Microsoft Teams: The latest updates [April 2020]

If you follow HBP Group you’ll know we’ve begun hosting a series of workshop style webinars to help our customers either get started or improve their knowledge of Microsoft Teams. With a huge number of people now working remotely, the demand for this software has sky rocketed with usage up 775%. As the usage of the platform rises so does the expectation, with more workers using the platform, comes added demand.

In The Last Few Days…

…Microsoft have released statements saying they’re updating the platform to help with usability and functionality. One of the biggest update releases came when they announced that Teams could be used on a free 6 month trial during the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been keeping up to date with new releases in the software and have below outlined some updates or announcements from Microsoft:

 

  • Mircosoft365 Family:
    This is one of the latest releases from Teams, opening the platform up to not only small and medium sized businesses but also for personal use. Further details are still to be released but it appears that Teams could be made available in a similar way to having a personal Skype account.

Functionality Has Got Better Too…

  • Raise You Hand in Meetings:
    Remote working poses certain challenges such as how to effectively have a group discussion or meeting without talking over each other or having trouble getting your voice heard. Teams have released their ‘raise hand in meetings’ feature to help identify those in the meeting who wish to contribute. This is displayed in a virtual meeting on the control bar, once pressed all attendees will be notified.
  • Reduce Background Noise:
    Working from home could mean all sorts of unwanted house hold related noises could be in the background of your call. Teams have released a new real-time noise suppression feature meaning the sound of the washing machine, dog barking or kids playing can be cancelled out automatically. This currently works for recorded video, but Microsoft have announced it will be coming soon for meetings and calls.

Coming Very Soon…

  • Booking App:
    If you work in an industry that relies on appointments such as financial consultations, customer service appointments or client meetings then the new bookings app should help you to schedule and conduct appointments with external participants. This soon to be released update from Teams is designed to help move away from those traditional face-to-face meetings so many businesses rely on. With the Bookings app you can still conduct your appointment based business virtually whilst managing multiple departments, staff scheduling, and external attendee email invites.
  • More than 4?
    Currently when in a video call with your Team you can only see 4 people on the screen. Microsoft have reported thousands of people petitioning for this to be updated. Other video calling technologies such as Zoom, allow multiple participants to be shown on camera.
    On the 31st March, Microsoft released written confirmation that based on recent feedback, they’re accelerating their work on increasing the number of participants shown in the main meeting window.

So with increased demand comes increased expectations.

We predict that over the next few weeks users on platforms like Teams will only continue to surge and therefore the demand for updates will be constant to keep the platform competitive.