Microsoft Teams: Our top 5 favourite June updates and what’s coming next
Looking back at the updates in June, it’s clear to see that Microsoft are pushing the capabilities of their Teams platform even further.
They’re listening to their community of users and increasing functionality and features, to improve our virtual world experiences and driving a modern workforce forward. Since the June updates have been in play for around a month or so now, we thought we’d share our top 5 favourite updates as well as some of the features that are being launched from July onwards:
1. Meeting attendee limit increases to 300 participants
If you’re a small/medium business and need an option for a companywide ‘All Hands’ call, Microsoft has your back. With their increased attendees of up to 300 people and the ‘raise your hand’ feature, you can have a highly interactive meeting. It can bring people into the conversation, without feeling the need to talk over the top of one another. But, if you are looking for something more, you can explore the live events options too; it holds up to 10,000 attendees, Q&A, presenter/producer setup and DVR (pause, rewind) controls. Perhaps it may be the perfect solution to your now-virtual, end of quarter company party?
2. You can add distribution lists and modern groups to scheduled meetings
Imagine having to arrange a Teams meeting for your 100+ Sales team individually? With the new update, you can create a distribution list that pre-populates all colleagues required to attend the meeting, saving you time, and streamlining a potentially arduous task. Once you’ve created the distribution list, you can re-use it for future, monthly or quarterly meetings too. All you have to do is search for the distribution name in the new meeting tab and hit send.
3. Background effects in Teams meetings
Due to working remotely, we’re starting to see into the lives of our colleagues and customers a lot more. However, for some business meetings and company updates, this may not be appropriate, especially if you have washing drying behind you. The blurred background is a perfect feature to hide the hustle and bustle of home life, while also staying professional during important business meetings when needed. Or, why not replace your background with some branding? This could be a great way to keep your business in the minds of your customers and prospects after the meeting has ended.
4. Video stage expanded to include 9 screens
Earlier this month we saw the expansion of the MS Teams ‘stage’ to allow 9 participant screens on screen at one time; allowing a group of 10 people to all see each other. If it is a larger group than 10, the person who is speaking will pop up in view – making it easier to track the conversation and enable further team collaboration.
5. Priority Notifications
With priority notifications being originally announced in 2019 as a promotion, it has now become a permanent, basic feature for all MS Teams Users. Users are now allowed to send an unlimited amount of priority notifications; with options for ‘Standard’, ‘Urgent’ and ‘Highly Important’. Priority notifications enable you to work more effectively and productively, alerting teammates of an important deadline, company update or urgent request within your chat.
Want to see what else is coming soon? Read below to find out more.
Large gallery view
While we’re excited about having 9 people on screen at one time, we’re even more excited for the large gallery view update happening later this year (with the preview happening this month). The large gallery view expands the MS Teams grid view to 7×7, which will accommodate up to 49 participants at once on a single screen! And, while some businesses are deciding to shift to a more permanent remote working solution, having access to the large gallery view will only increase engagement, connection, and collaboration even further. This feature is not only great for businesses with larger teams who might usually meet face to face once a month or quarterly, but it’s also a fantastic feature for the education sector.
For educators, seeing all their students’ faces at the same time makes a big difference in student engagement, as well as a social and emotional connection. When this feature becomes available, educators will also be able to create virtual ‘Breakout Rooms’ so students can meet and collaborate in small groups.
Virtual Breakout Rooms
With virtual breakout rooms being announced in June, users will be able to split their Teams meeting participants into smaller focus groups. Are you planning on having a virtual customer workshop? Or do you need to have an open-forum brainstorming session with your employees across the business? Teams will be able to facilitate just that. To make things even better, organisers will be able to jump in between the different meetings on their own, or even when requested by a participant.
Above all, we’re very excited about what’s yet to come, as these updates will bring a whole new dimension to remote working and team collaboration. If you’d like to read the full update from Microsoft themselves, click here. If you’re already thinking about migrating to Teams and would like to explore the functionalities even further, then please get in contact with one of our Account Managers today.
Timico is a Microsoft Gold Partner and supplier of MS Teams, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Azure and other Microsoft solutions for business. This blog content is based on https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/
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