Widely recognised as the company’s fastest growing app, Microsoft Teams recently surpassed 13 million active users, as it continues to strengthen its industry-leading position.

Bringing everything together within one shared workspace where people can chat, meet and share files, Teams is the hub for collaboration in Office 365, allowing businesses to streamline internal processes while enhancing workplace productivity.

Offering a range of tools that help users become more engaged and effective within their roles, the platform also benefits from regular updates and improvements, designed to enhance the user experience.

Over the past month, Microsoft has introduced a range of exciting new features to keep the momentum going, implementing changes in direct response to customer feedback.

In this blog, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the most significant developments, analysing the impact they will have on users.

Chat & Collaboration – Priority notifications

When it comes to alerting your team, there are certain situations that require an immediate response.

For time-critical tasks, sending a standard message will not always suffice, and it may be more effective to demand an urgent reply using reoccurring notifications to get someone’s attention.

Priority notifications can be used when sending messages to a desktop or mobile device, meaning the recipient will be notified of the message every two minutes for up to 20 minutes, prompting them to reply quickly.

This feature is especially useful for those working in hospitals, where medical information may be needed urgently or for those working in retail, where a price check is required to secure a sale.

Until the end of this year, unlimited priority notifications in Teams will be made available for all customers.

Chat & Collaboration – @-less mentions

If you’re trying to gain the attention of a specific individual, Microsoft Teams allows you to use ‘@’ followed by the person’s name to target your message.

However, this update is removing the need for ‘@’, meaning users can simply type out the name and select the option once it appears.

Doing this will send a notification to the individual, which they can then click to be sent directly to the point in the conversation where they were mentioned.

While it may seem like a small change in the grand scheme of things, this attention to detail demonstrates a clear commitment to quality on behalf of Microsoft.

Meetings, Calling & Live Events – Live captions and subtitles

One of the most important features in Microsoft Teams is the ability to host meetings or events, allowing team members to collaborate with ease.

However, it is important to consider how audience members or participants are consuming the information, as this can largely depend on their location or personal preferences.

For this reason, Teams has introduced live captions and subtitles to allow attendees to read speaker captions in real-time, improving the accessibility and effectiveness of meetings (private preview) and live events (public preview).

This update is a significant step forward for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, have different levels of language proficiency or are connecting from a loud location.

Captions and subtitles in live events currently support more than 50 languages, allowing participants to optimise their experience accordingly.

Meetings, Calling & Live Events – Updates to Microsoft Teams Rooms

Recently, there have been changes made to the Microsoft Teams Room (MTR) app, including various client and service features for MTR devices.

This included a rebrand of the app from ‘Skype Room System V2’ to ‘Microsoft Teams Room’, as well as UI updates that made the app experience comparable to using mobile and desktop clients.

Not only this, but new themes and imagery have also been introduced, while users can now access meeting controls on the MTR device and can rate the quality of calls after hanging up.

The introduction of the highly anticipated Microsoft Whiteboard update also allows participants to engage in real-time whiteboarding sessions using a touch enabled device.

Collaborate and listen…

The overwhelming popularity of Microsoft Teams demonstrates how important it is within modern businesses, and you shouldn’t postpone its introduction any longer.

Allowing you to share files seamlessly throughout all levels of your organisation, it’s the must-have collaboration tool that can enhance productivity and improve overall results.

Designed with meeting and calling tools, Teams allows you to communicate easily with your wider team, meaning you can host important conferences conveniently with the click of a button.

If you’re looking to introduce Microsoft Teams to your business, contact out team and find a solution that meets your unique needs.