At Ignite, we announced a broad set of new capabilities that make Microsoft Teams an even more powerful hub for teamwork. We’ve got a lot of news to share, so grab your beverage of choice and settle in to learn what’s new in Teams across meetings, devices, calling, collaboration and app development.
Teams is on a roll – thanks to you!
Be more productive with powerful new tools for meetings
We’re announcing at Ignite new capabilities to help you stay productive and connected throughout the meeting lifecycle.
- Background blur: Now, all Teams customers can remove distractions and focus your video on what matters most. Available today. (You are welcome, BBC Dad.)
- Meeting recording: Meetings are no longer just a point in time experience. With meeting recording in Teams, you or other invitees who missed the meeting can playback recorded audio, video and content at any time. Pull up a transcript, powered by Microsoft Stream, and search for keywords so you can optimize your time while getting caught up. Available today.
- Cloud video interop – Bring your existing room technology investments into Teams. Through partner offerings from Polycom, BlueJeans and Pexip, a full portfolio of legacy devices can now be full-fledged audio/video participants in Teams meetings with content sharing. Polycom’s CVI offering is available now, with Pexip and BlueJeans generally available by end of October.
Blur your background during meetings.
Empower workers in all roles and across industries
We are extending the power of Teams with new experiences that are tailored to industry-specific and role-based workflows. For example, there are more than 2.5 billion firstline workers worldwide – that’s a group that includes factory workers, store clerks and electricians, among other roles. Today, we announced new capabilities in Teams to help firstline workers achieve more every day.
- Home is a new mobile experience that allows firstline workers to see at a glance the most important and relevant info for their day. With Home, firstline workers can clock in and out of shifts/breaks, receive important notes for the day or shift, find out who is working during the shift and save time by easily reviewing information and schedule.
- Shifts enables firstline managers to plan schedules in an employee self-service and integrated experience. They can create, update and distribute schedules for teams as well as broadcast open and unfilled shifts so that other employees can cover them. Finally, they can review and accept time off requests and swap shifts – all from mobile. For firstline employees, they can swap/offer shifts and request time off, right from their phones.
Home and Shifts features will be available soon in Teams. As we make Teams the hub for teamwork for employees in every role, Microsoft StaffHub will be retired on October 1, 2019. Learn more here.
For organizations with enhanced security and compliance needs, we are releasing two new secure messaging features with particular relevance in healthcare - image annotation, now generally available, and priority notifications, which will roll out by the end of this year to all Teams commercial customers. These capabilities support HIPAA compliance, and enable clinicians to communicate about patients while avoiding the privacy risks that arise when healthcare professionals use consumer chat apps.
- Image annotation – capture images, annotate, and share them on a secure platform. IT Admins can set policies to prevent images from being stored on a mobile device or local drive.
- Priority notifications– alert the recipient to an urgent message and automatically notify the recipient every two minutes for up to twenty minutes.
Priority notifications calls special attention to urgent messages.
We’ve also launched a private preview of care coordination to coordinate patient care, host meetings, and connect the extensible Microsoft 365 platform with Electronic Health Records.
Bring the Teams experience to all your devices
Earlier this year, we announced the expansion of our device portfolio with native Teams experiences. Along with new announcements at Ignite, these devices across personal and shared spaces are made possible through our partners AudioCodes, Crestron, HP, Jabra, Lenovo, Logitech, Polycom, Plantronics, and Yealink.
Surface Hub 2 Coming in 2019
Downloadable from the Microsoft Store, the Teams app for Surface Hub provides full Teams calling and meeting capabilities, including one-touch join and up to four incoming video streams, as requested by many members of our community. Unveiled in May 2018, Surface Hub 2 is perfect for dynamic teamwork with a light, sleek and intelligent design that makes the device easier to move and fit in any workspace. The first phase Surface Hub 2, Surface Hub 2S, will start shipping in the second quarter of calendar year 2019. See the full announcement here.
Get Certified with the Microsoft Teams Program
In addition to announcements about new Teams devices, we are pleased to introduce a new certification program - Certified for Microsoft Teams. This program will allow customers to quickly learn about devices that are both certified and supported by Microsoft. To learn about our broad portfolio of Teams devices and find the recommended devices for your work space, please visit http://office.com/teamsdevices.
Do more, right within Teams
- Enrich your private chat experience with screen sharing: Need to quickly show someone your screen, but don't have time for a call? You can now share your entire desktop or a specific window directly from a private chat session. You can even let them take control to collaborate on content together. To share your screen during a private chat, simply click the open sharetray icon on the top right of the screen and pick one of the available window options.
- Chat made accessible: Immersive Reader has made its way to chat and channels. Personalize text and page themes for increased visibility, minimize visual distractions with Line Focus, or follow along with the personalized text reader. To launch the immersive reader from any conversation or chat, open the "…" menu and select Immersive Reader.
- Calling for everyone: Up until now, only Teams users configured for Calling Plans would see the Calling App in the left rail. Beginning in October, we will enable the Calls App for everyone who is VOIP-enabled.
- Boost your productivity with a tighter integration between Teams and SharePoint: You’ll soon be able to enjoy the full capabilities of SharePoint libraries in your file tab with features like creating a custom view and pin-ing a document to the top. Additionally, you will have the ability to add SharePoint lists and SharePoint Framework web parts as tabs in your team’s channel Link to SharePoint blog post
- Access your Yammer community via a tab in Teams: You can include relevant Yammer groups directly in Teams for easy monitoring and engagement by adding them as a tab in any of your team channels.
