Microsoft Teams celebrates year 1 with big news

It’s a big week in the enterprise communications and collaboration world with Enterprise Connect happening over in Florida – the big annual show where all the industry players present their impact in the market and their vision for a new way of working. Microsoft have come out swinging on day one with some big announcements to coincide with the 1st anniversary of Microsoft Teams.

Let’s get straight in and talk about what these new features mean to you.

Teams won’t be your grand pappy’s meeting

This is really where the intelligent part of Microsoft’s vision for communications comes to life. How many times have you spent the first 10 min of a meeting trying to get the sound or camera to work in the room? That’ll be a thing of the past, because soon you’ll be able to ask Cortana to join your meeting for you and it’ll all just work. This is in my view, the biggest game changer for users.

No longer will you need to record a meeting on your laptop and upload the video file to SharePoint. With cloud recording you’ll be able to capture everything happening in the meeting and share it straight to Microsoft Stream with those that couldn’t join. Working on a multilingual team? Teams will now translate messages in a channel on the fly.

Then there’s other neat features like blurring your background on video calls so people don’t see your washing drying on the clotheshorse behind you – true story!

Every device you can think of

Meetings happen in rooms. A lot. So that’s why we need to consider how everyone from a huddle of 2-3 people to a 10 person board are going to join a Teams meeting smoothly with remote participants. Fortunately there’s a plethora of options coming to achieve this, with native Teams meeting support on Surface Hub, interoperability with other video systems (so your Cisco devices can join Teams meetings), new devices from Lenovo, HP and Yealink and existing Skype IP phone/conference room support for Teams coming.

This means whether you want to use what you have today or deck out rooms with something new, you’ll be covered.

Coexist with your PABX, fax machines and analogue devices

From a voice/telephony perspective, this will open up loads of potential ways to create a consolidated way of communicating. If porting your phone numbers to Office 365 isn’t a fit for you (e.g. you want to run a pilot or migrate batch by batch, you have a long term contract with your carrier, etc), Direct Routing allows you to plumb Teams into a certified session border controller and into your existing SIP trunk, PABX or ISDN circuit and light up voice in the cloud on your terms.

Big impact in a short time

In just 12 months Microsoft have made huge strides with Teams. There’s a huge future ahead and I really think Teams is going to fundamentally change the way people work. Check out the stats below:

Infographic celebrating Microsoft Teams' one-year anniversary.

You can view the full announcement here.

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