What’s new in Teams?

Microsoft have announced quite a few upcoming enhancements to Teams – here’s a brief overview of some of the new features you can expect to see.

Excel Live

All meeting participants can view and edit a workbook in real time, during the meeting itself. Excel Live also supports Sheet Views, allowing you to sort or filter without disrupting others.

Available for public preview: August
More information

Collaborative Annotations

This allows you to draw, type, or react on top of content being shared in a meeting – if ‘annotation mode’ is enabled. This is powered by the whiteboard functionality.

Available for public preview: August
More information

Enhanced Teams Rooms Devices

Camera optimisations are aimed at remote meeting participants and use AI capabilities within the device’s camera(s), allowing multiple video streams and allowing in-room attendees to show up in individual feeds – allowing you to see and interact with everyone in the room more effectively.

Enhancements to displays allow options for personalised calling, more meaningful eye-contact, and the option to use a room’s display as a second monitor.

Webinar Enhancements

Webinar changes now have options to show more personal info about the speaker (company name, job title, etc.), theming to match Oxford’s branding, the ability to set capacity limits, and easier custom questions (including an option to obtain consent for event-specific terms and conditions).

Available in public preview: next month
More information

Shared Channels

‘Teams Connect’ allows multiple organisations to share and collaborate on files without the need to switch between tenancies. Enhancements include more channels, support for shared-channel apps, improved reporting, and enhanced messaging experience for external users.

Available generally from this month.
More information

Chat enhancements

Chat now supports the option for you to record a short video message within a chat, rather than just typing plain text. For note-taking or memos there is also now a ‘chat with self’ facility and additional ‘reaction’ options (from August). Integration with LinkedIn and Dynamics are now also options.

Available generally from September.

Teams Phone

Microsoft have now announced a Digital Contact Centre Platform which adds features like ‘swarming’ to the existing contact centre and compliance-recording.

Operator Connect allows PSTN services to be enabled within Teams, if you have a participating operator – BT are on the list. Later this year this option will allow your mobile phone’s number to be set as your Teams number.

By the end of this month you should also be able to use native Bluetooth devices with Teams, including – where buttons and/or software to do so exist – answer, hold, mute or end calls. You may also be able to raise a hand during a meeting, or join a meeting directly from the device. The first certified device is the Surface Headphones 2.

More information

Updates in Teams

Allows you to create, submit, and review items without leaving or switching within Teams. This could be used for things like check-ins, shift handovers, incident reports, holiday approvals, or maintenance requests. This is already generally available.

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