Microsoft is coming out with its 2020 updates to Microsoft Teams, announced at this year’s Microsoft Ignite. These fantastic updates will help improve team collaboration and communication. They will also help streamline overall business collaboration and processes for increased productivity. These improvements are a result of Microsoft’s goal to make Microsoft Teams a unified collaboration platform that will replace Skype for Business within Office 365.

Now, many new Teams features make it the ideal productivity solution for any business. Let’s highlight a few of the most impressive new features Microsoft is adding to this productivity suite. These are features that will improve Teams’ apps and services and take your collaboration efforts to the next level.

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New feature coming to Microsoft Teams in 2020

Private channels

Within Teams, owners and members have access to all the channels. However, users have been asking for a way to create private channels within a team. Microsoft is adding this feature to Teams, allowing you to create private channels so you can provide a private space within a team. You can easily create a private channel as you would a regular channel. Then simply choose who you want to invite to that channel and give those people permissions to access it. The people you invite will be the only ones who can view the channel and the resources in it.

Multi-window

Up until now in Teams, you have been limited to one window in which to do all your work. It can be awkward to view your schedule, tasks, work, and conversations at once. This is about to change with Team’s introduction of a multi-window feature. For example, you will be able to open a chat, meeting, or other function in a separate window and navigate between all open windows with ease.

Messaging extensions

Within a conversation or Team meeting, it is common for people to ask questions or get feedback. With Team’s new messaging extensions feature, you will be able to create a survey or poll to ask questions and get the feedback you need. This Teams feature is available in both chat windows and meetings. You can create the poll or survey, and it will appear in the chat feed or meeting window, allowing you to get real-time responses right when you need them.

Pinned channels

Microsoft 365 already offers the ability to pin documents in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. In their new 2020 Teams updates, they are adding the pinning feature to Teams. You will be able to pin channels and teams so you can access them quickly and conveniently from your dashboard. This feature will save a lot of time and significantly boost productivity because you will no longer have to go searching for the teams you work with regularly.

Outlook integration

Email is still widely used in business, with the average office employee sending or receiving 121 emails every day. Microsoft is adding an integration feature that will allow you to share an email you receive in Outlook with a team in Teams. Simply click on the Share to Teams button at the top of the screen and then type the name of the team you want to share with.

Another feature Microsoft has added to Outlook is the reply to Teams capability. When you receive an email from a Teams conversation in which you are participating, you no longer have to go into Teams to reply. You can simply reply from Outlook, saving you time and productivity, making team collaboration that much easier.

Tasks in Teams

Until now, task management has been only possible across a disparate selection of apps and services. Finally, Teams has created a streamlined approach to task management. You will be able to access your to-do lists and tasks in your planner, in Outlook, Teams, and other Microsoft apps all from a single window in the Teams app. And with a variety of views to choose from, including Lists, Charts, Boards, and Schedule, you will be able to view your tasks to suit your needs.

Microsoft Whiteboard

Microsoft is about to offer an integration of Teams and Microsoft Whiteboard. This will allow you to use the Whiteboard during a meeting, just as you would if you were in an onsite meeting. Everyone attending the meeting will be able to see what you are writing on the Whiteboard, and you can write as you speak. It is a great way to give a presentation and make notes that people can view during and after the meeting.

Live captions

With the updates coming to Microsoft Teams in 2020, you will be able to display team members’ captions when they talk in real-time. This is particularly useful if you have team members from around the globe who speak different languages. The captions will allow team members to read what is being said in the language of their preference, effectively removing language barriers that could otherwise disrupt collaboration efforts.

Final Words

In today’s technologically advanced world, the prevalence of remote teams and workers is growing. An incredible 63% of companies have remote workers. With this number of employees working remotely, companies need to support the collaboration between coworkers in the remote work environment. Microsoft Teams is stepping up to the plate and offering a series of 2020 updates that will improve team collaboration and business collaboration and processes.

At Sherweb, we have fully integrated Office 365, along with Microsoft Teams, into our Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platform. This will allow UCaaS providers to expand their offerings to customers who want full team collaboration and business collaboration capabilities.

In addition to the above improvements, other new Teams features include Teams for Linux, the Yammer app for Teams, and new presenter and attendee controls. All these updates have the power to transform the Teams experience and take it to the next level. Make sure to contact us if you want some advice on how to make the best use of Microsoft Teams in 2020

Written by Mathieu Pipe-Rondeau Marketing Communications Specialist @ Sherweb

Mathieu is responsible for Sherweb’s blog content and organic social media. Highly conscious of branding and related communications, he’s constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to showcase Sherweb to the world. Mathieu has ten years of communications and marketing experience, including expertise in knowledge management, process creation and improvement, technical writing and content strategy. When he’s not producing engaging content, Mathieu enjoys cooking, singing and skateboarding with his son.