Microsoft Teams is a powerful hub for communicating with your team for ultimate collaboration in cloud-based Office 365 and Microsoft 365. Collaboration enlists a variety of tools for your users to succeed, and these tools include Outlook, chats, video, and voice, and of course, there are more! With the February 2020 update to Microsoft Teams, communication between Teams members has been enhanced with several new features and improvements.
Communication: Outlook Integration
Users can move a Teams conversation to a conversation
in Outlook by clicking on the options ellipses (…) in the Teams’ conversation
and then choosing to move this conversation to Outlook.
Another powerful integration is the ability for users to move an email conversation, with its attachments, from Outlook into a Teams channel or chat conversation. Moving email conversations from Outlook to a Teams channel can be accomplished simply by choosing “Share to Teams”. This short video clip demonstrates how easily this can be done.
Chat and Collaboration: Targeted Messaging
By assigning tags, admins within the Microsoft Teams admin centre can control who and how tags are assigned across an organization. Team owners who have the right to assign tags can then organize users based on common attributes, such as location, project, and role. Targeted communication is based on these tags. By simply using the @MentionTheTag in a post, team members can send a communication message to everyone at the same time with that tag.
Chat and Collaboration: Receipts and Notifications
An optional tool, but a very useful tool, is Read Receipts.
Once turned on, Read Receipts will provide an indication as to whether
your private messages have been read or not.
Appearing in the activity feed, you can quickly connect and give new team members a warm welcome as the Colleague Joined Teams notification informs you.
Files Experience in Teams: SharePoint Powered
Powered by SharePoint, Files Experience in Teams is found under the File tab of a channel. Teams users will be able to preview over 320 supported file types while file cards can be easily reviewed while hovering over them. Creating views, working with metadata, pinning files to the top, viewing document life-cycle signals, taking actions like check-in and check-out, and syncing files to their PC or Mac computer are a few examples of what users will experience in the Files Experience for Teams.
Calling and Meetings: Voice Administration, ThinkSmart View for Phones, and CCX Microsoft Teams Phones
Customers of Microsoft Calling Plan will have the ability to search, discover, and set phone numbers for users. Teams Admins will have greater visibility into additional workloads.
ThinkSmart View for Phones will provide users the
capability to manage video/audio calls through a desktop service with extra
The Poly CCX Series of Microsoft Teams phones are designed specifically for Teams calling and are highly customizable to optimize the user experience.
GCC, GCC High & DOD: Phone Systems Additions for GCC
For GCC customers, the following new features are now available:
1. Team users can screen share to Skype for Business
2. Callers can transfer directly to voicemail;
3. Teams users (AAD) have caller ID;
4. Users on the Chrome browser can send and receive video calls; and
5. Place PSTN calls with the PowerBar slash command.
Apps & Workflows: Enhanced Power BI Tab for Teams
Microsoft Teams has received a new tab! The Power BI tab adds support for reports in the new workspace experiences, paginated reports, and reports in Power BI apps. Users can find and track data for successful objective outcomes when the Power BI tab is added to channels and chats. For new team members joining, data is easily and readily accessible.
Apps & Workflows: Pinning Apps for Easy Access
Pinning personal apps to the left-hand rail, the Teams app bar, is not only simple and easy, but it ensures that the apps that the user frequently accesses are easily located and launched. Users can pin their favourite and/or most frequented apps by right-clicking on the app icon and then selecting Pin, and the pin remains in place even after the user navigates away. Apps can also be pinned to relevant channels or chats, making them easily accessible. Not only can a user pin apps, but the Teams Admin can create a group policy so that specific apps appear pinned on everyone’s Teams app bar.
Education: Microsoft Teams QBot
An exciting new solution, Microsoft Teams QBot is specially designed for classroom teaching. QBot allows teachers, students, and tutors to intelligently answer each other’s questions within the Microsoft Teams platform by leveraging QnA Maker in Azure Cognitive Services.
How does this work? Microsoft Teams QBot app is deployed to a Team. Once deployed, a student can ask a question on the channel. By tagging the question @TaggingQBot, QBot will respond with the correct answer, or it will tag a group of responders, allowing them to collaborate on a response. Accepted answers are used to train QBot for future questions.
Many of these features have behind the scenes, out of sight, talent that designs, plans, deploys, monitors, and troubleshoots to keep the whole system running at maximum potential. In our next article, Microsoft Teams: Updates for Admins, we go behind the scenes to see what enhancements and new features have been made to make the IT Admin role more effective.
Optimize your organization’s cloud collaboration and communication by leveraging Teams in Microsoft 365 or Office 365. With the continuous updates and enhancements of Teams, communication and collaboration are done with ease, simplicity, and transparency.