Webinar Description:

Jeffery Lauria, iCorps' VP of Technologies, hosts a webinar highlighting some of the new features and functionality of the Microsoft Teams platform.

Webinar Transcript

Good morning and thank you for joining us today. This is the first of a three-part series and today we’re going to go over what’s new in Microsoft Teams: a six-month review. A few house keeping rules - this video is live, so if you want to ask questions, please use the chat box on the right-hand side. If you are having any difficulties with that please send an email to Adam who is our producer and he will be happy to assist you.  

Starting off, some of the most common questions I get are "Zoom or Teams? Which solution is best for me and what one is more secure?" Zoom is a great product. It has grown over 130% over the last few years. There are some security issues, but Zoom has its place. It is a social tool. We use it when we want to get together socially. Zoom is a good platform when used correctly. Teams however, is not Zoom. It has a Zoom function, but in reality, it does so much more. It includes collaboration, security, broadcasting and a lot of other features. It’s designed for business use and collaboration, whereas Zoom is used socially. So to answer those questions - Teams does a lot more, and has the Zoom function as well. Leveraging Teams as one tool makes the most sense. 

Let’s talk about some of the changes that have happened over the past two quarters. You should be aware that there are private channels and shared channels. One of the great things that have happened is that in private channels you can now invite external participants into the channel. This enhances security and protects that channel from everyone else. You can also grant temporary access to files. On standard channels, you now have video calling from right within the Chrome platform. With Teams you can pin channels so they appear at the top of your list. You can also pin video streams during meetings so they are always shown no matter who is talking. What was also added in Teams is the ability to use a whiteboard. This feature allows anyone in the meeting to view and edit on a blank space during meetings. This is also great for collaboration.  

Some additional changes are that now you have the ability to share your screen and pass over the remote controls to other members. Hyperlinks and mentions are now available for use in the chat. You can also set your message priority to important or urgent. There are also additional ways to format text. You can now have an increased chat history. For some organizations you may be able to find it in your Outlook mailbox as well. Now your office files can be opened directly in the Teams application. You can also mute meeting chats until you send a message or join a meeting. You also have the ability to change who the presenter is. Attendee roles can be set by the meeting organizer. Linux support is added. Teams sits across all platforms; IOS, Mac, Android, and now Linux, so you’ll get the same overall experience.  

Here are some additional changes that came this year in the first quarter that are extremely useful. Now, internal and external users have display names rather than email addresses, which is what it was previously. You now have the ability to have Teams through server 2012R2. Read receipts are now available on sent messages, so you can see if the message you sent to a user has been read or not. There will be an eyeball icon that will let you know if it’s been read or not. Apps can be pinned on the side bar of Teams. Another feature is that you can edit announcements. You can add and remove channels where the announcement was posted and you can also edit the text itself. You can also create tags and use them for @mentions.

In the calendar in Teams you now have the ability to right click for RSVP options. There is also a lot of offline functionality such as reading and creating messages even if there is no internet activity. The host of a meeting can end the meeting for all. There are now announcements for when people join and leave the meeting, and you can turn those on or off. You can also allow dial-in callers to bypass the meeting lobby. You can also use a background now, which wasn’t an option before. There is also now a 9 person view. I’ll give you a sneak peak. Teams is rapidly making a lot of changes, and one of those things is to have more people on a screen. Keep in mind that if you are on mobile, since the screen is smaller, you may not get a 9 person view.  

With that being said, here are some new mobile features. The first is that we now have the ability to protect data with sensitive labels. We have advanced our calling plans. When you join a meeting, you are automatically muted. One additional feature is echo reduction, which means that Teams will automatically mute your phone mic if you are in a room that is already in a meeting. You can also choose roles for meeting participants and make group tags that can be managed on mobile devices. One of the things that is great is that there is now the option to have live captions for video calls on mobile. What is also interesting is that I can have the transcripts transcribed into 6 different languages. You can also view content shared in meetings and opt out of views. Another great feature is that you can now blur your background on mobile.  

We have lots of features, but I’m going to talk about the three that I think are the most important. The first is live events. These are included in the Teams subscription and can hold up to 10,000-20,000 attendees. This does the same thing as Zoom and WebX. You can also have up to 16 hours for events. You are allowed to have up to 60 concurrent live events. The next one I’m going to talk about is the background update. Through this you can brand your organization and also limit what others see. The last feature is tags that I will go into more detail about later on.  

Setting up a live event is pretty easy. As you schedule a meeting, you’ll see the tab that says live events. From that screen you’ll have to fill out some information about what the event is, such as the title that will be shown to everyone who enters the event. You’ll also have to fill out your location, start time and end time. You can also put in any notes. This screen is only for the producers. The next screen gives you the option for what kind of presentation you’ll be doing. This is currently on preview mode. The options include record all events. After the recording is finished you can send it to everyone on the call or post it somewhere where everyone can see it. You can also have an attendee list.

You can create a calendar in Outlook and in Teams. Don’t forward the calendar invite, but rather the link at the top. Once we start the meeting, this screen will show up. You’ll see that on the right hand side, there is the question and answer bar. All questions are only seen by the presenters and directors. Until you publish them, the attendees won’t see it. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see who is presenting and the content that they're presenting. The two screens are for your content. The left hand screen will be what the audience sees, and then the other screen is additional content that you can share with the audience if you choose. If you would like some training on how to do this, talk to your consulting team and they can get you started. When the meeting has ended, hit end screen. It will let you download the attendee report and the recording itself. That’s really it. That’s how you do a live video. 

Next, we’re talking about the importance of live backgrounds. We have all seen the person who is on a virtual meeting and they have a busy background and sometimes people walk by. Now, Teams has introduced your own customized background. You have the ability to brand your customization, for example you can see that my background says iCorps and has some designs on it. After this meeting I will send you the directions for how to update these. On a PC you can go to roaming/Microsoft/Teams/backgrounds/upload. For Mac users go to Library/Applications Support/ Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds. Some other good practices to follow are to keep the file under 1MB JPG. Use darker colors as light colors may affect the computers performance.  

The last piece here is using tags to chat with a group of people. To create a tag go into the Teams site itself, right click and select more options and then go to manage tabs. Name the tag and add members. It should be noted that members need to be part of the team already. You could type into the drop down box and click on the tag that you made, so you will be able to chat with them in a group.  

A couple of questions here. First, "Are you able to generate an automated dial in for attended?" Yes you can. You can dial into one of these meetings vs. seeing visuals. "Can you find images online for photo backgrounds?" You absolutely can! I downloaded fun ones from online.  

Now, I want to thank you all for coming today. If you want more information on any topics please check out our blogs or reach out to your IT consultants. Also, if I didn’t get to your question today, I will follow up with you in an email to make sure those are answered. Thank you all and have a great rest of your day.