What’s New in Microsoft Teams for February 2021?

Rebekah Carter

The latest updates to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Breaking News
What’s New in Microsoft Teams for February 2021?

Microsoft is back again with more updates to the Teams platform, just in time for the beginning of February. As ever, the leaders in collaboration and cloud communication are working hard to make the Teams environment more welcoming to users from all landscapes.

To encourage more people to experience Microsoft Teams for themselves Microsoft also introduced an extended offer. You can join Microsoft Teams meetings with global dial-in numbers from almost any mobile device. Customers buying through Microsoft and Microsoft partners will be pleased to know that free audio conferencing is now available through to June 30th, 2021.

Here’s what’s new in Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams Chat, Collaboration and Meetings

For chat and collaboration on Microsoft Teams, there are a few new features worth mentioning. A new Approvals system means that everyone can easily create, manage, and share approvals directly from their teamwork hub. You can begin an approval flow just like you would start a chat or go to the Approvals app directly. Users can attach files and add further details to the approval too.

A new “offline autosend” experience is also available this month, helping users to remain productive when they’re not online. The feature identifies when messages on Teams are edited or sent when a user is offline, and then sends those messages automatically when the device is back online.

Users on Teams can now create an organisation-wide team with up to 10,000 users too. The org-wide team will sync all the tenant’s members within the team.

For meeting chat, new moderations are available to allow organizers to control the flow of conversation. Chats can be disabled, available only during the meeting, or completely available to users. Elsewhere, shared calendars are now available to add to Teams channels.

Users can create and share calendars with the members of a specific channel, and Teams will automatically create new activity feed posts when a channel meeting is created. You’ll be able to turn notifications off for calendar events too.

Microsoft Teams Calling and Devices

Microsoft recently announced that Atos, Patton, ULTATEL, and Cataleya have all successfully earned their SBC (Session Border Controller) certification for Microsoft Teams. This test ensures that all approved companies can deliver high-quality direct routing solutions for Microsoft users.

To further enhance the meeting experience, Microsoft also offers a range of certified devices through leading technology partners.

  • The Logitech Rally Bar is the most recent addition to the Teams Rooms selection from Logitech, intended for mid-sized rooms. This product comes with RightSense AI technology, motorized pan and tilt functionality, and automatic framing.
  • The Crestron Flex Mercury Mini for Teams is suitable for a host of meeting environments, from the home office to the conference room. The sensational microphone has a 10” pickup range, while the 7-inch touchscreen surface allows users to manage controls in their meetings easily.
  • Yealink’s MeetingBar A30 is available for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android, with a dual-camera system perfect for smaller meeting spaces. AI-powered camera technology, with speaker tracking, keeps the user in focus, while the plug-and-play functionality makes it easy to get up and running quickly.
  • The AudioCodes RXV80 video collaboration bar offers an intuitive experience for meeting rooms that supports collaboration in all video-enabled environments. Specially created for huddle rooms, this solution integrates video collaboration and unified communication capabilities in a standalone device.
  • EPOS Expand 80T speakerphones deliver excellent meeting experiences to rooms with up to 7 participants. There are 6 adaptable microphones in the hardware to isolate voices and eliminate ambient noise.
  • The Nureva HDL300 offers a full-room meeting experience to large Teams rooms, making it excellent for socially distanced meeting environments. No matter where people are, they can rest assured that their voice will come through loud and clear.
  • The Poly Sync 40 USB and Bluetooth speakerphone offers support for huddle and flexible workspaces. A multi-microphone array and full-duplex audio delivers an exceptional meeting experience in any environment.

Additional Hardware for Microsoft Teams

Additional hardware introduced for Microsoft Teams includes three new monitors from Dell, certified by Microsoft. The displays, available in 34-inch, 27-inch, and 24-inch options come with speakers, cameras, and noise-cancelling microphones built-in. There’s also a dedicated Teams button to launch meetings quickly.

Yealink is also offering the MP54 entry-level desk phone for Microsoft users, with a 4-inch capacitive touchscreen that makes Microsoft Teams access easy for everyone. The Yealink Optima HD solution combined with a dedicated Teams button makes the MP54 practical for modern workers.

AudioCodes also has a Microsoft Teams solution to offer in the C470HD IP phone. This high-end business phone comes with a large touch-screen interface, and a 5.5” colour screen. Optional support is available for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Sidecar support is also now available from AudioCodes and Yealink EXP50, following Microsoft’s recent introduction of Sidecar certification options.

Microsoft Teams Development, Security, and Compliance

Microsoft’s new Teams UI Design Kit and UI Library will help product managers, designers, and developers to understand all the key demands of creating a Teams app. This solution also simplifies the building process with tools and templates.

Microsoft 365 compliance capabilities for card content created through apps in Microsoft Teams messaging is now available too. Plus, Microsoft recently revealed the arrival of the Secure Score recommendation, which helps companies to check the security standing of their Teams solution.

Microsoft Teams for Education, Frontline, and Government

Finally, Microsoft introduced a host of new features for specific verticals.

In the Education space, users can now access an Education Policy Wizard, which helps teams to easily apply unique policies to their Teams solution for a safer learning space. The Wizard allows IT admins to apply the most relevant policies for students on an org-wide level. There’s also support for custom policy sets too.

Frontline workers now have access to a task publishing feature in Teams, which allows for the creation of tasks that can be published to different locations. For instance, a nationwide retailer could create a series of tasks to help employees reopen their stores safely, then attach relevant documents to assist with the next steps. Managers can assign individual sub-tasks to certain employees.

@Mentioning functionality is now available on a shift group level in Teams too, helping first-line employees who might not know the names of every shift worker.

In the Government environment, Microsoft rolled out a range of generally available features that are already available to Microsoft Commercial customers, including:

  • Together mode: A unique meeting experience that transports users to shared virtual environments in a video meeting using intelligent avatar creation.
  • Multi-window chat: Users can now move individual Teams chat conversations into separate windows to help track conversations.
  • Multi-window calling and meeting: Multi-window experiences will allow users to pop meeting and calling experiences into separate windows when optimizing their workflow.
  • Meeting recordings saved to SharePoint and OneDrive: Government users can now save meeting recordings from Microsoft Teams to SharePoint and OneDrive.
  • Simplified management: Users can quickly manage channel notification settings and channels with a fly-out design. Users can turn activity on or off completely with one click or set custom notifications.
  • Targeted communications: This feature allows team members to message all people with the same role in unison, by just mentioning the role name with the @ symbol.

What’s the most exciting update for your team this month? Remember to check back for more insights into the latest features on Microsoft Teams.

 

 


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