Today we are announcing completion of several key meetings capabilities first disclosed in our Skype for Business to Teams roadmap. Work gets done when individuals connect, communicate and collaborate, and we believe these features (in addition to our February announcements) make Microsoft Teams ready for all types of meetings.
Meetings bring together two or more people, either in-person or digitally, and can represent over 1/3 of the average work week. Yet almost 60% of meeting attendees say they need more from their meetings experience. They cite the following reasons:
- 55% of meetings can be hard to schedule and start
- 54% of meetings have technical challenges
- 57% felt meetings were unproductive
Meetings occur in the hallway, in meeting spaces, the shop floor, or in daily standups. No matter where in the world a user may be, the recent investments made in Teams meetings will help work to get done faster.
Here are a few of the investment areas for meetings over the last 6 months:
Ease of Connectivity
With the recent capabilities released, meetings can start quicker. It’s about making meetings easy to schedule once a decision has been made to connect, and a frictionless join at meeting time.
- Get set before joining your meeting – Our new join experience allows you select devices and your audio configuration prior to being in the call. Video preview enables a quick glance to make sure you’re set to go on-stage. If you are joining from a meeting room, you can easily join your personal device with content only and no audio. This prevents echo and the client will even remind you if it detects problems.
- See who’s knocking at the door– In addition to external guests, the Teams meeting lobby will now support audio conferencing dial-in users. Both anonymous and dial-in users can wait in lobby until an attendee from within the company admits the guest. The lobby adds an extra layer of security and confidence that only invited attendees are listening in.
- Crossing Enterprise Borders – We now support existing enterprise relationships with federated meeting join. No extra steps are required to join partner meetings with your native corporate identity. This is in addition to other guest scenarios, like meeting with Teams guests or anonymous meeting join.
- A Room for Everyone – With multiple room technology options (audio only and video optimized) all meetings rooms can be a best-in-class experience in Teams. The Surface Hub (available in preview), Skype Room Systems and Polycom Trio all support 1-touch join experiences in Teams meetings. A full list of device announcements is available here.
- Large Meeting Support – Teams will now support up to 250 meeting attendees for those large group connections.
Quality and Reliability
Supported by a new modern infrastructure, Teams is built for the cloud on a highly-scalable microservices architecture that’s optimized with global peering points. As a result, attendees will see faster meeting join times and better overall experiences. But sometimes the unexpected happens, and Teams can quickly react to ensure your work continues.
- Intelligent alerts – Teams will detect situations that lead to meeting interruptions and inform you proactively on how to fix the issues, so you can continue your meeting. Teams provides feedback on everything from a poor network connection to even telling you when you’re trying to speak and may have forgotten to unmute your microphone. Less interruptions means more efficient meetings.
- When Networks Fail – The Teams desktop, mobile and web client quickly and elegantly reconnects if a call is dropped on the desktop or a mobile device. Teams monitors and responds to loss of network and automatically attempts reconnecting to keep the call going. Mobile users can also opt to have the service call back via PSTN, if WIFI or LTE is unreliable.
- Control your Experience- You can now turn off incoming video on your Teams mobile to prioritize core audio communication in low bandwidth conditions.
Share your ideas and make decisions faster by turning presentations into deep collaborative discussions. Meetings are no longer just a moment in time. Attendees want to share material pre-meeting, communicate efficiently in the meeting, and reference decisions and deliverables after the meeting.
- Present with Polish –Deliver formal presentations crisply and securely with PowerPoint sharing in a Teams meetings. Attendees can jump ahead or revisit a slide with private viewing. Signals from the Graph API prioritize your latest files from Office 365, making it simple to select your PowerPoint to get started.
- Whiteboard – Now users can work creatively in meetings on 3rd party whiteboard apps like Invision. Invision is the first whiteboard application in Teams with more to follow in the coming months.
- Mobile Sharing - When you are on the go, not every meeting happens at a desktop. Now meetings participants can share photos, PowerPoint files, live video and mobile desktop from anywhere.
- Meeting Notes - Attendees can now easily take shared meeting notes during the entire meeting lifecycle. Share an agenda before the meeting, take notes during the meeting as well as find the notes (using the notes tab) after the meeting is over. The notes are co-editable by different participants and you can also @ mention people if you want to bring their attention to a specific note item. Meetings notes are also available on mobile!
- Broad Communication - Live events in Teams extends the Teams meeting experience to thousands of attendees, whether on desktop or mobile. Learn more about live events (available in public preview) here.
- Meeting Recording – Teams and Microsoft Stream offers the capability for meetings to be recorded and stored in the Office 365 cloud. The recording is available in the chat history of the meeting for easy playback so other team members can review later. Meeting recording (available in public preview) also gives users access to the transcript and search for keywords or phrases spoken during the meeting.
All of these new features are accompanied by IT control required by our enterprise customers. User level meeting policies, federation policies and more are configurable to your own organization’s requirements.
There is constant, ongoing work to add even more innovations to Teams Meetings. Stay up to date with us here in the Tech Community, and learn more about Teams meetings today.