Exciting new Microsoft Teams features

microsoft teams blog

Microsoft Teams is a workplace communication, collaboration, and coordination app rolled into one platform. Available in every Office 365 subscription and as a standalone product, Teams allows business users to chat, share files through OneDrive, set up video conferences, and synchronise with team members.

The app’s capabilities, however, don’t end there. Microsoft is constantly updating their products with new features to enhance the user experience. In fact, the most recent version of Microsoft Teams packs some powerful upgrades. 

Admin settings for apps 

Microsoft Teams integrates seamlessly with third-party apps like Twitter and Mailchimp to expand its capabilities, but it does come with certain risks. For starters, connecting Teams with unsafe third-party services can expose your organisation to cyberattacks. Secondly, not all integrations will be valuable for each staff member.  

Microsoft Teams admin centre makes it easy to manage these integrations. Admin centre lets you establish policies to control which third-party apps and features users have access to. This means you can disable apps that potentially expose your company to security and compliance risks, and showcase only the apps users need to do their jobs. If you’re having trouble determining whether to trust or block an app from Teams, read this detailed Microsoft app catalogue.  

Information barriers

Information barriers limit communications between individuals to avoid potential conflicts of interests. When an information barrier is created, Teams blocks voice calls, screen shares, and private messages between two parties. It also searches across all channels to find and remove any pre-existing communications. Previous one-on-one conversations will become read-only and users will be removed from group chats. This is particularly useful for organisations that must adhere to stringent ethical regulations and security standards.

Do not disturb exceptions

Microsoft Teams provides the option to silence all alerts and notifications, but you can now tweak these settings. You can prioritise calls and one-on-one messages from certain contacts despite being in do not disturb mode. This means you never have to miss an important, time-sensitive message from a manager or business partner. To set it up, go to your profile settings, click on Privacy, and choose the contacts who are exempt from do not disturb mode.

Announcements

If you want to welcome a new hire or share exciting news with the company, Teams lets you create announcements. Unlike normal posts, announcements come with headlines, image, and colour options to help your messages stand out. Simply go to the channel, select the Format menu under the chat box, and click Announcement. From there, you can customise the announcement however you like, and hit enter to notify everyone in the channel.  

Larger group chats

Group chats in Microsoft Teams initially held up to 20 people, but now you can have as many as 100 per session. This is ideal for when you need to get a team together to work on a temporary project. Keep in mind that group calls, video chats, and screen sharing sessions are still limited to 20 people or fewer.

Discoverable private teams

Another addition to Microsoft Teams enables admins and team owners to control the visibility of private channels. They can have private teams appear in the search results. However, users must send a request to join a private team and have it approved by the team owner. 

Shifts

Shifts is a built-in schedule management app for shift and part-time workers. It features a shared calendar where managers can create and distribute rosters for teams. Managers can also notify workers of any vacant time slots and approve time off requests directly within the app. Meanwhile, Shifts gives employees the option to request for leaves and swap shifts, reducing unnecessary HR-related paperwork.   

Live events

Microsoft Teams now has a built-in live streaming service to help you engage a wider audience. Live events let you schedule online events and invite public or private attendees with a few clicks of the mouse. You can even assign attendee permissions and appoint producers, organisers, and presenters for the event.

Teams live events support a wide array of production levels. You can produce webinars with a webcam or use studio quality equipment for broadcasting larger events. The app is also loaded with live captions, translation, and moderated Q&A features to increase viewer count and engagement. What’s more, post-event analytics tools provide valuable insights on how to improve future events — be it the content, style, or production quality.

Microsoft Teams offers a truly unique experience for businesses, but these features are only the beginning. As mentioned, Teams is constantly developing new features, so you’re bound to get a dozen more upgrades in the near future.

If you want to be the first to know about the latest Microsoft updates, tune into future blog entries from Empower IT Solutions. We’re a leading managed IT services provider in Australia that stays abreast of Microsoft news and technology trends. We also provide great deals on Office 365 subscriptions and other cloud services. Call us today to learn more.