It’s hard to believe that Microsoft Teams is celebrating 2 years this month. Over that time, we have witnessed growing interest in the platform. From organizations wanting to find better ways to collaborate to some desiring to leverage a better meeting experience, Teams has proven this was the right product to drive better adoption of Office 365. According to Microsoft, more than 500,000 organizations are using Teams today, including almost of all Fortune 100 companies.
While Microsoft does not disclose user counts, my estimate is that between 10-50 million users are using this new platform every day.
Enterprise Connect 2019 Roundup
Microsoft took the opportunity on March 20, 2019 to present some new capabilities coming to Teams. During the keynote, Lori Wright, General Manager for Microsoft 365, demonstrated new exciting capabilities.
1. Private channels. I was starting to lose faith that this feature would ever come. Ever since we started using Teams in October 2016, I wished for the ability to secure a channel for a limited number of members of the team. This was the most requested feature, initially scheduled to be released in 2018, but now on the roadmap for this year. This will address the concerns of many organizations and allow to avoid creating new Teams workspaces for the sole purpose of limiting access.
2. Meetings. During Enterprise Connect, Microsoft showcased a lot of new enhancements to make meetings even better.
- Background Images. You can select a background for your camera to focus people to the individual speaking, including blurring (already available) and picture background, coming soon.
- Intelligent capture. What if you want to include a whiteboard during a meeting? No problem, just use any USB camera and link it to the Teams room systems and voila! Not only can you see the whiteboard, but there will also be a transparency if someone stands in front of it.
- Microsoft Whiteboard app is being integrated into Teams to make it easy to share virtual whiteboards.
- Live captions & subtitles brings inclusion into your meetings and shows live captions. (Coming in preview soon).
- Full meeting participation in Chrome browser. Using a browser will be easier for those remote users including video. Application and desktop sharing will also be supported in the Chrome browser.
3. Live events in Microsoft 365. Microsoft Teams is also becoming the platform to broadcast live meetings to large audiences incorporating Teams, Streams and Yammer with up to 10,000 attendees. This was available in preview and now generally available. Learn more about this here.
4. Supervision for Teams’ Channels and Chats. This is an important feature and I wasn’t expecting it so soon. For organizations looking to meet compliance and regulatory requirements, you can now establish policies with intelligent conditions and identify Teams, users, and channels to be included in a supervision policy and force content to be reviewed/moderated first. More info here.
5. Device support. It’s exciting to see hardware partners coming out with exciting new devices. I love the new Tap device from our partner Logitech. More devices are coming soon from Polycom, Crestron, Yealink, Jabra and Audiocodes.
It has been an exciting 2 years with Microsoft Teams. More is coming. Seeing the feedback received on user voice and the roadmap, I know that we are going to see a lot more innovation in the coming months. I look forward to seeing support for large teams, >5000 users, better integration with SharePoint and of course I can’t wait for the long-awaited release of the secure private channel (I just hope it works as expected).
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