Microsoft Ignite 2018, is the company’s annual conference that is currently being held in Orlando, Florida. With only a day left, there have been plenty of product announcements from Microsoft, including news about the ever-popular Teams application. Here’s the most significant news and what it means for your firm.

Growing Popularity

329,000 organizations currently use Teams. This is more than double the number of organizations using the app one year ago. With such growth, Teams is now considered Microsoft’s fastest growing business app.

Be Productive

Microsoft knows time is precious and has announced several new capabilities that will allow users to stay more productive and connected during meetings.

  • Background Blur: All Teams users can now easily remove distractions and focus the video on what matters most, the speaker.
  • Meeting Recording: Meetings typically only benefit those in attendance. That notion is a thing of the past as those who missed the meeting can now playback audio, video, and other content at any time. Also, users can pull up a transcript thanks to Microsoft Stream and do a keyword search to find the information that matters most.
  • Cloud Video Interop: Using video room systems from Polycom, BlueJeans, and Pexip is now a thing for Microsoft Teams. Teams meetings will now support a full portfolio of legacy devices as audio/video participants.

Security First

Governing bodies often place enhanced security and compliance guidelines on law firms. To help meet these needs, Microsoft has launched two new secure messaging features which will roll out by the end of 2018.

  • Image Annotation: Users can capture, annotate, and share images via a secure platform. Additionally, IT department can set policies to prevent users from storing images on a mobile device or local drive.
  • Priority Notifications: Recipients are now alerted when they have an urgent message. The recipient can then be automatically notified of the message every two minutes for up to twenty minutes,

Get More Done

Mircosoft knows that time is essential. With these updates, users will be able to focus on productivity and the things that matter most.

  • Screen Sharing: No longer do you have to be on a call to share screens with other users. Now users can share your entire desktop (or a specific window) directly from a private session. Users can even collaborate on content together. To share your screen during a private chat, just click the open sharetray icon on the top right of the screen and pick one of the available window options.
  • Accessible Chat: Immersive Reader is now available in chat and channels. You can personalize text and page themes to give increased visibility and minimize distractions with Line Focus. To launch the immersive reader from any conversation or chat, open the “…” menu and then select Immersive Reader.
  • Calling for All: Currently, only Teams users that configure Calling Plans can see the Calling App. Starting in October, this will change. All users that are VOIP-enabled will have the Calls App automatically enabled.
  • Teams + SharePoint: Soon users will be able to have the full capabilities of SharePoint libraries in the file tab. Users can use features such as creating a custom view and pin-ing a document to the top. SharePoint lists and SharePoint Framework web parts will also be available as tabs in your team’s channel.
  • Teams Meeting: Lastly, by early 2019 users will be able to add an online Teams Meeting option to their calendar events and join a Teams Meeting right from Outlook mobile.