2020 was a crazy year for everyone, which is probably a huge understatement to say the very least. Normally around this time of year, people are going to start looking back on the last year and talking about all of the cool things that have been rolled out. We are going to go a different direction because while lots of amazing things have happened with Microsoft 365 in the last year, I kind of want to forget about it. Instead, let’s look forward, and see what cool features are on the roadmap for Teams in 2021.
1. Queuing Messages When Offline
There is nothing worse than not sending a message due to your internet going out, or even being in a remote location, and just forgetting to send it when you get back into connection range.
Teams is out to solve this issue with Queuing messages. When you are not connected to a network, and you try to send a message, Teams will hold it until you re-establish a connection. If you do not get back to a network in 24 hours (but let’s face it, chances of that are very unlikely), it will fail, and advise the user of the failure.
Here is the timeline for queuing messages.
2. New Search Experience
While a very small piece, as the search feature right now is great, and makes life so much easier. I can only imagine how the search feature is going to improve, but Microsoft is looking to make it even faster, and more efficient. They are going to redesign the page to allow for better context and faster results.
Here is what they are planning.
3. Meeting Attendee Registration
Need to manage your attendance before or after an engagement? You will soon be able to add a custom attendee registration, where as soon as registration is complete, they will get a calendar invite. This will free up the time of having to invite everyone individually.
What we know about Attendee Registration
4. Custom Layouts for Meetings
Your meeting layout ever not quite line up with what you want? Maybe you want to be able to move your video, or even your content box somewhere else while presenting? This is coming up in the Microsoft workings.
They want you to be able to have a more lifelike feel to your meetings, including being able to point, use facial queues, while not forcing the viewers to choose between content and the speaker. Note that the presenter would be in control of the presentation, not the attendees.
See what they are planning with custom layouts
5. Large meeting support
Another thing that may not hit many people's radar, but I think is cool is the ability to have meetings with 1000 people. Not many organizations can handle this many people in a singular meeting but could be amazing with the introduction of Breakout Rooms, and larger groups breaking off to work on projects.
Could you imagine having a large conference, where you register using a SharePoint custom registration page, get to hear someone amazing speakers, then break using breakout rooms for private sessions and networking… All from the comfort of your own home.
6. Live Transcription
This will provide another way to follow along with who is speaking, and what is being said. The best part being that after your meeting is complete, the transcript file will automatically be saved in the chat. That will get away from having to watch through an entire meeting to catch that one part that you missed.
7. Approval in Teams
Approval is an amazing flow that comes out of the box with Power Platform, and now they are making it even easier. You will never have to leave Teams to create, manage, share, and approve or deny any documentation that requires it.
8. Tagging by Shifts
We are going to start with a really small piece that will probably not affect most of our clients but may be great for a few of them. With my previous experience working with shifts, there is nothing more frustrating than trying to figure out who is on what shift to send out an email, or a message, to tell them about what is going on during their shift.
Microsoft has come out with a great solution! Tagging people by shift, so you can easily send out a message to everyone with that tag. This will save a ton of time for the people that will no longer have to hunt down names if you do not have a Team created for your shift.
Note: You are required to use Shifts in your Microsoft Teams to leverage this feature.
Check out when that should be coming in here.
An Exciting New Year for Teams
This is just a few, of what I consider highlights, of a massive number of updates, large and small, that Microsoft has planned for Teams in the upcoming year. We are incredibly excited to see these features roll out, and begin using them, and working with our clients to ensure that they are getting the most they can out of their Teams experience.