With Ignite being wrapped up late last week, there have been some amazing announcements surrounding the vision they are having for 2021. There was quite a bit of discussion surrounding Viva, Hybrid work environments, and the future of meetings. I strongly suggest watching the VODs, which can be found on the Microsoft Ignite YouTube page. They always have quite a bit of information that is coming.
Today, we are going to focus on Microsoft Teams, and the things that will be coming down the pipeline that I think can help you be more efficient, communicate better, and save yourself some effort.
Microsoft is continuing to make your hybrid work environment feel easier, and just like the attendees were right there beside you. Here are a few things that they are bringing forward to make your meetings, webinars, and structured presentations much more personable, and easily accessible.
Dynamic view will arrange cameras, screen shares, and people in the most optimal way for you to be able to view everyone. As people start to join, present, speak, and simply be a part of your meeting, Teams will automatically adjust your layout.
This is a feature that will be rolling out soon, helping you stay connected to everyone, and make sure that while you are in the meeting, you can connect to everyone that has joined.
Presenter mode is going to be a game-changer for when you are presenting and ensuring that you are drawing attention to yourself. You are going to get three different ways to present your material.
First will be Standout, which will show your video feed in front of the shared content. This may affect the information that you are presenting, so do be alert of anything that may be behind you.
The next one will be Reporter. This will place the information above your shoulder as if you were a reporter in a news story.
The final presentation method will be Side by Side, where you will have a tile beside you with the presentation material.
Improved Attendee Registration and Email Confirmations
Microsoft is out to make structured presentations as easy as Teams meetings to get up and running. There are ways that you can host structured presentations now, but there is no direct integration with Teams.
Soon you will be able to simply add a custom registration page to your structured presentation to manage your engagement more easily. Once people have signed up on your registration page, they will receive an email confirmation to create an easy joining experience.
This is going to create a chance to host presentations with simply clicking a few buttons in your calendar. It opens up the opportunity for internal, sign up based learning. You can create an event, such as a lunch and learn, and people will be able to sign up internally to attend if their schedule is open.
After the completion of your presentation, you will receive a post-meeting report that will help you understand participation. Teams will have a standard report that you will be able to download and review, or if you are aiming to get some different information, you can use the data to produce your own custom reports.
This is going to help everyone to see if you are heading in the correct direction with your presentations and see if people are attending and if they are staying for the entire duration. This will also be able to drill down to understanding the audience, and even if your presenter is engaging enough to keep people around.
Chat and Collaboration
The game is constantly changing in the chat and collaboration section of Teams. Microsoft is always looking at ways to make chatting and collaborating easier. This Ignite, they came out with a few large announcements in the area of chat and collaboration.
Teams Connect is going to make it easier than ever to chat, collaborate, and share with people outside of your organization. Connect is going to allow you to invite external people into a shared channel, that is going to be viewed alongside your internal teams and channels.
This means that you will be able to invite someone from another organization into a team and be able to discuss and collaborate with them as you would in any of your internal teams. This is going to save you headaches, as you will not have to switch your tenant in Teams as you currently do, which takes time and causes disruptions in your day.
This will be rolling out later this year, so make sure that you are keeping an eye out.
Approvals App Update
The Approvals app is something that is still pretty new with Microsoft Teams, and they are always looking at ways to improve the experience. Starting in April, you are going to have out-of-the-box and customizable templates for common approvals, meaning that it will be more streamlined for your users.
Also later this month, you are going to be able to attach files from OneDrive and SharePoint, whereas currently, you are only able to upload from your computer. This is going to make it quite a bit easier to share the information required for approvals.
Exciting News for Microsoft Teams
Ignite is always a very exciting time! We always get very excited to see what the new announcements that Microsoft is going to roll out. This year just got us even more amped up to see what Microsoft is going to bring in the future for hybrid work environments.
Don’t forget that if you want to keep up to date with anything I spoke about above, or anything Microsoft-related, they have their roadmap, that is always being updated.