Exciting Teams Updates from Microsoft Ignite
What's new for Microsoft Teams from Microsoft Ignite?
Microsoft Ignite is one of the biggest events on the Microsoft roadmap. Every year, the Microsoft team uses the Ignite platform as an opportunity to share some of the latest updates from their product portfolio and offer insights into what’s yet to come for Microsoft users.
To help you stay on the cutting edge, we’ve put together a list of some of the top announcements to occur at Microsoft Ignite this week, particularly for Teams users!
Let’s get started.
1. Customise the Teams Experience
First things first, Microsoft is making it easier to create a Teams environment that’s custom-made for your company. Private channels, one of the new arrivals from this week, will enable today’s users to create channels within their existing teams’ environments that can be viewed only by select users. People can create a private channel by choosing the “Private” option in the privacy settings when building a new channel. You can find out more about private channels here.
Microsoft also announced a new “Multiwindow” feature at Ignite that will allow users to pop out their documents, calls, meetings and chats into separate windows when they want to keep track of numerous things at once. This feature will begin to appear in the first half of 2020.
New messaging extensions are also being rolled out for the Microsoft Teams users online today, in the form of polls and surveys. Just click on the “…” option at the bottom of your message compose box to access the extensions that you need to solicit instant feedback from your team.
Other customisation updates included the introduction of “pinned channels” to keep important information at the top of your teams list for easy access and the arrival of a Linux client for Microsoft Teams. The Linux client will support all the main features of Teams, including calling, meetings, and chat.
2. Masterful Microsoft 365 Management in Teams
Another major theme of the announcements made at this year’s Microsoft Ignite event, was the arrival of tools that allow users to more easily manage the tasks, conversations, and files that they rely on from other Microsoft 365 solutions within their Teams environment.
The new integration between Outlook and Teams that emerged this week will make it easier for users to collaborate wherever they like, moving an email conversation (including attachments) directly into a Teams chat or channel conversation. All you need to do is click on “Share to Teams” in Outlook. Users can also move a conversation from Teams to Outlook by clicking on the “…” icon in the conversation they want to move.
Other features to appear as part of the new integrations between Microsoft 365 and Teams include:
- Actionable missed activity emails: Highlight the information that you might have missed out on when you weren’t in Teams
- Tasks in Teams: Which offer a unified view of all your assigned and personal tasks in Teams. This consolidates tasks across Microsoft To Do lists, Outlook, Planner, and Teams channels too. There’s even the option to sort tasks according to their priority or to-do date
- Yammer app for Teams: The Yammer app for Teams allows users to access Yammer conversations, communities, live events and more within their Teams environment. You can also pin your app to the left navigation rail for easier and immediate access
3. More Efficient and Effective Meetings with Whiteboard
Meetings are still a valuable part of the everyday workplace. That’s why Microsoft is working hard to make your meetings as efficient as possible. The Microsoft Whiteboard functionality is now available within the share tray in Microsoft Teams Meetings, offering an infinite digital canvas for visual brainstorming. Users can also access Live Captions in Team Meetings, making it easier for everyone to follow along with the conversation. Previews of Live Captions will be available in US English later this year, followed by other languages in the future.
The team at Microsoft Ignite also announced new attendee and presenter controls to help organisers predefine what meeting participants can do (like sharing content or muting other participants). Additionally, Microsoft partnered with Citrix this year to enhance the performance of the Microsoft Teams calling experience for virtual environments. This means that businesses can now deliver high-performance Teams experience with an Azure-hosted virtual desktop application.
Citrix wasn’t the only partner that appeared at Microsoft Ignite this year. Microsoft also expanded its Cloud Video Interop partnership to include Cisco, so that users can use Teams meetings with Cisco Webex Room devices. Additionally, Microsoft is working alongside Cisco and Zoom to deliver direct guest-joining features in the meeting space.
4. Updated Microsoft Teams Hardware
Your Microsoft Teams Meeting rooms are set for a major upgrade. As part of this year’s Ignite Event, Microsoft announced the arrival of “collaboration bars”, a new selection of devices from Microsoft partners intended to convert huddle spaces into environments for online meetings and collaboration. These solutions attach to displays and enable high-quality video meetings in seconds. Poly with the Studio X series and Yealink with the VC210 selection, will be launching devices in 2020.
Additionally, new Microsoft Teams speakerphones will soon be available from Yealink too. The Yealink CP900 will soon be followed by other speakerphones specifically designed and built for Teams by Microsoft partners. Microsoft announced its decision to offer 20% of all peripherals certified for Microsoft Teams during Ignite too!
Building on the enhanced calling strategy, Microsoft also introduced new enterprise phone system capabilities like call queue functionality, emergency calling, and administrative control to be added to Calling by the end of the year. Additionally, Microsoft revealed new ISV partner voice advancements like solutions for compliance recording and contact centre to make the Teams phone system more appealing to enterprise customers.