Microsoft is rolling out several new features with Microsoft 365, including a walkie-talkie function in Teams.
According to a Thursday blog post, the company said the push-to-talk feature enables clear, instant and secure voice communication over the cloud. This turns any smartphone or tablet into a walkie-talkie.
The function is built natively into Teams and can help reduce the amount of devices employees must carry in addition to lowering costs for the IT department.
The feature also eliminates the possibility that someone could be listening on the same frequency or crosstalk, and also allows for a nearly unlimited range.
The walkie talkie will be available in private preview in Teams for the first half of 2020, Microsoft said.
The feature is one of eight new things available in Teams and Microsoft 365 the company announced Thursday.
Here are some other new Teams features:
- Tasks in Teams – With a new feature called Tasks in Teams, customers can drive consistent execution of store operations at scale across a company’s locations. Corporate and local leaders can send task lists to every location and track their progress through automatic real-time reports. Managers will have access to tools to easily direct activities within their stores, and Firstline Workers have a simple prioritized list available through their personal or company-owned device. Tasks targeting, publishing and reporting is coming to the app in the first half of 2020, Microsoft said.
- Workforce management integrations – This new feature gives customers who use third-party workforce management systems for scheduling and attendance (Kronos, JDA, etc) can now integrate directly with Shifts vai Shifts Graph APIs and SDK. This can be used for things like management of shifts, schedules, swap requests, time off requests and open shift requests. The JDA connector for Shifts is open sourced and available on GitHub. A Kronos connector will also be available later this quarter.
- SMS sign-in – This new feature gives firstline workers the ability to sign into their Azure Active Director account using one-time SMS codes to reduce the need to remember usernames and passwords for all 365 applications. Once enrolled, a user can enter their phone number and receive an SMS text with a one-time password. This enables workers to seamlessly access their work-related apps and reduce the burden on the IT department.
- Shared device sign-out – For workers who share devices between shifts, this new feature can sign out an individual from all of their Microsoft 365 apps with one click at the end of their shift.
- Off-shift access control for Teams – IT administrators can use this feature to limit employee access to the Teams app on their personal device after work. This rollout will begin this quarter.
- Delegated user management – Via a single customized portal enabled by IT departments, managers can approve password resets and allow employees to use their phone numbers for SMS sign-in. Managers can also have access to the My Staff portal to unblock staff issues to keep employees connected to necessary apps and reduce the burden on IT.
- Inbound provisioning from SAP SuccessFactors to Azure AD – Azure AD’s user provisioning service now integrates with SAP SuccessFactors, which can make it easier to onboard and manage employees’ identities at scale across applications using Azure AD. The feature, currently in public preview, helps IT to scale employee onboarding and productivity.