For five years, Microsoft Teams has been making business communication and collaboration more seamless for businesses using Microsoft 365. In particular, the last 2 years were when the vast majority of businesses using it got the most out of the platform – due to it’s use in supporting remote working when Covid-19 made it impossible to work in-person. It was one of the top recommendations made by providers of IT support – such as TechQuarters, whose business IT support London based companies have been using since well before the pandemic. When we spoke to them, TechQuarters (who happen to be Microsoft Partners) stated that Microsoft Teams is one of the most frequently updated business communication platforms on the market. In fact, Microsoft have announced a number of new features that are to be added to Teams very soon. Below are some of these new updates…
Shared Content Pop Out in Meetings
Thus far, in Teams meetings, it has been possible to share content with participants, but doing so would replace the gallery view of video feeds. Soon, Teams meetings will include the ability to pop-out shared content into a second window, allowing users to see both the content and their colleagues in the gallery view.
Meeting Pop Out in Calendar
Microsoft Teams has its own calendar, which can be used to view upcoming events, and to book events. So far, the interface has meant that if a user clicks into a scheduled meeting on the calendar, the details take up the whole view. The ability to pop-out meetings in the calendar will seen be available. The purpose of this feature is to make it possible to view the details of a scheduled meeting, and view the overall calendar at the same time. TechQuarters pointed out that this is a small change to the interface that could make quite a big difference to the average user’s workflow.
Video Clips in Chat
This is a feature that has been present in other business communication platforms, but is new to Teams. The ability to record a video clip of oneself, and send it in a chat, is evidently very popular among business users. Sometimes, recording oneself speaking is much easier than writing out a message, especially when one is in the flow of an idea. Thus, having that option available may come in very handy for a lot of users.
Suggested Replies in Chat
Another handy feature being added to the chat component of Teams is a predictive text-style feature that offers users a list of suggested replies in response to a message that @mentions them. This is yet another feature that can help streamline the flow of work, particularly the flow of a conversation, as it makes it easier for a busy individual to give confirmation to a colleague without having to take time to write out a message.
Conversation View in Channels
According to TechQuarters, who have been providing business with office 365 consultancy (that includes Teams expertise) for many years, one of the most useful features in Teams are channels. They allow departments, workgroups, and colleagues to setup spaces for specific conversations and topics, where all relevant files, links, and other resources can be stored. In a channel, users can create written posts, which other users can comment on – these are known as conversations. A new conversation view will soon be available, which allows users to view a conversation post in the format of a chat, which allows for a more fluid and in-the-moment form of conversation.
Info Pane in Channels
Another new feature in channels in Teams is the new Info Pane, designed to summarise all the important contextual information relating to a channel – such as how many people are a member of the channel, what documents have been added to the channel, what conversations have been pinned (as these are generally the most important/ongoing conversations), etc. Having a pane like this that summarises information is good users who have just been added to a channel, and want to quickly get caught up on the work that goes on in the channel.