How to Get the Most Out of Your Microsoft Teams Subscription
If you follow our blog, you’ve heard about Microsoft Teams – and for good reason. Teams is an incredible platform that offers innovative and collaborative business software and is used widely for remote work. It was originally meant to replace Skype, but it bloomed into technology that transcends simple video calling. On our blog we’ve previously covered misconceptions about Teams, ways to optimize Teams, and streamline collaboration. As some employees begin to return to (and others stay home from) the office, we’d like to explore some exciting new features in Teams that will support your organizational goals both in and outside of the office.
Check Out the Latest Features from Microsoft Teams:
What Is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a next-generation calling and meeting experience, built on Office 365's hyper-scale, enterprise-grade cloud. The platform combines workplace chat, meetings, notes, and attachments for an intuitive collaborative experience. Many organizations already use Microsoft Teams – it has become a vital asset to businesses as remote work became the norm over the pandemic. But the push for remote capacity has not slowed down, even as the business world has begun to transition out of the pandemic. In Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trends Index Survey, remote jobs on LinkedIn were attracting nearly 3 times more applicants compared to on-site roles. As companies grow their workforces in 2022, they’re investing in the hybrid tools to support a better virtual experience – with 57% investing in hybrid-friendly meeting rooms.
New Teams Features for SMBs and Enterprises
Microsoft is rolling out new features in Teams all the time. Some recent updates include:
- Together mode, which uses AI to virtually display participants in a shared background, making it feel like everyone's sitting in the same room during meetings
- LinkedIn integration, which allows participants to connect with each other and view information on LinkedIn without leaving the Teams app
- Whiteboard, which lets participants write together on a shared virtual canvas
- Microsoft Teams Rooms, which connect participants to hybrid meetings more seamlessly than ever before
- New features for government accounts like bots and webinar capabilities
- New features for educator accounts like attendee video management and music play notifications
Now, Microsoft Teams is leaning into the hybrid work model. According to the Microsoft Work Trend Index survey, 57% of remote employees say they are likely to consider shifting to a hybrid work model in the year ahead and 52% of employees are open to using digital immersive spaces in the metaverse for meetings or team gatherings in the next year.
Microsoft is building visionary features into Teams that will assist businesses adapting to the exciting new ways people are working with technology. With hybrid meetings, connections between on-premises employees and remote employees are smoother than ever thanks to Rooms, which provides an immersive and inclusive experience for all with face-to-face video layout and positional audio. Teams meetings can also be enhanced by Microsoft’s large offering of streaming equipment. New innovations in Teams makes it easy to:
- Collaborate on the agenda prior to the meeting so each meeting is effective
- Collaborate simultaneously on notes and assign tasks in Teams or OneNote during the meeting
- Brainstorm and collaborate on the same digital canvas with the new Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams
- Recap to help meeting participants and those who were unable to attend stay on track
Microsoft is making meetings more engaging by adding various modes to match the content and style of different meeting types. For example, Together Mode allows teams to enter a virtual conference room where team members are visually organized together with a shared background. Or presenter mode is available, which allows a user to share presentations easily in a virtual meeting. Along with these features, employees can stay better engaged before, during, and after the actual meeting thanks to tools like loop components, whiteboard, and meeting recap. Those are the big features, but there are many more exciting tools to explore in Teams.
How to Deploy Teams
If you’re already using Teams, check out the new features ASAP and stay up to date on all things Teams on our blog. If you aren’t on Microsoft Teams but are already a Microsoft customer, deploying Teams should be relatively simple. First, you need to choose whether to use the small business or medium/large business mode. If you have more than 50 users, you fall into the medium/large category. From there, you can use the Quick Start feature to begin deployment. The deployment process will then largely depend on the size of your team and your industry. Some IT expertise is required to deploy and manage Teams, so if your IT team is small or nonexistent, we recommend outsourcing to an IT service provider who can help with customizing a cost-effective IT plan for your business. Reach out to iCorps to for a free consultation today!