Microsoft Teams – November’s Update Cycle

by | Nov 16, 2018

If you’re reading this blog, then the likelihood is that you’re familiar with Microsoft Teams and have a good understanding of the benefits it can bring to your organisation.

However, for those who have heard the name but have little experience using it, Teams enhances business productivity by combining workplace chat, meetings, notes and attachments, integrating with the company’s Office 365 subscription to allow seamless communication between a group of individuals.

Like Power BI, Microsoft Teams also benefits from a monthly update cycle, designed to improve the user experience by implementing changes in direct response to customer feedback.

For those companies that require teams for groups or departments where membership changes frequently, this month, Microsoft has added the ability to create teams backed by Office 365 groups with a dynamic membership rule.

Another November update allows users to see who is calling them when they have a Teams number saved in their contacts – no more second-guessing who’s on the other end of an incoming call!

New and exciting third-party apps

Each month, Microsoft Teams adds a number of new and improved apps to its service, allowing users to customise their teams, while enhancing collaboration in general.

November’s new apps include, Confluence Cloud Messaging Solution, which allows dev teams to get the information they need by searching through the Confluence instance.

Another app released this month is Polly App, offering users more options to customise their instant polls with additional questions types, while allowing users to add comments to a poll for more in-depth and detailed results.

Other featured apps include Meekan, an AI assistant designed to simplify everyday tasks, and Jira Cloud App, to support Jira Service Desk projects.

Teams based on dynamic group membership

Microsoft has now made it much easier to manage team membership for groups or departments where membership changes frequently.

Using a dynamic membership rule for which membership is managed dynamically based on user or device properties in Azure Active Directory, users or devices can be added to a group when they satisfy the rule and removed when they no longer meet the outlined requirement.

This can be helpful in certain scenarios, for example a hospital that needs to create different teams for nurses and doctors that automatically reflect current staffing.

To create a team with a dynamic membership rule, the tenant admin must first create an Office 365 group with a dynamic membership rule in Azure Active Directory, before converting the group to a team via the Teams client.

Org-wide teams

Another key update for November is the introduction of org-wide teams, providing an automatic way for everyone in an organisation with no more than 1,000 users to be part of a single team for collaboration.

Global administrators can now easily create a public team that adds users from their business and automatically keeps the membership up to date with Active Directory as users join and leave the organisation.

This update will further enhance business collaboration, allowing employees to share important information throughout all levels of the organisation.

Calling via Microsoft Teams and scheduling meetings

Another proposed update will allow users to see the caller names for Teams phone numbers saved in their device contacts – this requires a Phone System license and permission to access device contacts.

Users can now also schedule Teams meetings from their mobile device, inviting people who are part of the organisation via the Microsoft Teams app for iOS and Android. This will allow users to arrange meetings while they are on the move, improving the efficiency of ongoing business operations.

A commitment to collaboration…

Microsoft’s monthly update cycles demonstrate a company commitment to improving user experiences by implementing changes that address the concerns and suggestions raised by consumers. Rather than adding new features for the sake of it, every update is delivered with the user in mind, enhancing efficiency throughout the entire organisation.

This commitment to quality should encourage businesses to take the plunge, safe in the knowledge that their concerns and feedback will be taken on board, with steps taken to improve the app moving forward.

If you’re looking to enhance collaboration within your business, then contact our team of technology experts and receive the advice and guidance you require.