Companies turned to videoconferencing software to stay connected during the pandemic while working from home, and as we prepare for the year ahead, this trend is likely to continue now that Zoom has become a household name.
While Zoom emerged as the favorite video conferencing platform for consumers because of its ease of use and popularity, Microsoft has made tremendous progress in getting organizations to adopt their own collaboration solution, Teams.
In March, for example, Microsoft Teams saw the number of daily active users (DAU) increase by 12 million over a seven-day period to 44 million. In October, however, that number grew to 115 million as the software giant continued to add new features to its collaboration software.
New features galore
As 2020 progressed, Microsoft Teams continually updated with new features and capabilities to increase the software’s user base and make video conferencing more accessible and engaging.
One of the biggest changes the company has made was the introduction of Together mode, allowing multiple users to share the same virtual space during a video call. Instead of seeing participants in a grid, anyone with this new feature could be together in a meeting room, auditorium or even a coffee shop at the same time. More recently, Microsoft has even added new winter wonderland scenes for the holidays.
Another interesting feature that came to Teams this year was the introduction of coordinated meetings. Organizations with one or more Microsoft Teams Rooms devices and a Surface Hub in their meeting room can now use Coordinated Meetings to sync all of these devices for additional screen space during video calls.
Microsoft Teams Panels were also introduced so that employees in the office could see whether or not a meeting room had been reserved for an upcoming video call. Using these panels, employees can view meeting details, reserve a room, view upcoming reservations, and even book another room using the “Nearby Rooms” feature.
Microsoft Teams Panels
When employees return to the office, meeting rooms will be a welcome change in their work from home setups and are likely to be expensive.
To make it easier for employees to know when a meeting room is busy, Microsoft has unveiled a new category of devices called Microsoft Teams panels, which can be mounted outside a meeting room.
These devices are essentially small tablets that can also use information from other connected certified Teams devices, such as cameras, to display information about the capacity of the space and help employees follow their organization’s social distance guidelines.
Hopefully, Microsoft Teams will continue to update at the same pace next year, as the service will quickly become a one-stop shop for both remote and office environments.