Welcome to your monthly round-up of all the latest features and updates from Microsoft. This month we bring you greater calling capacity, Teams Templates, Microsoft Lists and SharePoint homesites. If you would like any further information or assistance with these updates, contact us today for support.

Microsoft Teams Updates

Greater call capacity and 3 x 3 calls are now available

At long last, you can now view up to nine attendees in your Teams meetings. This is now available to all so you should be seeing it in your client now. This is not the end however as Microsoft has promised it is looking  at extending this further with 7 x 7 calls so watch this space!

Additionally, group chats can now include up to 250 users while teams chats can include up to 10,000 members. So no matter how big your project becomes, you can still have everyone working together on the same platform.

New app updates to Microsoft Teams Rooms

Microsoft Teams Rooms can play a vital role for organisation while face to face meetings cannot take place. To support this, Microsoft have a number of updates for the app which include modern authentication which reduces the need for passwords by utilising Microsoft Exchange. Your calls are still secure and this update will help ensure business continuity for your devices on the Exchange Online. Other updates include new splash screen to give a more appealing experience for users and the ability to project onto dual display. Learn more about these updates here.

Templates in Teams

Rolling out to all clients over the next few months is Teams Templates. This will allow you to create teams quicker with greater efficiency. As well as there being preset versions which Microsoft have created for you, there will also be the opportunity for your IT team to establish custom templates for your organisation. These can include standardised team structures, relevant apps and allow you to scale best practice across your business.

Microsoft Lists in Teams

An exciting build from Microsoft is the extension of their List functionality. Coming this Summer, Microsoft Lists will allow your workforce collaborate with ease and keep track of their workload. With the ability to track issues, assets, contacts and inventory all with customisable views and smart rules, this will be a hugely valuable and useful tool for your organisation. See the preview in the video below.

Set default selection for “Who Can Present” in meetings
You can now update your Teams meeting policies to allow for a new default selection when choosing who can present in new meetings (everyone, people in my organization, specific people, or only me). Initially, organisations can set this policy via a PowerShell cmdlet but you will soon be able to configure this in the Admin portal.

Set background effects policy
We’ve all had some fun with the new Microsoft backgrounds including some from Ikea and the BBC (see our Twitter for these). Soon you will be able to control how users engage with background effects. These options will include: no filters, background blur only, use background blur or default provided images, and all; which includes the ability for users to upload their own custom images. We would encourage you to consider what is right for your organisation but also allows for your employees to show a little of their personality. Encourage professional backgrounds for clients meetings but be prepared to be more flexible during internal meetings. With Video Call Fatigue now a real issue, some innovative backgrounds can really brighten up another video call.

Pop out chats into separate windows
A small but useful update is that users can now streamline pop out their chats into separate windows. It will allow employees to switch far easier between ongoing conversations and increase productivity.

Sharepoint Updates:

SharePoint home sites

A home site is the top landing page for your intranet. Microsoft have released home sites to make for a more visual entry for your employees to visit your intranet. In addition, once it is set up, users can access it from the SharePoint app with the home icon.

If you are interested in making your intranet a more impactful, visual and inspiring portal, we are now Valo partners and can provide you with a beautiful digital workplace for your employees. Find out more or contact us today.

Scheduling pages and news posts

A simple update which will have hugely useful consequences. You can now choose to schedule pages and news posts for publication at a future date and time. Now you can plan ahead and get content ready in advance of the launch, allowing you to get on with other tasks and not worrying about publishing on time.

Extended Site Footer

Another update which doesn’t seem groundbreaking but will make things easier in day to day working. You can now select the Extended option which will allow you to show more content, you can also change the colour to distinguish it from other sections. So if you have content which is important, needs highlighted or is readily accessed by your workforce, you can now give it higher prominence.

We hope you found these insights useful and hope they will enable your business to work more effectively and productively. If you are looking to make use of Microsoft Teams, SharePoint or would like to know how you can make the most of any of the new features mentioned, contact us for a no-obligation chat.