Keeping Up with Microsoft Teams
Teams usage surpasses 115 Million Daily Active Users
Many organizations quickly adopted Microsoft Teams to enable their remote work strategy at the start of the pandemic. With Teams usage up 50% since earlier this year, Microsoft continues to add new features to the platform to improve usability and compete with its rivals Zoom and Google.
We have highlighted a few of the new features below and have provided a link to a more in depth roadmap that showcases the advances coming soon to the Teams Meeting, Meeting Rooms, and Calling experiences.
Are you currently using Microsoft 365 but not leveraging Microsoft Teams for chat or video collaboration? Do you plan to use more video focused solutions to engage your employees or clients?
Contact the VNET team today for a demonstration of Microsoft Teams to maximize your existing Microsoft 365 investment and reimagine your meeting room spaces.
Microsoft Teams – New Features
Notification settings have a new lookCheck out the new notification settings in Teams. The updated organization makes it easier to find the exact notifications you want so you can keep track of the activity you care about. To access, go to your profile picture > Settings > Notifications.
Take a peek at your meetings
View meeting details from your calendar without opening the meeting. All you need to do is hover your cursor over the event in your calendar and a brief summary of details will pop up for you to read.
Speaker name added to Live captions
Live captions are now able to attribute the name of the speaker when generating captions during a meeting. Live captions is currently available in US English only.
New keyboard shortcuts
For improved accessibility in Teams, there are two new shortcuts. To start a new conversation, type Alt+Shift+C on PC and Opt+Shift+C on Mac. To reply to a thread, type Alt+Shift+R on PC and Opt+Shift+R on Mac.
New attendee audio option for meetings
Meeting organizers can now disable attendee mics to prevent them from unmuting during a meeting. In Meeting options, go to Allow attendees to unmute and switch the toggle to Yes.
Top 10 Microsoft Teams tips
1. Share to Outlook from Microsoft Teams
A February update from Microsoft allows users to share either a chat or channel conversation as an email to Outlook—without ever leaving Teams. Within the message or channel, click More Options, select Share to Outlook, choose recipient, customize the email, and send.
2. Assign tags to names
Rather than copy and pasting the same message to each member of a group, Microsoft now allows users to assign team members with specific tags. For example, if the head of a warehouse wants to send a message to all managers, they can simply select the @manager to send the message to those individuals. People can be grouped by common attributes, roles, projects, locations, and more.
3. Create a company wide team
Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can automatically have a single team channel within Microsoft Teams. Global Admins with a team of fewer than 5,000 users can select the ‘Org-wide team’ from the ‘Build a team from scratch’ option within the platform. The group will automatically keep membership up to date through the Active Directory as users join and leave the company.
4. Sync files to your computer from Teams
Teams users worldwide can sync files directly from the platform to their PCs or Mac. Powered by Sharepoint, Microsoft recently released its new file experience that also allows users to see previews of documents across more than 320 file types, view document life-cycles, pin files to the top, and more. Business professionals can now save their most important files directly to their devices from a Teams message or collaboration.
5. Record meetings and group calls in Teams
All Microsoft Teams users can now record their Teams’ meetings and group calls, capturing audio, video, and screen sharing activity, which can be helpful during long presentations or when important information is discussed. Users must have access to Microsoft Stream, however. A recent Microsoft article explains how leaders can ensure their employees have access to Stream.
6. Teams supports 3rd party apps
Users can also use their favorite apps within teams. To find an app, go to Apps on the left hand side and either search an app or browse the app categories. Once the app is located, the user clicks Add. The app can then be added as a tab in channels, group chats, or individual conversations through the Add a tab button.
7. Integrate Slack in Teams
Slack, another popular collaboration platform, announced on Wednesday its beta for the Microsoft Teams Calls app, ZDNet reported. Last week, the Slack CEO said Slack is intending to integrate directly with Microsoft Teams calling, and it seems to be following through. The Microsoft Teams Calls beta can be seen in the Slack App Directory.
8. Unplug without disconnecting
If you need to stay focused, users can now turn down the noise in Teams channels. Go to a conversation, select ‘More options,’ then ‘Turn off notifications/Turn on Notifications,’ and get some work done in peace.
9. Apps can be pinned for easy access
A newer, and perhaps lesser-known, feature is the ability to pin personal apps to the Teams app bar on the left, making them more accessible. Users simply locate the app, right-click on it, and select Pin.
10. Use QBot for Q&A
Designed for educators and students, QBot allows teachers, tutors, or students to answer one another’s questions within the Microsoft Teams collaboration platform, which is especially useful during the coronavirus shelter-in-place orders. Leveraging Azure Cognitive Services, students can ask a question on the channel by @tagging QBot, and QBot will either tag instructors or provide an answer.
Microsoft Teams Webinar – August 26, 2020
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Microsoft Teams Custom Backgrounds
Set a custom background in Microsoft Teams
A recent update to Microsoft Teams now allows you to change your background when on a video call. In addition to the blur background feature, you can now change your background to one of Microsoft’s standard backgrounds or add one of your own custom backgrounds.
Working from Miami’s South Beach or the Swiss Alps has never been so easy!
Here is how to leverage the new custom background feature.
- Start or join a Teams video meeting using the Windows or Mac application. (This feature isn’t available on the web version.)
- Click on the three dots (the advanced features icon)
- Select “Show background effects.”
- Choose from the variety of backgrounds that will appear on the right side of your screen. Click on “Preview” if you want to see what your screen will look like before anybody else does; otherwise, click on “Apply.”
Add your own custom background
If you’re using Windows paste %APPDATA%MicrosoftTeamsBackgroundsUploads into your File Explorer address bar and press Enter.
If you’re using a MacOS use Go To Folder in Finder and paste ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads then press Enter (or Return)
You will be in the specific folder where you will see several image files for Microsoft Teams. To add your own image files, upload a PNG file with the resolution of 1920 x 1080 to the folder and you will be able to see them as custom backgrounds during your next Microsoft Teams call.