Technology has helped us adapt to our current 'working from home' routine. And, even as our COVID-19 cases start to decrease in South Africa, many of us are still working remotely - either every day, or as much as possible. We've got used to dealing with clients, closing deals, finalising projects and managing teams all through the use of innovative software development like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack. Now, Microsoft Teams might be inching ahead of the pack with a host of new features expected to be rolled out in October. Will they top Zoom as the most popular meeting platform?
Check out the new Microsoft Teams features
These features are meant to enhance the platform's video conference service. The new Microsoft Teams additions aim to give users a real-life work experience, so that you feel like you're in an office environment, no matter where you are. Here's what you can look forward to...
Set the scene
This exciting new feature in Together mode allows teams to 'meet' in a variety of settings, so you feel more connected and in touch. These scene settings help create the tone and mood for your meeting. If it's a casual catch-up, try out the coffee shop scene. If you're 'meeting' with team members from another company, maybe you want to opt for the conference room. And, if there are quite a few people in the meeting, with one main presenter, go for something like an auditorium or amphitheatre. There are loads of options.
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In meetings with many people, you might find that at some stage it suits you to break up into several smaller groups to brainstorm or strategize, and then re-join the larger meeting a few minutes later. The new breakout rooms feature allows you to do just that. As a presenter, you can pop in and out of the breakout rooms as well as make announcements to all breakout rooms if you need to give more information or call everyone back together. This new feature is expected to be up and running this week.
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Try as you might to accommodate everyone in your team, it's often the case that one or two people can't make it to the meeting. And they land up missing out on the important discussions and debates that take place. With the new meetings recap function, the meeting recording, transcript, chat, shared files and more will automatically be shared in the meeting Chat tab and viewable in the Details tab for each meeting. This means that even if you can't attend a meeting, you won't miss out on any of the important information shared.
The more the merrier
While Microsoft Teams has long been the preferred platform when there are higher numbers of people in a team, they've upped their capacity even further. Team membership used to be capped at 10 000 members per team but, later this year, this number is set to increase to 25 000 members per individual team. Great if you're part of a large and growing network.
This new service is powered by Microsoft Search and provides a smoother, more intuitive way to find people, messages, files or answers on Microsoft Teams. The redesigned search function uses AI technology to help you find the most relevant content, based on the people and information you interact with most on Teams. You'll get better content and faster results.
We've highlighted a few key new features in the Microsoft Teams platform. To read more about the updated service and get the full list of changes, check out the Microsoft Teams' latest blog post.