Microsoft Ignite Teams Announcements

Microsoft Ignite Teams Announcements to Write Home About 

As promised, Microsoft Ignite brought with it many exciting announcements; none of which were quite as numerous as those for Microsoft Teams (Teams). In its inception, Teams touted its ability to help team members collaborate better, but as it’s matured, its grown into much more. In fact, many are calling it the productivity OS, and the latest feature announcements further confirm that this is where Teams is headed. For a full run-down of all the announcements check out this post from Microsoft. Today we’re going to break down our favorites as they relate directly to helping our clients—and selfishly—our own team collaborate and communicate better.  

Private Channels 


This request, with 25,138 (as of October 2019) votes has been a User Voice request since November 2016. Needless to say, we’ve been waiting with baited breath for this one. Now, love ’em or hate ’em, private channels are here. We’re clearly seeing a near 50/50 split in those who believe these are a great feature and those who feel this is a terrible path to go down. Here at PixelMill, we love them because they do solve some organizational requirements that we see from our clients. That being said, we do suggest turning them off by default (Microsoft has them turned on by default when they go live to your tenant) until you properly plan how your organization will use them, and document and educate your users on the governance surrounding private channels.  


They have been officially announced as going GA. We have seen it on our tenant and one some of our clients have as well. Expect to see a global rollout complete likely by the end of November 2019, or we expect EOY at the latest. 

Multi-window !!!!!!!!! (Pardon me while I do my happy dance over here) 


This is the linchpin to the promise that Teams will become the productivity OS. The primary requirement of any effective OS is the ability to do multiple things at once, side by side without having to switch back and forth. We have all been clamoring for the ability to pop out an activity so we can have chats and meetings running side by side.  


Multi-window will start rolling out early next year.  

Pinning channels 


Microsoft also announced the ability to pin specific channels. Most of us have unique set of channels we work with most often, and if you’re like us, you have multiple teams with many channels. Being able to individually pin the most important channels adds a great layer of personalization and could be a huge time saver.  


Pinning channels should be coming by the end of 2019.  

Teams Client for Linux 


Microsoft announced a Teams client for Linux that supports features like chat, meetings, and calling so those using Linux can also collaborate with those on Teams.  


Teams client for Linux will begin rolling out in preview later this year.  

Tasks and Teams  


This new feature will deliver a unified view of personal tasks from Microsoft To Do, Teams channels, Planner, and Outlook. This full app, available from the left navigation in Teams, will provide smart views set by things like priority, assigned, start, and due-date. While this sounds promising, we also have to consider many organizations (ourselves included) use 3rd party task management tools like Jira, Salesforce, Trello, etc., making this an incomplete task-list for many as it currently stands.  


It will be available early 2020.  

Outlook to Teams 


One of the greatest outcomes of adopting Teams for PixelMill has been our migration from email to Teams. New integrations are coming to Outlook for Teams, including moving an email chain (including attachments) within Outlook to Teams with a simple click “Share to Teams.” You’ll also be able to search your Team’s tenant and dictate where the thread should live in Teams.  


This feature will begin rolling out early 2020.  

Missed Activity Reminders 


Soon when you’ve missed important activity in Teams, you’ll receive missed activity emails in Outlook. You’ll also be able to respond to the missed activity within the Outlook email. While we see great value in the reminder emails, especially during a transitional period like the adoption of Teams, not forcing the user back to Teams to respond feels like a crutch. By forcing the user back into the app to handle the missed activity it helps establish a habit. Users could become dependent on this and establish poor habits that lead to more missed activity and responding to stale content. This ultimately feels like a crutch to fully embracing Teams.  


Early 2020. 



Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely seen this hashtag hit your feed. New Yammer integrations for Teams will make your Yammer activity accessible directly within Teams. Yammer offers the one-to-many, community-driven content that is difficult to foster in Teams. This integration again confirms that Teams is rapidly becoming the productivity OS. By bringing Yammer into Teams now we can collaborate in small groups, while feeling connected to the entire organization through Yammer.  


It will begin rolling out early 2020. 



Everyone learns, works, and collaborates differently and the white board now GA allows you to write, draw, and chart like you would in a conference room all from the Teams app no matter where you are.  


Now! Check it out in the Teams share tray.  

Live Captions 


Live captioning is huge for inclusiveness and accessibility. Bonus use-cases: maybe you’re in a loud spot and don’t want to blast your headphones or you’re cursed with misophonia like me and someone decides to start eating a banana during a call, you can mute and follow along via live-caption.  


The US English Preview will launch later this year with the goal of expanding to other languages in the future.  

Industry-Specific Solutions 

Microsoft Teams is also providing industry-specific solutions such as healthcare. I’m sure we’ll continue to see more verticals.   

Power Platform Integrations 


More power is coming for the power platform including integration directly within Teams. Soon you’ll be able to publish Power Apps as a Team app. You’ll also be able to also pin an app created in Power Apps in the left navigation in Teams, and you’ll be able to do this on a per-user basis. We’ll also see expanded Teams actions and triggers in Power Automate as well as interactive cards from Power BI.  


This will start rolling out later this year. 

What were you most excited about? Is your Teams must-have feature still missing? Let your voice be heard in user voice!  

Ready to start utilizing Teams to take your collaboration to the next level? A PixelMill Teams expert would love to chat with you today.

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