Microsoft Teams has been one of the most successful Microsoft products of the last few years. The Covid-19 pandemic, which forced businesses the world over to start working remotely, also created a huge demand for the capabilities and functionalities that Teams excels at. In some ways, Teams as at the heart of the Microsoft 365 stack, providing organisations with the perfect platform for collaboration.
Many IT companies and tech-savvy businesses use Microsoft Teams as their chosen communications and collaboration platform, and we reached out to some of them. One of these companies, TechQuarters, has been providing business IT support London businesses have relied on during periods of remote-only working, and Teams plays an important part in their operations.
The Collaboration Tool
Microsoft Teams’ defining characteristics is the fact that it unifies three popular channels of business communication into a single platform – Instant Messaging, Telephony, and Videoconferencing.
Although, Microsoft has consistently referred to is as a collaboration platform. This is because of the extensive integrations it has with not only the Microsoft 365 stack, but with a diverse range of third-party applications, too. According to TechQuarters, who have been using it since its launch in 2017, Teams is a great space for colleagues to communicate, co-author documents, and brainstorm ideas.
New Features in Microsoft Teams
As one of the most important products in the Microsoft ecosystem, a lot of work goes into adding new features and functions to it, ensuring that it is always getting better at what it does, and meeting the demand for intuitive digital collaboration. Having worked in Microsoft and Office 365 consultancy for years, TechQuarters are always keeping track of the new features in Teams. Below are some of the most recent new features…
Assigning Seats in Together Mode
The together mode in Teams meetings is a novel visual display mode that brings participant’s video feeds into a virtual meeting room with seats. A fun new feature of the Together mode is the ability for meeting organisers to assign virtual seats in together mode.
Pop-out Shared Content
Sharing content – such as pictures, graphs, etc. – is a big part of Teams meetings. Previously, sharing meeting content would replace the view of participants entirely. Now, shared meeting content can be opened in a pop-out window, enabling users to see the content and their colleagues.
Updated Call History
The Calls app in Teams is a modern, flexible alternative to PSTN phone sets – as Teams can be taken with you on your smartphone or tablet, it means employees can use their business number anywhere. The Calls app has recently received an updated Call History section, providing details on when and how calls arrived, and whether they were forwarded or transferred.
Chat and Collaboration
Connected Templates in SharePoint
Microsoft Teams has a range of templates to make creating a well-designed team easy, and SharePoint has the exact same function, but for creating sites. Microsoft have now connected the equivalent templates in Teams and SharePoint (for instance, the ‘Manage a Project’ template), so that if create it in Teams, the corresponding SharePoint site is automatically created.
The flow is work is very important in Teams, and Microsoft have included a number of features to help users save time. A recent feature of this kind is the suggested replies function in chat, allowing users to pick from a range of potentially relevant responses when they are sent a message that requires answering.
Sometimes, writing out a message can take a long time, due to the length of the message, or perhaps the complexity of what one is trying to explain. Thus, Teams now includes the ability to record and send video clips to chat, allowing users to streamline their communications even more.