New Microsoft Teams Feature Wrap Up, November 2020Brandon Carnahan
The month of November seemed to fly by, and with that you may have missed some of the new features that Microsoft Teams released. There have been new features released for the workplace, education, front-line workers, and the government. Along with this there have been some new devices released. So, buckle up and let the recap begin!
New Features for the Workplace
First, there are some new features in Teams meetings. You are now able to remove background noise in your Teams meetings thanks to AI-based noise suppression. With this you can control how much noise suppression you want depending on the height of background noise within your meeting.
In meetings there is also a new Together Mode in scene settings. Together Mode helps bring the feeling of closeness as you can change the setting of your meeting for you and the members of your call. In addition to these features, you are now able to have polls in your meetings, full screen support, you are able to start meetings instantly from your mobile device, and there is an updated layout for meetings on IOS.
Thanks to the new polls features the meeting organizer or presenter can prepare and launch polls before, during or after meetings. Digging a little further into the updated layout for meetings on IOS, there is a new presentation mode, ability to see more participants, and you are now able to see shared content along with a spotlighted participant simultaneously.
New Teams Calling Features
These features include call merging, survivable branch appliances, and Ericsson Session Board Controller certification. You can now merge your calls by choosing the “…” (the more actions button) from the call controls and then select “merge calls”. This ability will allow you to now add another important person that you want to participate in your call.
The new Survivable Branch appliance (SBA) permits you to place and accept PSTN calls even in the event of a WAN outage. This supports your critical conversations so that they are not lost in the event of an outage.
Next up are the new features centered around chat and collaboration. You can now pin posts, keeping information readily at hand. In addition to this there is more options to use polls, surveys, and checklists in Teams. A useful new feature is you can set your duration for your presence status allowing people to know when you are available. Finally, there is on-demand chat translation available on Android. All of these new features make it easier for you to communicate and collaborate with others.
Power Platform, Custom Dev, and Management Updates
Thanks to Power Apps in Teams, you can now build solutions allowing you to build and deploy custom apps all from the comfort of your Teams page. In addition to this, there is a new Power Automate App for Teams. This app makes it simpler to automate the workflows within Teams. Rounding off the Power Platform and Custom Development features for November, there is now Power Virtual Agents for Teams, Teams apps for meetings are now generally available, and Teams now supports Single Sign-on for bots. Moving forward to the new features under management. The new feature this month is device management automatic alerting in the Teams Admin center.
With new features can also come new devices, and do we have some devices for you! Some of the new devices is the Microsoft Teams displays. All of the devices that fall under this category include touch screens and a hands-free experience, all thanks to Cortana. Some of the specific devices include the USB phone by Yealink: MP50, Yealink A20, and the Poly Sync 20 USB/ Bluetooth smart speakerphone. Along with these devices, there are some new features on the Microsoft Teams Rooms and Surface Hub. Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android now supports dual screens, a new gallery view, and an auto-answer feature for meetings. New features with the Surface Hub include Together Mode and gallery view.
Microsoft Teams also has an impact in the world of education and with the front-line workers. The new feature this month is Teams now allows insight across classes and spotlights student activity. This now allows educators to see high-level trends across classes. This includes inactive and active students, missed online classes, and missing assignments for students. Front-line workers who use Microsoft Teams now have the ability to shift their schedule absence.
Wrapping up the November recap is the new features for government use. There is now full screen support in the new meeting experience. In addition to this OneNote notebooks tabs are now accessible on your Teams channel if you are DoD customer. Finally, the ability to prevent attendees from unmuting Teams meetings is available.
November held a lot of new features and the new features seem to keep coming. We cannot wait to see what is in store for December!