IT Admins are looking for ways to easily manage meeting rooms for a reason.
It is estimated that 1.2 trillion dollars will be spend on digital transformation this year. Meanwhile, there are twice as many teams today as there were five years ago, four times as many devices per user, and by 2020 estimates say that 72 percent of work will be done remotely.
This means that online meetings are growing at a rapid pace across every industry. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more in this space. “We look at this as us being partners with every single person in this industry,” says Ron Markezich, Corporate Vice President for Office 365 at Microsoft at the Enterprise Connect 2017 keynote.
That’s why the company released Microsoft Teams, a new chat-based workspace in Office 365. The solution allows teams to see content and chat history anytime in team chat or private chat. Meetings can be scheduled for small groups or full team meetings. Emails and messages can be posted in the thread to keep teams in the loop, and search enables public teams to collaborate on shared projects.
All content, tools, people and conversations are available in the same workspace. There is built-in access to SharePoint, OneNote, and Skype for Business. Documents can be worked on right from the app, and a rich scheduling system as well as one-to-one and group calling ad-hoc means teams can meet whenever, wherever.
Microsoft Teams is also highly customizable. Workspaces can be tailored for quick access to documents, data, and updates from apps your teams use, like Hootsuite, Smartsheet, and more. In addition, you can create different chat channels for the team based on different topics, so all of the information on different aspects of a project are together in one place. Notifications can also be customized so team members are alerted around important activity and information.
Announced at EC 2017, Crestron and Logitech have partnered with Microsoft to offer meeting room solutions with dedicated hardware for Office 365. These devices no support dual-screen environments, with a video gallery on one screen and shared content on the other. Meanwhile, the new Cloud Video Interop service by Polycom allows any legacy videoconferencing system to join a Microsoft Office 365 meeting.
The real highlight of the keynote came with a demo of the IT admin features for Microsoft Teams.
IT admins can easily start a new call queue in minutes. A simple user interface allows admins to customize queues easily. Choose new hold music from files on your computer and they will be uploaded automatically to the cloud and applied. As the system is integrated with Office 365, all groups and users connected to your account are readily available. Simply choose a group or add individuals to the queue by typing in the name and choosing them from a drop down menu. As people join and leave, the queue will be automatically updated across all of Office 365.
The welcoming message can be customized by typing in whatever you like. Voice-to-text will automatically upload these messages as soon as you save them. You can choose what each dial pad number does, and the message that accompanies it the same way.
The call analytics feature allows you to type in a user’s name, click on it, and get advanced statistics on very call that person has been on, including all other users on those calls, how long the call was, and whether or not there was an issue with the call. So when the end user reaches out to the IT team, the team has the answer for them in seconds.
A Microsoft rep went onstage and created a new queue, chose the hold music, group, and customized the messages, in less than three minutes.
Microsoft also offers partner integration with certified partner solutions and custom applications. The example they gave was a hospital application.
A user goes into the app, updates their information, chooses their pharmacy, clicks off their symptoms, and is put in line to see a doctor over videoconference, all from their smartphone. On the doctor’s end, the doctor sees this info, sees who is next in line, and simply clicks on that user to be entered into a videoconferencing session for a consultation.
It is clear Microsoft wants to enable teams, companies, and consumers to easily connect with one another. Microsoft Teams is helping them achieve this goal.