Microsoft Teams wins award, and fantastic new features announced

Ross MacKenzie
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Microsoft 365’s team app Teams was earlier this week, on 19 March 2019, awarded Best in Show at Enterprise Connect in Orlando Florida.

This is the second year in a row that Teams has won the award - presented by the US’s leading enterprise communications and collaboration conference - and a great way to mark Microsoft Teams’ second birthday.

Lori Wright, General Manager of Microsoft 365, comments that the award is in recognition of "Teams’ vision for making communication and collaboration easier for the entire workforce, including those on the frontline."

Emma Jobling, Head of the Cobweb Team, adds, "If you don’t know what Office 365’s team hub is all about, Lori Wright’s words summarises perfectly -

'Microsoft Teams is improving workplace collaboration by helping organizations move from an array of disparate apps to a single, secure hub that brings together what teams need, including chat, meetings, and calling, all with native integration to the Office 365 apps. Users can customize and extend their experience with third-party apps, processes, and devices, giving them the tools they need to get work done.’

"At Cobweb we’re increasingly seeing Teams as a major incentive for businesses moving to Office 365. That there are now more than 500,000 organisations using Teams worldwide, says it all - and these are organisations of all size. Ninety-one of the Fortune 100 companies do so - while we have businesses across our customer SMB base doing so.

"And, Microsoft is continually adding new capabilities, to bring even greater benefits - such as the eight new features outlined below."

Generally available

1) Data Loss Prevention (DLP) in chats and conversations (for Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans with Office 365 Advanced Compliance) - created to prevent sensitive information from unintentional sharing/leaking, through detection, protection and screening.  

2) Live events in Microsoft 365 - for the creation of live and on-demand events for up to 10,000 attendees, the capability utilises video and interactive discussion via Teams, Stream, or Yammer.

In public preview

3) Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams meetings - a digital canvas to enable meeting attendees to work together within Teams in person or remotely, with the ability to add in content taken from a physical whiteboard.

English preview coming soon

4) Live captions & subtitles - the real-time speaker caption feature has been developed to improve the experience of those with hearing impairment, and address issues such as those arising from multi-language scenarios and noisy meeting backgrounds.

Coming later this year

5) Customized backgrounds - in a development of Microsoft’s intelligent background blur technology, participants will be able to choose a background setting for meeting and video calls, such as a company logo or an office location.

6) Content cameras and Intelligent Capture - an additional camera will soon be available for capturing content, from, for example, information on analog whiteboards, while Intelligent Capture will capture, focus, resize, and enhance whiteboard images and text to allow remote attendees to see idea-sharing in real-time - even when the view would have been blocked …

teams-update-and-award

7) Secure private channels - one of the priority customer-requests, enabling the management of which team members can see which conversations and files.

Coming 'soon'

8) Information barriers - enabling businesses to restrict communication and collaboration between specified team members. 

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