Microsoft Teams – August’s updates promise enhanced collaboration

by | Sep 17, 2019

Microsoft’s monthly update cycles have become a staple of our blog, as we realise the importance of keeping our clients informed and up to date with the latest developments.

In July, Microsoft reported that its userbase for Microsoft Teams had expanded to over 13 million active users, becoming the company’s fastest growing app.

In a bid to capitalise on this success, Microsoft has committed itself to introducing monthly updates, addressing customer feedback by implementing new and exciting features.

August was no different, with Microsoft focussing their efforts on improving the ‘Call’ and ‘Chat’ features of the app, enhancing collaboration for businesses and their employees.

Read on for a full breakdown of this month’s most significant changes:

Finding ‘focus time’

The demands of the modern workplace have changed over time, so it’s not uncommon for full working days to be consumed by consecutive meetings or appointments.

Although these meetings are unavoidable in most cases, the need for uninterrupted ‘focus time’ should not be underestimated, as high payoff activities still require your undivided attention to complete.

With MyAnalytics, users can now explore their own work patterns and find ways to work smarter, including AI powered suggestions for setting aside ‘focus time’ on your calendar.

After scheduling ‘focus time’ through MyAnalytics, Teams will automatically help you stay focussed by muting notifications and updating your status to ‘focussing’, allowing you to continue working without unnecessary distractions.

Meetings and whiteboarding sessions

Although technology has developed and the way in which we host meetings has changed, there is still a demand for traditional tools and methods, such as whiteboarding.

Viewed as an important collaboration tool, whiteboarding is an effective way for individuals to share ideas and explore concepts, but for those people engaging with a meeting via Teams, it can be difficult to participate in these sessions.

Therefore, the Microsoft Teams Room app has been updated to include a ‘content camera’ feature, which will detect the whiteboard in the room, cropping and framing it to be shared with remote participants.

Even if someone steps in front of the whiteboard, the new feature will allow participants to see through the individual, giving members uninterrupted access to important information, regardless of their location.

Personal apps in Microsoft Teams (preview)

One of the biggest appeals of Microsoft Teams is the ability to customise and extend the experience to meet your own unique requirements.

Within August’s round of updates, Microsoft has made it possible for businesses to use third party apps within Teams, while introducing personal app support for those using mobile devices.

Rolled out in developer preview mode, users can now view their app experience running inside Teams mobile, providing developers with the tools needed to tailor their experience accordingly.

It’s a significant step forward for the app, with a broader roll-out of personal apps planned later this year for mobile users.

Audio sharing

Another one of last month’s most significant updates gives users the ability to share audio during a Teams meeting.

Users can now add video or audio files to their presentations and share these with meeting participants in real time.

This change provides businesses with a range of exciting opportunities, as they are given the creative license to share information in various forms, enhancing collaboration for all participants.

To enjoy this feature, users must add system audio to their meetings beforehand.

Finding a solution for success…

Microsoft’s commitment to quality is clear to see, as carefully created updates are introduced to enhance the user experience.

With flexible working becoming increasingly popular, there is a need for online meetings to also develop, allowing users to communicate and collaborate with ease, despite participants being in various locations.

Instead of providing businesses with a host of unnecessary updates, Microsoft Teams listens to its userbase and implements features that its community wants – there are never any nasty surprises.

If you’d like to unlock the power of Microsoft Teams for your business, then contact our team and find a solution capable of delivering long-term success.