Also, you will soon be able to add an online Teams Meeting option to your calendar events and join a Teams Meeting right from Outlook mobile. The goal is to introduce this capability in Outlook mobile early in 2019.
Customize & extend your Teams experience with improved developer tools
Core to the value of Teams is the developer platform, giving organizations the ability to customize and extend their experience with developer tools, third-party integrations, and more. We are committed to continuously improving the Teams platform experience for our customers and partners. Keeping in-line with that commitment we are making a variety of announcements this week:
Teams Developer Platform Enhancements
In order to improve the Teams experience for developers, we are announcing the general availability of Adaptive Cards, which provide rich, interactive, and flexible card system that works across Teams, Outlook, Windows, and Cortana.
We're also announcing the preview of Task Module Integration, enabling a rich popup experience using either an adaptive card or embedded web content.
- Register and manage your AAD App and Bot directly within App Studio
- A revamped card editor with a new design allowing for editing multiple cards
- Convenient one-click side loading and testing of your app
- .NET and Node.js support for Bot Framework 4.x is coming soon (in preview)
Deeper integration with the Microsoft Graph
Teams has quickly emerged as one of the most rapidly growing extensibility surfaces in Office 365. Increasing its connectivity to the Microsoft Graph is a priority, and at Ignite, we’re adding a group of new Teams resources.
First, we are introducing several new APIs for automating team lifecycles. The Tab Creation APIs allow applications to pin themselves to team channels (complementing the existing API to install applications to teams). The APIs for publishing apps for your organization allow you to manage applications that are unique to your tenant. We are also extending existing APIs to work with application permissions, enabling applications to work with teams, channels, and apps without human intervention. The APIs for automating team lifecycles are available in beta today, and will become generally available (v1.0 endpoint) in November.
Second, we are announcing the public preview of the calls and online meetings APIs that will allow developers to build bots that can interact with and control audio/video calls and online meetings. Voice and video APIs will provide key capabilities our customers have been asking for, such as interactive voice response (IVR), call controls and access to real-time audio and/or video streams for calls and meetings, including desktop and app sharing.
Introducing SharePoint & Teams Integration
Today, we are introducing the preview of a single Office 365 Platform for deploying your hosted application experience into both SharePoint and Teams. This will provide a consistent developer and user experience, regardless of whether your code is hosted in the cloud or within an organization via SharePoint.
Continued investments from our partners
Finally, we are proud to share that many existing and new partners are continuing to make investments in the Teams Platform, with the announcements of new integrations with ServiceNow, Bentley, ADP, Autodesk, Adobe, and more. For developers, we’ve also received great feedback from Atlassian’s announcement, sharing that Jira and Bitbucket now integrate with Teams.
Secure your data and try the new time-saving tools for admins
Work confidently knowing that your sensitive data is protected
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) in Teams will enable you to identify, monitor, and automatically protect sensitive information. With DLP, you can soon create policies directly from the Security and Compliance Center to prevent sensitive information – credit card numbers, social security numbers, or health records – from being shared or leaking unintentionally. Policies will apply to both messages shared in private chat and channel conversations. Files that are shared in channels and private chats will be covered by SharePoint and OneDrive for Business DLP policies. User messages that contain the specified sensitive information will be blocked based on the DLP policy you create with options for the sender to override and send the message and/or report false positives. Stay tuned for more details.
Manage your team membership with dynamic groups
Reduce the administrative overhead of adding and removing users by creating teams from Office 365 groups with a dynamic membership rule. For these groups, membership is managed dynamically based on user’s Azure Active Directory (AAD) attributes. Thus, when a user’s AAD attributes change, they will be added or removed automatically from the team based on the dynamic membership rules defined by the administrator. All Office 365 groups can continue to be managed directly from the Azure Admin portal. Teams will support the creation of teams from Dynamic Groups in the coming months. Learn more about dynamic groups here.
Replicate your best Team’s experience with Templates
Found a team setup that works best for a type of project or workstyle? You soon will be able to easily create new teams based on best practices and lessons learned by leveraging a new REST endpoint as part of the Microsoft Graph API. With Team Templates, you'll be able to pre-define a team's channels, apps, and tabs that can help you easily create consistent teams across your organization. You can also define team settings and auto-favorite channels, allowing your team owners to focus on collaborations rather than spending time setting up the team.
Manage your teams directly from the Admin Center
A list of all teams in your organization is now available directly in the Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business Admin Center. Simply click on “Teams” in the left navigation and select “Manage Teams” to see this list. From here, you can manage membership, add or remove channels, and change settings. Additionally, you can quickly create a new team, customize it, and add members allowing you to better support your users.
New Teams Administrator Role
Are you responsible for administering Teams in your organization? We got new Azure Active Directory roles for you. Users can be assigned the Teams admin roles via the Azure Admin Portal. Simply find the appropriate user profile in the Azure Active Directory and click on “Directory Role” from the left navigation. Next, click “Add Role” and select the Teams admin role you want to assign from the available options. Find details about the available admin roles here.
Supporting Skype for Business Server Customers
While we are very excited about Office 365 and the modern workplace, we continue to support customers who require on-premises deployments. Skype for Business server 2019 will be generally available by end of year and we will continue to support on-premises customers with functionality they need while also making it easier than ever to use cloud features.