The Australian Government Department of Health treats the COVID-19 outbreak as a health emergency, forcing many non-essential businesses to close sending their people home to work remotely. This crisis has caused a major disruption to many businesses and, in some cases causing them to close permanently.
Those that were able to continue some semblance of business continuity have had to rely on technology to keep their businesses afloat. This is a trend that will continue as travel restrictions across state borders and internationally are still in place. Microsoft has stepped up to the plate where it comes to supporting businesses of all sizes with new features in Microsoft Teams making this technology even more attractive to Australian Corporations.
As businesses across the country prioritized remote work for the safety and well-being of their employees, Microsoft Teams played a critical role in helping them stay connected through video meetings, calls, and chats.
At the beginning of April, Teams had already seen a 200% increase in meeting-minutes per day when compared to March 16, representing a staggering total of 2.7 billion meeting-minutes per day. Microsoft needed to listen to the current needs of their customers, resulting in the introduction of several new features.
People were demanding to include more people on-screen during a video meeting. Teams will now increase the number of participants that can be viewed on-screen during a meeting from 4 to 9. The new feature should be available to almost everyone, and Microsoft has confirmed that the limit will be increased even further in the future.
This new experience optimizes for attendees who have enabled video and places the remaining audio-only participants below the meeting stage. To provide a high audio and video quality experience, the layout will adapt, based on the user bandwidth, and alter the number of videos shown to ensure a great meeting experience.
The new “raise hands” feature in Teams allows meeting attendees to identify that they wish to speak, making it easier to participate in large meetings actively. Everyone will see a visual cue on the attendee—as well as in the participant list that prioritizes who raised their hand first, giving them the room to participate in the conversation at hand.
Another interesting new feature Microsoft has released is the Multi-Window Chat. This new feature will allow the user to open chats in windows rather than tabs. Although it was expected to be fully enabled by the end of May, the Multi-Window option will be available for meetings and calls in June.
The new background effects keep the focus on you, not what’s behind you! Microsoft is building upon the heavily popular video background blur feature in Teams meetings with background effects.
This new feature allows meetings attendees to customize their video background from a list of pre-selected images. Microsoft has indicated they will continue to iterate and enhance this feature to include the ability for users to upload their own custom images.
Group chat has now been increased to 250 participants, and Teams now obscure your telephone number from any participants outside your organization, keeping your details secure.
To keep abreast of the latest innovations in Microsoft Teams, the experts at Steadfast Solutions are well-versed in all things Microsoft. We are a committed IT services provider that allows you to focus on what you do best: run your business.