Microsoft Ignite 2020 updates

Microsoft Teams: All the new features you need to know.

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Microsoft used its annual conference for developers and IT professionals to show off a slew of new additions to Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Ignite 2020 is over and software giant Redmond is using this year’s event – held in virtual format due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – to showcase a number of new updates to its ever-expanding range of software products and IT services.

In case you missed it, here are (almost) all the new Microsoft Teams features announced at Microsoft Ignite 2020.

Meetings

  • Microsoft has announced new background templates for The Together mode: later this year, a coffee shop and a conference room will be part of the auditorium’s current backdrop.
  • Presenters can customize how the content they share appears to other meeting attendees. This includes a greenscreen-like effect that allows presenters to show their video view on top of a PowerPoint presentation slide.
  • In brainstorming rooms, meeting participants can split into smaller groups and go to their own private meeting rooms for discussions and brainstorming sessions. Presenters can jump between these different rooms to make announcements and then return everyone to the main meeting room when needed.
  • A new Meeting Recap feature automatically stores a record of everything said and shared during a Teams meeting, including audio from the conversation, transcription, chat logs, and shared files.

Breakout rooms are meant for brainstorming sessions in small teams
Breakout rooms are meant for brainstorming sessions in small teams

  • Microsoft Teams will get better support for webinars later this year, including automated emails to make it easier to manage presence, and reporting tools to understand participant engagement.
  • The contactless meeting experiences allow employees to navigate conversations using voice and gesture-based interactions, using Microsoft’s Cortana Voice Assistant and Surface Hub
  • Notifications about the capacity of meeting rooms enabled by meeting room cameras track the number of people in a physical meeting room so they don’t exceed capacity, allowing organizations to adhere to social distance guidelines.
  • A new set of devices called Microsoft Teams Panels will be available at Crestron and Yealink in early 2021. These are designed to be mounted outside the meeting rooms to provide information on the availability and bookings of rooms on site.

Calls

  • A simplified view for the Microsoft Teams calling experience shows contacts, voicemail, and history in one place.
  • The new joint calling feature is designed with IT helpdesks and administrative hotlines in mind and allows Teams users to add a queue to a Teams channel. Administrators can then easily link queues to specific channels.
  • Starting October 1, Microsoft is expanding Microsoft Calling to include Austria, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.

Chat and collaboration

  • A new information window, pinned messages, and a conversation button are added to Teams to highlight important posts pinned by members and other relevant information shared in a Teams channel.
  • Later this year, Teams will add a new AI-based search experience to make it easier and faster for users to find people, messages, and files across all Microsoft 365 services. Microsoft is also increasing the membership limit for teams from 10,000 to 25,000 members.
  • Microsoft Lists has been added to Teams for commercial and government customers, making it easier for businesses to track, manage, and organize important jobs.

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The new information window provides an overview of important information in a chat channel at a glance

Microsoft 365 integrations

  • Well-being features and productivity insights will come to Microsoft Teams from October. Powered by MyAnalytics and Workplace Analytics, these are designed to help managers and organizational leaders understand employee well-being and better support the needs of their staff. A “virtual commute” to give structure to the employees’ days, as well as guided meditations through Headspace, are also added.
  • A new SharePoint homepage app helps Teams connect directly to their organization’s intranet and provides quick access to company news and information.

Firstline Workers

  • Walkie Talkie Android is a new feature for frontline employees who turn Company-owned Android handsets or tablets and personal Android phones or tablets into a walkie-talkie using a simple push-to-talk feature. Voice calls are facilitated securely in the cloud.
  • New integration between Microsoft Teams and RealWear’s head-mounted devices allows field workers to make hands-free calls in hazardous environments.
  • The new Power Automate Shifts connector for Teams is part of the Power Platform suite and enables managers to more easily manage shift work and schedules with automatic approval functionality and integration with calendars, including Outlook.

Health care

  • With a new connector, healthcare organizations can start virtual consultations with patients or colleagues in Teams, directly from their electronic patient record (EPD). Epic, an American HEALTHCARE IT provider, will be the first to integrate with Teams in 2020, and soon support for other EHR systems will be available.
  • Teams will also integrate with Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX), an AI-powered clinical documentation tool that allows healthcare professionals to safely record interactions between clinicians and patients during telecare consultations and then automatically generate clinical notes. This is currently in private beta.

Security and compliance

  • Microsoft Teams customer key support is added to enable administrators to encrypt Team data while in the data center. A public preview is expected before the end of the year.
  • The new Microsoft Graph API for Teams DLP is now available, allowing developers to build apps that can include Team messages for data loss prevention (DLP) scenarios for both Teams customers and software vendors.
  • The Export API teams allow messages sent in Teams chats – including attachments and other shared media such as GIFs and stickers – to be exported in accordance with the organization’s data retention, indexing, classification, and regulatory policies.

Management

  • IT administrators will soon be able to customize their business app catalog to suit their organization’s corporate identity.
  • New bulk policy assignments allow administrators to control which Teams features are available to users in batches of up to 50,000 users at a time. At the same time, a new role as delegated device administrator enables global administrators to limit and manage permission for other Team management functions.
  • Microsoft is releasing a dedicated Teams app for ARM-based devices to improve performance.

Power Platform and custom development

  • Developers will soon be able to integrate their apps into Teams to bring additional functionality to the platform during meetings. Apps from more than 20 launch partners will be ready for use when the feature becomes widely available in October, Microsoft said.
  • Team approvals become generally available in October, allowing Teams users to create and unsubscribe documents directly from a chat or channel call. Integrations with Adobe Sign and DocuSign are expected before the end of the year.

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Microsoft Teams gets more support for integrating third-party apps.

  • Later this year, there will be a new Power Automate app for Teams with a new set of templates for automating work in Teams. Microsoft’s Power BI app for Teams is also getting a boost, meanwhile GitHub has launched a new version of its GitHub for Teams app.
  • Developers will soon be able to build Power Platform connectors with Azure API Management and Azure Functions for all Microsoft-hosted third-party apps, legacy, or industry apps.
  • Single sign-on (SSO) for Teams apps is now available through the Azure Active Directory, with support for chatbots and other message extensions.

Source: The Republic

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