What's new in Microsoft Teams?

Recent announcements from Microsoft Ignite.

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Oleksandr Krakovetskyi 03.06.2021

What's inside?

  1. (Private Preview) Microsoft Teams Connect Which Strengthens External Collaboration With Shared Channels
  2. New Presenter Layouts and Audience View Available in Teams Meetings
  3. New Features for Microsoft Teams Rooms and Newly Certified Peripherals for Teams Help Deliver Meeting Experiences in the Hybrid Workplace
  4. Microsoft Teams Adds Security, Privacy, and Compliance Features
  5. Microsoft Teams Adds Support for Webinars and Broadcasts
  6. Microsoft Viva Expands Features and Module Availability

Introduction

Microsoft Ignite is an annual conference for developers and IT professionals hosted by Microsoft. Due to the pandemic, it was conducted online.

Thanks to Microsoft, there is a dedicated resource with all announcements from Ignite. You can find it here

I will copy the official information and add my comments if any.

Let's go

(Private Preview) Microsoft Teams Connect Which Strengthens External Collaboration With Shared Channels

Microsoft Teams Connect, which helps organizations collaborate seamlessly with customers, partners, suppliers or other external parties through shared channels, is now in private preview. Microsoft Teams Connect leverages the deep collaboration capabilities that Teams brings together, such as chat, meetings, app collaboration and real-time document co-authoring, all while maintaining control over how users access data and information.

With shared channels, users can add individuals to a single channel rather than to an entire team. Each shared channel will appear within a user's primary Teams tenant alongside existing teams and channels, providing convenient access within their current flow of work.

Teams Connect will be made generally available later this calendar year.

Learn more about this update.

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My comment:

Obviously, Microsoft Teams Connect is Microsoft's response to sharing channels with Slack Connect.

As official Slack's documentation states, Slack Connect allows members of your organization to work with people from outside your company. By moving conversations out of emails and into Slack channels, you can work securely, quickly, and collaboratively with partners, vendors, or customers

  1. Slack channels
  2. Slack Connect

New Presenter Layouts and Audience View Available in Teams Meetings

New Teams features are available to help presenters deliver content more professionally and offer meeting participants dynamic experiences to keep them more engaged.

  1. PowerPoint Live in Teams is now generally available. Presenters often share their desktops in virtual meetings, providing limited ability for the audience to interact. With PowerPoint Live in Teams, presenters can deliver richer, more inclusive experiences and lead meetings more confidently with notes, slides, meeting chat and participants all in a single view. Attendees can personalize their experience by privately navigating the content at their own pace or using high-contrast mode to make content more accessible.
  2. Presenter mode is available this month, with more options coming soon. Presenter mode empowers presenters to customize how their video feed and content appear for the audience. New options coming soon are Standout, which shows the speaker's video feed in front of the shared content; Reporter, which shows content as a visual aid above the speaker's shoulder; and Side-by-side, which shows the presenter's video feed alongside their content as they present. Standout will become generally available this month, with Reporter, Side-by-side and other options coming soon.
  3. Dynamic view will become generally available in the coming weeks. Dynamic view intelligently arranges meeting elements for an optimal presentation. Presenters can now place the gallery on top so participants appear at the top of the meeting window, helping maintain more natural eye contact with the audience. In addition, the participant gallery automatically adjusts when the meeting window is resized.

Learn more about this update.

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My comment:

PowerPoint is an extremely powerful tool for making presentations. In my opinion, the ability to present PowerPoint presentations without sharing a presenter's screen is one of the main kill-features of Microsoft Teams comparing to other solutions like Zoom. Now we have even more possibilities with PowerPoint Live.

New modes and views - a logical evolution of UX/UI.

New Features for Microsoft Teams Rooms and Newly Certified Peripherals for Teams Help Deliver Meeting Experiences in the Hybrid Workplace

New features for Teams Rooms plus Teams-certified devices are now available to help deliver more inclusive meeting experiences for all participants.

Historically, meeting rooms were designed to facilitate in-room collaboration. With more people working from home, virtual meeting room experiences must enable all participants to be seen and heard clearly and to fully participate in the meeting, no matter where they join from. With the proper investments in personal, at-home spaces as well as in the meeting spaces at work, meetings become more equitable for participants. Updates are:

  1. New gallery views in Teams Rooms, now generally available, include Together Mode and large gallery. These views enable everyone in a meeting to see meeting content whether the room has one screen or two.
  2. Microsoft now certifies hardware with audio and video optimized for Microsoft Teams meetings and calling. Certified monitors are the Dell Video Conferencing Monitor and the Poly Studio P21. These monitors integrate a microphone, speaker, camera and lights (only in P21). Employees simply attach their PC via USB to get started. The new P15 Video Bar from Poly is an easy-to-mount peripheral that transforms an existing monitor into a high-quality Teams endpoint. Another Teams certified peripheral, the new Cam130 by Aver, integrates lights as well, allowing users to present their best selves in video meetings.
  3. Intelligent speakers will be available in private preview later in 2021. Using advanced speech recognition, intelligent speakers can identify the people talking in a Microsoft Teams Room. The speakers include a special 7-array microphone that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and differentiate the voices of up to 10 people in meetings and apply their name and profile to the live meeting transcript. Now, attendees in the new hybrid workplace using the transcript to follow along or capture action items will know who in the room said what. To help ensure privacy and security, users can turn attribution on or off at any time.

