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Here’s Some of the Best New Features Released to Teams in December

Now that the New Year has started, it can be hard to think back to 2020.  We can all agree that 2020 has some really high moments and some very low moments. However, in December Microsoft Teams announced some new features that make it worth looking back. We are going to be looking back on what is new in Microsoft Teams for Business, Healthcare, Government, and many more.

New Additions to Teams Meetings

Thanks to virtual breakout rooms, you can now divide and conquer when it comes to your next meeting. Along with this, Teams now notifies the meeting attendees when there is five minutes remaining in the meeting. Microsoft Teams has also improved their pre-join experience, allowing you to adjust your audio, video, and device settings before you join the meeting. 

Have you had trouble with translation during live events? Microsoft Teams has new languages that can be translated in real-time. Now there are live translations for up to 50 different languages. Finally, the limitations for live events have been extended until June 30, 2021. This means that if you host an online event through Microsoft Teams you can now have up to 20,000 attendees, 50 events can be hosted simultaneously, and your event can last up to 16 hours.

Updates to Teams Calling

You can now view multiple numbers for a single contact when you are attempting to make a call. In addition to this there is now live captions for one-on-one calls. This makes it easier for you to track with your call when there may be distractions in the background.

Devices Update

When it comes to devices there are some new features that have rolled out for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows. For instance, Cortana Voice assistance is launching in preview, you control spotlight from your console, you can share HDMI audio. There is now enhanced meeting experiences on Teams phones such as support for a new video layout and together mode.  Along with these things there is now proximity join for Teams conference phones.

Thanks to new Yealink and AudioCodes devices you can now unify communication in your workstation. This will allow your calling to not only be more convenient, but thanks to the all-in-one format you can clean up your workspace. With these devices there is no longer the need for additional tools and wires on your desktop.

Chat and Collaboration

There have been improvements made in search relevance for your messaging. When searching through your Messages in Teams, they will now be generated and ordered by a new relevance model instead of chronologically. With the Teams mobile app for iOS, you can now access files offline. Further improvements have been made to video playback and to Yammer communities and conversations in Teams. Coupled with all of this, in SharePoint there is now an “add a Team to a site” wizard. Also, you can now add document libraries, pages, or news to a channel in Teams through the updated SharePoint Tab. SharePoint also allows you select a Teams channel or OneDrive username when determining your content migration destination.

Custom Development & Security Features

With Power Apps and Teams working together you can now build custom low code apps. In management, you can now manage Teams displays all from the Teams Admin Center. Along with this, you are now able to restrict Teams sign-in for Windows and Mac managed devices. This will ensure employee cannot sign-on to another organization’s tenant from the device that they are required to use for work. Now your meetings will be more security with the new feature Lobby Setting. Thanks to the new Lobby setting only invited users can join in your Teams meeting.

Finally, some exciting news, Customer Key support for Microsoft Teams in now available for public preview. Customer Key adds a layer of encryption and is now available through Exchange online, SharePoint online, and OneDrive.

Healthcare, Frontline Workers, Education & Government

In the Education sector, students and educators can now get notifications when a new class notebook page is distributed.  This works in OneNote Windows10, iPad, Web, and Mac. Also, coming soon in the Education department for Teams is Teams for Education policy wizard. This feature will be available soon, so be on the lookout!

New features in Healthcare include the Microsoft Teams EHR connector for virtual visits in healthcare. This will allow patients to schedule and join their virtual visits from the patient’s portal. Firstline Workers new features include customizable praise badges. This will help improve the attitude within the workplace for Frontline workers and make it more positive and personal.

Last but certainly not least, the new features for the government with Teams. Starting with virtual breakout rooms. Virtual breakout rooms  are a new feature along with an improved pre-join meeting experience for Teams. Next off there is PowerPoint file sharing and multiple number dialing. These features will change the game for government workers, but wait there is more.

There are some new features for GCC which include: set presence status duration, new offline presence status, Linux client is now available, and GCC support devices management in Teams Admin Center. Finally wrapping up the new features for government workers in Teams is data loss prevention and inline message translation in DoD.

The month of December for Microsoft Teams ended the year on a high note for sure. There are some great new features that you will want to take advantage of moving in 2021. You can read more about these features through the Microsoft Teams blog. We cannot wait to see what 2021 holds for Microsoft Teams.

If you’re looking to bring these features to your organization, contact us below.

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