Teams for Intelligent Communications and Collaboration

Over the last year, Teams has evolved to become the ultimate hub for teamwork. Built on the strength and scale of Office 365 with over 120 million users, Teams delivers chat-based collaboration, meetings, calling, and soon, full enterprise voice features. All of this is underpinned by the Microsoft Graph, allowing for rich AI capabilities. As part of Office 365, Teams uniquely delivers these capabilities at scale, with enterprise-grade security and compliance standards to meet the needs of a global business.

To advance the vision for Intelligent Communications, Microsoft is announcing new Teams features coming later this year, including:

  • Cloud recording—Will provide one-click meeting recordings with automatic transcription and timecoding, enabling all team members the ability to read captions, search within the conversation, and playback all or part of the meeting. In the future, it will also include facial recognition, so remarks can be attributed to specific meeting attendees.
  • Inline message translation—People who speak different languages will be able to fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat.
  • Cortana voice interactions for Teams-enabled devices—Will enable you to easily make a call, join a meeting, or add other people to a meeting in Teams using spoken, natural language. This functionality will extend to IP phones and conference room devices.
  • Background blur on video—The ability to blur your background during video calls will allow other meeting attendees to focus on you, not what’s behind you.
  • Proximity detection for Teams Meetings—This feature will make it easy for you to discover and add a nearby and available Skype Room System to any meeting.
  • Mobile sharing in meetings—Meeting attendees will be able to share a live video stream, photos, or the screen from their mobile device.

These new capabilities build on the breadth of new features that have come to Teams in the last year, including guest access, new ways to interact with apps, and new meeting and calling capabilities.

This week Microsoft annouced new enterprise-grade calling features in Teams, including consultative transfer and call delegation and federation. In addition, they introduced Direct Routing, which will enable customers to use their existing telephony infrastructure with Teams for calling. When you combine a Microsoft Calling Plan or Direct Routing with our Phone System for Office 365, Teams becomes a full voice service. These new capabilities are expected to be available in the second quarter of 2018.

Intelligent Communications for your devices

Hardware plays a critical part in delivering consistent, high-quality video and voice experiences. Microsoft annouced that Teams is now enabled for a full spectrum of calling and meeting room devices, including:

  • Microsoft collaboration devices—Microsoft Surface Hub is a powerful all-in-one large-screen team collaboration device. Microsoft Teams will be natively supported on Surface Hub, enhancing the capabilities of Teams in huddle spaces and meeting rooms equipped with Surface Hub.
  • Meeting room systems—Lenovo and HP join existing partners Logitech, Crestron, and Polycom to transform the conference room experience with rich audio, HD video, center-of-room control, and one-touch join. All Skype Room Systems will support Teams meetings.
  • Connections to existing equipment—Teams will certify new solutions from BlueJeans, Pexip, and Polycom to support interoperability for meetings in Teams with existing hardware investments.
  • Desk and conference phones—New desk phones from AudioCodes and Yealink—and new conference room phones from Crestron, Polycom, and Yealink—run a native Teams application for consistent and streamlined calling experiences.
  • Mobile phone stations—New mobile phone stations from Plantronics combine the Teams experience with desk phone capabilities for the mobile user.

To learn more about the portfolio of Teams-powered devices and the roadmap dates, visit the Microsoft Tech Community blog.

Growing ecosystem of Teams apps

No ecosystem would be complete without the apps that make it thrive. Microsoft recently released a new store in Teams featuring a wide array of tools and services from their partners. Some of the most popular apps among Teams customers include Adobe Creative Cloud, Hootsuite, InVision, Polly, SurveyMonkey, Trello, Wrike, Zoom.ai, and many others.