Learn more about this update.

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No comments.

Microsoft Teams Adds Security, Privacy, and Compliance Features

New security, privacy and compliance features in Microsoft Teams enable safe and trustworthy online communication and collaboration. They are:

  1. Invite-only meetings controls will be generally available this month. Invite-only meetings controls help ensure that only intended participants join a meeting.
  2. Disable video will be generally available in the first half of this calendar year. This feature is intended to limit potential disruptions, along with other capabilities such as Invite-only meetings and recently announced chat moderation controls. Recently announced
  3. End-to-end encryption (E2EE) for 1:1 Teams calls will be available to commercial customers in preview in the first half of this year. Teams will support end-to-end encryption for organizations to help customers meet their security and compliance requirements by providing an additional option for conducting sensitive online conversations. For example, a call from an IT admin giving an employee her password over Teams could be conducted with E2EE. In this first release, customers will have the ability to enable E2EE for 1:1 unscheduled Teams calls. Customers will be able to specify which members of their organization can use E2EE. Future updates will be made available to support customers' evolving compliance needs, including expanding to scheduled calls and online meetings.
  4. Teams multigeo support will be generally available in the first half of this calendar year. Multigeo support for Teams data will give multinational organizations greater control over the location of specific data centers where their Teams data is stored, down to the team and user level. Similar to the multigeo capabilities available to customers with Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, this update helps organizations meet specific data compliance and regulatory standards in certain countries and in highly regulated industries.

Learn more about this update.

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No comments.

Microsoft Teams Adds Support for Webinars and Broadcasts

The Microsoft Teams app can now support interactive customer webinars for up to 1,000 attendees. Teams' end-to-end webinar support includes custom registration, rich presentation options, host controls (such as the ability to disable attendee chat and video) and post-event reporting. Teams webinars can also seamlessly scale to a 10,000-person view-only broadcast experience - and, during this time of increased remote work, 20,000-person broadcasts are available through the end of this year. Select Teams webinar capabilities, including registration, 1,000- and 20,000-attendee limits and attendee reporting, will become generally available starting this month.

In addition, customers can now use Teams to deliver webinars as part of Dynamics 365 Marketing campaigns, now generally available. Later this year, Teams will provide the ability to export webinar contacts directly from Teams into Dynamics 365 Marketing to enable engagement with audiences before, during and after events.

Learn more about this update.

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My comments:

This is HUGE. Now we have two options to select: regular meetings (up to 250 attendees) and Live event (up to 15000). Definitely, we can make webinars by using both options, but the experience is far away from ideal. "Webinars" type of event, I believe, will close a gap for organizers. I will learn more about a new feature and return with detailed feedback.

Microsoft Viva Expands Features and Module Availability

Microsoft Viva, which was announced in February with four modules, will soon expand features and availability of those modules. Microsoft Viva is the first employee experience platform built for the digital era, bringing together tools for employee engagement, learning, well-being and knowledge discovery directly into the flow of people's work. The modules are Viva Connections, Viva Learning, Viva Insights and Viva Topics.

  1. The Teams desktop experience of Viva Connections, which provides a curated, company-branded experience including news, conversations and other resources for employees, will become generally available this month. With Viva Connections, employees will receive personalized information delivered to the desktop apps and devices they use every day, such as Microsoft Teams. A mobile experience will also be made available in summer 2021. Viva Connections is available for no additional charge to existing Microsoft 365 and Office 365 customers.
  2. Viva Learning will begin rolling out in public preview in April. This app in Teams creates a central hub for learning where people can discover, share, assign and learn from content libraries across an organization to help make learning a natural part of their day. Microsoft will share pricing and packaging details for Viva Learning when it becomes generally available.
  3. Viva Insights. Also starting in April, new personal wellbeing features, such as the virtual commute experience unveiled at Microsoft Ignite 2020, will begin rolling out as part of the Viva Insights app in Teams, available now in the Teams app store in public preview. Viva Insights has made available an initial set of personal insights for no additional charge to existing Microsoft 365 and Office 365 customers, with manager and org leader insights as an add-on through Workplace Analytics.
  4. Viva Topics automatically organizes content and expertise across an organization, making it easy for people to find information and put knowledge to work. It is generally available as an add-on for Microsoft 365 customers.

Learn more about this update.

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My comments:

This is one more HUGE announcement which, I believe, will improve the overall digital workspace experience. Viva Insights, Learning, and other modules inside Teams will significantly improve user's productivity within the integrated environment.

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Useful links:

  1. Videos from Microsoft Ignite 2021
  2. Book of News
  3. Microsoft Teams blog

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