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Joel Rollins

Microsoft Teams Updates: Ignite 2021 Edition

Interactive Webinars
Microsoft Teams has always provided a number of meeting modes to suit corporation’s needs, live meetings for town hall type meetings and the standard team meeting.  Now, with Teams, organizations can easily organize and conduct interactive webinars for people inside and outside of your organization with up to 1,000 attendees.  Webinars include end-to-end experiences—like custom registration, rich presentation options, host controls such as the ability to disable attendee chat and video, and post-event reporting. And if your webinar grows to over 1,000 attendees, Teams will seamlessly scale to accommodate a 10,000-person view-only broadcast experience.

Attendee Reporting
Following your webinar, you can use reporting to understand attendee participation such as who attended and how long they participated. Download an attendee report to review, or use data to produce your own custom reports. Attending reporting will available to download this month, and additional reporting capabilities within Teams will be available next quarter.

Microsoft Teams Connect
The new Teams feature now allows you to share channels with anyone, internal or external to your organization.  The shared channel will appear within an individual’s primary Microsoft Teams tenant alongside other teams and channels, making it easy for everyone to access it. In the shared workspace, you can leverage all of Microsoft Teams’ collaboration capabilities: chat, meet, collaborate on apps, share, and co-author documents in real-time. Admins have access to granular controls, allowing their organization to stay in control of how external users access data and information. Microsoft Teams Connect is available today in private preview and will roll out broadly later this calendar year.

Improved Presentation Modes
With hybrid work and learning these days, users need meetings that offer a first-rate experience to every participant.
Presenters often share their desktops in virtual meetings, creating an inconsistent presentation experience and limiting the ability of the audience to interact. At Ignite 2021, Microsoft is announcing Microsoft PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams, which will enable presenters to deliver more impactful and engaging presentations. Presenters will now be able to lead meetings more confidently with notes, slides, meeting chat, and participants all in a single view. Meanwhile, attendees can personalize their experience by privately navigating the content at their own pace or using the screen reader to make content accessible. PowerPoint Live is now available in Teams. Learn more about PowerPoint Live.

The new Presenter mode enables presenters to customize how their video feed and content appear to the audience. The first mode, Standout, shows the speaker’s video feed in front of the shared content. Next, Reporter will show content as a visual aid above the speaker’s shoulder, just like during a news segment. Third, Side-by-side will show the presenter’s video feed alongside their content as they present. Presenter mode will be available soon.

Dynamic View
A new meeting view was announce at Microsoft Ignite called Dynamic view, which intelligently arranges the elements of your meeting for an optimal viewing experience. As people join, turn on video, start to speak, or begin to present in a meeting, Teams automatically adjusts and personalizes your layout. Microsoft also added a new option to place the participant gallery at the top of the meeting window, helping you maintain a natural eye gaze. Dynamic view will be rolling out soon.
Live Reactions
All meeting attendees can now use emojis to react during a meeting.  These reactions help promote inclusivity in meetings and keep things upbeat and interactive. Live Reactions in Microsoft Teams meetings is now available.
Approvals app updated with templates
Approvals in Microsoft Teams enables you to easily create, manage, and share approvals directly from your workflow. Starting in April, new out-of-the-box and customizable templates will provide a repeatable structure for common approvals—like requesting time off or paid leave. Coming later this month, you’ll be able to attach files directly from Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint, as well as attach a generic link for content that is hosted outside of Microsoft 365, so your request will always have the latest content. Finally, this month Microsoft is also adding full Markdown support in both adaptive cards and the details view, so you can ensure all your approvals are formatted correctly for all your approval processes.