See what I did there…? Remote and home working isn’t anything new. In fact, it’s been around since medieval times, we only just call it this since the advent of the ‘office’. Over the last 10 years there has been an explosion and we were late to the party. As a reactive maintenance business supporting around 2000 users, our small but well-formed team works closely together with critical decisions often being taken in the moment. This working style alone demands us to be next to each other. This was the case until Microsoft Teams came into our lives.
We have teams and channels established to cover physical teams and projects we are involved in. After equipping everyone with either a Surface Pro or Book, the ability to quickly pop into a virtual meeting or discuss a client request is even easier than getting up from your desk and walking to the other side of the office. Individual teams have been customised to display important information/tabs to that moment in time – such as OneNote for capturing shared notes, excel tabs for collating data and a Microsoft Stream video tab for quick access to training resources. Announcements and notifications across the company has never been easier especially for those out and about using the mobile app.
We’ve blogged and conducted a webinar on Microsoft Teams in the past so I thought I would focus on five of the coolest announcements on what’s coming next:
If you’re not using Office 365 yet you can get a free edition of Teams with a generous feature set. This is a great way to dip your toe in the water and start using a collaborative workspace. You receive unlimited messages, Office online apps, 10GB + of file storage and full meeting functionality. It even allows you to work with up to 300 users!
You can now take your phone into Microsoft’s cloud and have inbound calls ring straight through to the Teams app. We’ve equipped our entire team with headsets and using a separate softphone for our current phone solution. With calling queuing and auto-attendants now live in Teams it won’t be long until we look to migrate and consolidate.
Soon you’ll be able to run live events and broadcast across your company. This is great for team meetings and townhalls. This isn’t in preview yet but from some of the initial comments you’ll be able to scale this from recording on a phone all the way up to professional broadcasting equipment depending upon your scale/investment.
A one-click meeting recording option that will automatically transcribe and timecode a meeting. Video files are then stored in the cloud for easy sharing. Features include the ability to read captions, search the conversation and play back the meeting. Microsoft plans to add facial recognition to automate attribution of comments to specific attendees.
Microsoft’s digital voice assistant Cortana will get some attention from Teams engineers at Microsoft. Microsoft plans to add voice integrations within Teams that will allow users to speak with natural language to make a call, join a meeting or add other people to a meeting.
The future is bright for Teams. It embodies the future of the way we work and is where Microsoft is making significant investment. With the second-generation Surface Hub focusing its software around Teams, we soon will not be able to imagine a workplace without it.
Get in touch if you would like a demo or to discuss how Teams can help or improve your team in keeping in touch more fluidly both in and out of the office.