Microsoft Just Gave us More Incentive to Zoom Over to Teams Meetings

Microsoft Just Gave us More Incentive to Zoom Over to Teams Meetings

The market is saturated with virtual meeting tools, and when the pandemic hit, many organizations flocked to software like Zoom, Webex, and GotoMeeting. Some of you that have Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams at the core of your digital workspace continue to use third-party virtual meeting solutions for many reasons. While we likely have an argument against most of your excuses, Microsoft just announced a few new features to Teams that we believe make using a third-party tool downright delusional.  

Using Teams for Meetings is Essential for Search

One of the most important features of any digital workspace is search. We waste so much of our valuable time trying to find things. I don’t know about you, but I find myself trying to recall who said what in which meeting or chat quite often. Soon you’ll be able to use Microsoft Search to find a specific meeting recording based on what was said.  

Why does this matter? We all know a lot can get lost in a recording, and if you’re using a third-party tool like Zoom for your meetings, you’re losing out on the integration capabilities of allowing your users to search where they are working. With Microsoft Teams, you can record and transcribe your meetings, and soon you’ll be able to search no matter where you are in the Microsoft ecosystem for words, phrases, or quotes from those meetings. 

This is currently on the roadmap and could hit as soon as July 2021.

New room features and fluid components promise an even better meeting experience

And that’s not all; last week, Microsoft gave us quite a few more reasons to switch to Teams in their announcements around Microsoft Teams Room features and Fluid components. 

Microsoft introduced Fluid a few years back, but the most compelling use case we’ve seen in practice is co-authoring. Last week, Microsoft announced new fluid components that will extend beyond co-authoring and simple chat features to multiple apps across Microsoft 365, including Teams meetings, OneNote, Outlook, and Whiteboard.  

These new features show the promise and incentive to brining your virtual meetings into your Microsoft 365 ecosystem. All of this interconnection significantly reduces context switching, saves time, and promotes transparency and accessibility, all of which are critical as we adjust to flexible work.  

The most impactful use case we’ve seen from the new fluid components is another reason Teams should be your go-to meeting platform. Soon users can co-author an agenda, take notes, and assign tasks all while in the meeting. And this information will persist with the meeting and extend to other apps like Outlook across the platform.  

If this excites you and you’d like to learn how you can use fluid to extend your Teams experience, Microsoft is working in collaboration with the open-source community. Check out Microsoft Senior Software Engineer Sam Broner and Microsoft Senior Program Manager Dan Roney’s session to see how to build real-time collaboration scenarios. 

Let the ideas flow with the new whiteboard

Whiteboard is also taking advantage of fluid components, and, soon users will be able to bring in elements from other Microsoft 365 apps, and they will automatically be updated as they work with the components on the whiteboard. For example, a team member can pull in a portion of an excel document, the team can collectively manipulate the data on the whiteboard, and it will in real-time update the document it was pulled from to the board.

WAIT Don’t erase that!

Microsoft is also addressing the whiteboard’s greatest weaknessits shelf life. Now, you can repurpose a whiteboard and search for previous whiteboards in SharePoint and OneDrive. 

Get to the Power Point

Microsoft also announced several new PowerPoint Live features that help foster collaboration and accessibility for everyone in the meeting. Attendees can view the presentation in their chosen language with slide translation. The new inking experience empowers presenters to annotate their PowerPoint live. 

Take a Front Row Seat

Microsoft also teased a new “front row” immersive room layout for teams that will be coming later this year. This new format is designed to better support a hybrid team, while encouraging engagement by bringing vital information to the forefront, like the agenda, tasks, and notes. I often miss the chat in Teams meetings currently, and they are addressing this as well, bringing chat more visibility.

Yes, some of this is not here yet, but the time is now. 

Search will continue to be a paramount and essential component of any successful digital workspace. So much critical information, IP, and data is shared during meetings, and we should have tools that do the best to capture that information and make it consumable in the flow of our work. Using Teams meetings truly is critical to establishing a better search experience for your users. 

If you’re using a third-party tool for meetings, you’re missing out on significant integrations that could not only be saving your team time, but saving valuable ideas and content created during a meeting that is lost in the recording otherwise. Start getting these valuable meetings and information in a place that you can leverage and allow your team to tap into the collective knowledge. 

Are you ready to tap into the collective power of Teams meetings but need some help? A PixelMill Microsoft Teams expert would love to chat with you today! 

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