they want to appear on slides.
This feature is particular good for businesses that have a hybrid or remote workforce, who are looking to bring the feel of in-person collaboration to presentations.
Cameo in PowerPoint Live is now generally available in Microsoft Teams and is included to all Microsoft 365 subscribers.
Make use of the technology you already have available to you
Microsoft Teams is a continually evolving platform with updates and feature enhancements happening on a regular basis. Each of these updates from Microsoft are designed to help organisations do more for less, and ultimately will enhance team collaboration and productivity. Staying updated with these changes and improvements, will contribute to improved business productivity and efficiency.
At Infinity Group, our experienced Modern Workplace specialists are on hand to guide you through required updates and how they can benefit your business. Get in touch with us today to ensure your business is making the most of Microsoft Teams.