The Latest Features for Microsoft Teams
Microsoft releases more Teams capabilities
It’s an exciting time for Microsoft and the Microsoft Teams roadmap. According to the leading technology, communication, and collaboration company, there are now more than 13 million people using the Microsoft Teams app to connect every day. This information was revealed as part of Microsoft’s 2nd-anniversary celebration for Microsoft 365 – the collaborative portfolio enhanced by Microsoft Teams.
Aside from offering an insight into their daily user count for the very first time, Microsoft also released a range of updates for their Teams experience, designed to improve the way that people access their collaborative tools from any environment. The updates focused on four key pillars in the way that Microsoft believes that people are communicating and collaborating.
Time-Sensitive Communications and Communication Management
The first two areas that Microsoft addressed in its latest update was the support of time-sensitive communications, and better communication management. In an environment where employees are in desperate need of real-time connections to keep them linked in an agile environment, Microsoft is rolling out:
- Priority Notifications: Recipients will be instantly alerted of time-sensitive messages. What’s more, the employee will be pinged every two minutes on desktop and mobile until they respond to the alert
- Read receipts: Chat users will be able to see when someone has received and read their message (just like on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger)
Alongside new priority notifications and time-sensitive communication solutions, Microsoft also announced new ways to easily manage the communication experiences that happen across teams. For instance, Announcements will now allow team members to draw attention to crucial news in a channel, whether they’re welcoming a new colleague, sharing essential data, or kick-starting a project.
Additionally, channel cross-posting will ensure that users can post a single message across multiple channels at the same time, reducing the amount of time wasted on business-wide alerts.
Microsoft is even introducing a new Channel Moderation feature that will allow moderates to maintain complete control over what gets posted in a channel, and whether replies should be approved for a specific post.
Better Support for Shift Workers
As companies of all sizes begin to see the benefits in providing real-time collaboration tools to shift workers, Microsoft is getting ahead of the curve. Their tools for Firstline workers are already excellent, but now Microsoft will be making it easier for shift workers to manage schedules and updates from their employers.
The new time clock feature included in the Shifts module will ensure that workers can clock in and out of their shifts inside their mobile app for Teams. Managers will also be able to geofence locations to make sure that members are at the correct worksite when they clock in or out.
Microsoft Teams is also introducing targeted communication to allow team members to message every on in a particular role at the same time by merely @mentioning the role name in the post. For instance, users could send a message to all of the cashiers in a specific retail environment. Targeted communications will be arriving on August 2019.
New Solutions for IT Administrators and Updated Partnerships
Microsoft is delivering more control for IT administrators, with the Teams client now available to existing installations of Office365 ProPlus, and policy packages in the admin centre. IT admins will be able to apply pre-defined policies across Microsoft Teams functions, such as meetings and messaging.
Microsoft believes that partners are crucial to helping customers make the most of their Teams experiences. Another of the latest updates to Microsoft Teams comes in the form of four new partner initiatives, including:
- Contact Centre solutions from Genesys, Five9, NICE inContact, and other leading providers
- Call recording for compliance from NICE, ASC, and Verint
- Workplace management from retail IT solutions provider REPL, which provides an integration between Teams and the JDA workforce management offering. This integration will allow shift schedule information to be available in real-time on the Firstline worker “Shifts” module
- Partner-led Teams trial: There’s a new partner-led Teams trial available to help partners show their customer all the value of Microsoft Teams. This trial will allow Microsoft 365 partners to offer customers a free trial of up to 6 months to customers with Exchange Online only, or customers who are yet to make a move into the cloud
It’s been another successful anniversary for Microsoft and the Microsoft Teams portfolio. We can’t wait to see what comes next from this leading Team Collaboration too.