Microsoft is releasing the general availability of Microsoft Teams Premium, a new advanced offering of Teams that will feature advanced meeting controls and more intelligent technologies, including integrations with large language models powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.
According to Microsoft–which is reportedly making a $10 billion investment in OpenAI, the creators of conversational chatbot ChatGPT–the technology is being integrated into Teams Premium to make meetings more intelligent, personalized and protected.
Microsoft first began in fall 2022 making Teams Premium available as a preview in a limited trial for commercial customers, giving some access to advanced features such as intelligent recap, live translations, meeting guides, advanced meeting security, virtual appointments and more.
At $10 per user per month–or $7 per month for a limited time–organizations can get access to features designed to increase productivity and help consolidate their software investments to reduce costs, helping them eliminate some add-on products for webinars and meeting intelligence. Organizations and users can try it free for 30 days or buy Teams Premium for just $7 per user per month before July 1. Users must have existing Microsoft 365 or Office 365 licenses to be eligible for the Teams Premium add-on, Microsoft says.
Here’s a look at the advanced features of Microsoft Teams Premium:
Intelligent recap and GPT-3.5
According to Microsoft, the company is “infusing AI throughout the meeting experience,” such as intelligent recap, a new intelligent feature that automatically generates meeting notes, recommended tasks and personalized highlights to help users get the most important information out of meetings.
Within intelligent recap are new AI-generated chapters that help divide the meting into sections so users can more easily find content. The feature is available today for PowerPoint Live meeting recordings, and it will automatically generate meeting chapters based on the meeting transcript.
In the coming months, Microsoft will improve intelligent recap with AI-generated notes that will be automatically created and powered by GPT-3.5, an OpenAI language model from which ChatGPT is trained.
Also coming to Teams Premium are personalized timeline markers to help users identify particular points in a meeting they want to revisit. This feature will expand to include when a user’s name was mentioned and when a screen was shared. Speaker timeline markets is another intelligent feature that will show users who spoke and when they spoke during the meeting.
Intelligent recap capabilities will be available in the second quarter, while AI-generated chapters for PowerPoint Live and personalized timeline markers for meetings are available today.
Live translations in Teams Premium is an AI-powered real-time translation feature that can process 40 spoken languages. This allows meeting participants to read captions in their own language. Only the meeting organizer needs to have Teams Premium for all meeting attendees to see live translations.
Personalization and branding features
For organizations that want to customize their meetings for client calls or create an engaging environment for internal meetings, Teams Premium includes several features designed to add a level of professionalism, such as a new branded meetings feature that allows users to display their organization’s logo and colors when they join the meeting.
Other personalization features include brand-approved organization backgrounds and organization together mode scenes. Organization backgrounds and together mode scenes are available now, while branded meetings will be available later this month.
IT admins can also create customized meeting templates to automatically include the correct settings to help make meetings easier to set up. Templates can include client calls, brainstorming meetings or helpdesk calls, helping organizations ensure that meetings adhere to company policies and practices.
Another feature designed to ensure compliance and productivity are custom user policy packages designed to help IT create customized bundles of policies for users with similar roles in the organization. This helps different departments set different policies depending on their needs and compliance requirements.
Microsoft is included several advanced meeting security features in Teams Premium designed to help keep confidential business meetings secure without impacting productivity, such as watermarking to deter leaks and limiting who can record the meeting.
Teams Premium will also feature the option for end-to-end encryption for particularly sensitive meetings. However, data exchanged during Teams calls is always secured using industry-standard encryption in transit and at rest, Microsoft says.
For additional protection, organizations with Microsoft 365 E5 licenses can enable Microsoft Purview Information Protection sensitivity labels for Teams meetings. This allows meeting organizers to automatically apply the most relevant and important meeting options based on the sensitivity of meeting content. This integration can be configured in the Microsoft Purview compliance portal.
Teams Premium will also include a new virtual appointments feature that allows external attendees to join vritual, branded lobby rooms through text message or email on any device browser. THe feature includes advanced capabilities such as appointment queuing and analytics on metrics such as wait times and no-show rates.
The feature is designed with healthcare or sales settings in mind, the company says.
Microsoft’s new advanced version of Teams also includes webinars to limit the need to work across different platforms when hosting a webinar. The new features allows presents to join a virtual green room, and attendees can engage with presenters and one another through chat and Q&A.
Webinar presenters will have control over what attendees see to create a more professionally produced event, and organizations can manually approve registration waitlists and customize other aspects of the webinar.
Presenters can also use an external encoder and enable TRMP-in to livestream a custom RTMP source.
These webinar features are available now, while an automated email reminder feature will be available in March.
Microsoft is also including the Microsoft Enterprise Content Deliver Network (eCDN) in Teams Premium to allow organizations to livestream global meetings all-hands gatherings, town halls and distribute company-wide trainings using Teams Live Events. This feature is designed to help reduce the load on the corporate network and prevent poor connectivity and event quality.
Features moving to Teams Premium only
With the general release of Teams Premium, some Teams features will move from Teams licenses to Teams Premium licenses, so organizations currently using those features will have to upgrade to Teams Premium. According to Microsoft, those features moving to Teams Premium include:
- Live translated captions.
- Timeline markers in Teams meeting recordings for when a user left or joined meetings.
- Custom organization Together mode scenes.
- Virtual Appointments: SMS notifications.
- Virtual Appointments: Organizational analytics in the Teams admin center.
- Virtual Appointments: Scheduled queue view.
There will be a 30-day grace period for admins to purchase Teams Premium before users lose those features.
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