What’s New in Microsoft Teams: June 2021 Update

Rebekah Carter

The latest updates to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft
What’s New in Microsoft Teams: June 2021 Update

We’re back with even more update announcements for everyone’s favourite UCaaS solution: Microsoft Teams. Once again, Microsoft is rolling out a slew of new features, some already available within your Teams app, and others set to arrive soon.

Alongside the June 2021 update, Microsoft also announced a host of “upcoming” innovations for Teams with a blog from Jared Spataro, which you can check out on the Microsoft website. First though, let’s look at what you can expect from Microsoft Teams this month.

Microsoft Teams Webinar & Meeting Updates

Meetings and Webinars saw the biggest range of updates this month in Microsoft Teams, starting with the arrival of a new Attendance Dashboard, which allows organisers to track the engagement in their webinars or meetings. After finishing your event, you can see a report to determine who attended the meeting, how engaged they were throughout the experience, and more. Just click on the attendance tab to find the dashboard in Teams.

Other features include a new Dynamics 365 marketing solution intended to help you follow up with participants through your webinar attendance tab after the session. You can export attendee data into Dynamics 365 Marketing (if you have a licence) and create customer journey paths. Other new features include:

  • Lower all hands simultaneously: When someone uses the raised hand feature in Teams, meeting presenters and organisers will now be able to lower all hands with a single click. This can help to get rid of raised hands after questions have been answered
  • Inking and laser pointer for Teams PowerPoint: Ink annotations and a virtual laser pointer are now available within the PowerPoint Live environment. Presenters can engage more with their audience, clarify statements, and point to different places in a presentation. Only the presenter in control will have access to the pointer
  • Multi-user spotlighting: Presenters and organizers can now spotlight as many as 7 participants at once in a meeting. In the past, while attendees could pin multiple people for their view, they could only spotlight one. Now, you just click on the context menu of participants to add a spotlight to them
  • Chat bubbles: When you send messages during a Teams meeting, these messages will now appear on the screen in bubbles for all participants, helping to bring chat into the conversation. You won’t need to open a window manually in the meeting to see what people are saying

New Meeting Usability Features for All Customers

Microsoft recently announced an updated large gallery view for meetings, mobile-optimized for customers on the go. The Teams solution allows you to swipe through all participants in a meeting fast, with up to 10 participants on your screen per page. Users can also include device audio when sharing on iOS or Android devices. This is ideal when sharing a video with music and voiceover. Everyone can watch without sync or echo issues.

Large gallery view is also now available for the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure too. VDI users will be able to expand their gallery with this function, viewing as many as 49 participants in the same screen with a Teams meeting.

Microsoft’s new meeting experience also now comes with Live Transcription with speaker attributions for new licenses. The live transcription feature improves clarity in a meeting for Teams users. Today, the capability has rolled out to Office 365 31, A1, A3, A5, and F1 licenses. Microsoft 365 Business Basic licenses can use the service too.

To help more people embrace the features of Teams, Microsoft introduced Audio Conferencing for free, with dial-in and dial-out numbers to ensure everyone can get involved, through to December 31st, 2021. Microsoft 365 Business Voice is also available now at a 25% discount for 12 months, up until December 31st this year.

Microsoft Teams Collaboration, Chat and Management Updates

In the collaboration and chat environment, Microsoft introduced new approval templates to help streamline the way that various teams work together. These templates offer a simple repeatable structure for common approvals like requesting overtime. Admins can use the templates as they are or customise them to suit the organisation.

Microsoft also announced a new option to access files in offline mode on Android, so teams can still access the files they need in poor network conditions. Other updated features include:

  • Task creation in Teams: Some messages lead to follow-up actions, allowing users to quickly create tasks from any Teams channel or chat conversation without having to switch windows or apps. You can create tasks from the ellipses menu in Teams
  • Rich SharePoint previews: Now, when you add a SharePoint link or news article in Teams, it will automatically convert into a rich display card with a thumbnail image, page title, publish date, and author
  • Custom branding: Microsoft Teams admins can now customize Yammer Communities app branding for Teams to suit their network. You can add different colors, naming, and app logos
  • MacOS notifications: Teams users will now be able to choose to deliver Teams notifications either via built-in Teams notifications or native MacOS notifications. Choosing native notifications allows access to the OS notification settings and supports action triaging, quiet hours, and more

From a Management perspective, Teams introduced a new App risk evaluation option, where Teams admins can view the compliance, security, and privacy details of apps coming from Microsoft Cloud app security. This helps admins and Teams to save time on security reviews and enable a more focused selection via security specifications.

Device management automatic alerting in Teams Admin center is also available, triggering notifications on device problem and health status for immediate corrective action.

Microsoft 365 certified apps for Teams also come with the option for admins to view data protection, compliance, and security capabilities in a new tab on the detail page in the Admin centre. This should help you to determine which apps are safest for your business.

Calling and Other Updates

In the Teams Calling landscape, Microsoft has changed how 1:1 calling is enabled in the PSTN environment. Administrators can now delineate recording configurations for calling and meetings. The new feature is only available via PowerShell.

Microsoft also introduced a host of new certified devices and experiences to the Teams landscape. For instance, intelligent speakers are now available for Teams Rooms from Yealink and EPOS. These will help to encourage more touch-free meeting experiences. The speakers can also identify who’s speaking and add those names to meeting transcripts for people to catch up later.

In the Surface Hub environment, the Microsoft Teams Rooms environment is also going through another update, bringing new features from Rooms and the desktop into the meeting space. This environment is rolling out currently in the Windows Insider Program.

Finally, Microsoft revealed a new “Better Together” mode for Teams displays and phones, allowing users to pair their computer with their display or phone for quick streaming of content. This capability extends to Teams displays and phones now.

 

 

 


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