Microsoft Teams Adds New Functionality in 2019

microsoft teams adds new functionality in 2019
Microsoft Teams

As we settle into the new year, many companies are beginning to roll out updates and upgrades to their tools and systems. Microsoft is no exception. Microsoft continues to add value to the Microsoft Teams tool with new functions and capabilities. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Communication

Effective communication within a business requires tools and products that can work together seamlessly. Teams is adding the new functionality of Teams Rooms and Teams-Only mode to further streamline Teams communication elements. Teams Rooms is basically a re-brand of the Skype rooms system with the added functionality of proximity detection so that nearby rooms can be added if needed. Teams-Only mode allows companies to make a seamless switch from Skype for Business to Teams by enabling Teams as the primary communication tool for their organization. IT Administrators will have the capability to upgrade only select people to Teams Only or enable an entire organization or group.

IT Administration

Teams is rolling out some new tools for IT administration of Teams. In order to help an organization run smoothly, the IT administration needs to have a good idea of how their tools are being used and be able to tailor tools to their users specific needs. With the addition of usage reports, IT Administrators can view Teams usage, user activity, and device usage to determine how well their organization is adopting Teams and if they are using it to its full capabilities.

Teams Templates

When you find something that works for you, you want to be able to replicate it, right? The Teams Templates function allows IT Administrators to pre-define channels, apps, and tabs that their organization can use as a template when building a new project in teams. This allows the organization to focus more on their collaboration and spend less front-end time setting up the system. Teams is also introducing a set of industry-specific templates for education, retail, and healthcare focused on the organizational areas where they are most likely to use Teams. IT Administrators will be able to customize and expand these template to better fit their organization by leveraging new APIs.

Employee Empowerment

Microsoft understands that everyone works a little differently and work styles change across role, function, and industry. Microsoft is committed to enabling Teams as a tool that everyone can use to meet their needs and work to the best of their abilities. The new Shifts functionality in Teams simplifies the process of planning and creating schedules by offering key capabilities to both managers and workers. You will also be able to integrate your workforce management system with Teams by leveraging a Graph API. Additionally, key mobile features such as location sharing, record and share audio messages, and smart camera are being enabled. The mobile experience is customizable to provide workers and IT teams the ability to choose the capabilities most useful for their organization.

Customization

Build and enable your bots to become more powerful and impactful by engaging new capabilities like retrieving a list of channels in a team, creating a 1:1 chat with a specific user, or accepting messages only from specific users.

Microsoft is constantly adding new and improved apps to Teams. Karmabot, MindMeisterThe Connector for Jira server, and Atlassian’s Confluence Cloud are a few recent additions that have a made a big impact in furthering Teams’ collaboration capabilities.

Teams continues to grow and evolve as a communication and collaboration tool for businesses with new updates rolling our regularly. Reach out to 4CornerIT for your Teams enablement and IT needs.

What’s New for Microsoft Teams in 2019

what new for microsoft teams in 2019

As part of their efforts to empower staff members across a broad spectrum of industries, as well as a wide variety of functions and roles, Microsoft has recently added increased capabilities to their Microsoft Teams application. By increasing the features and capabilities within the app, Microsoft hopes to create a seamless, easy to use environment where team members can communicate and interact with other project members. By increasing communication between staff members, companies can expect higher levels of productivity and efficiency within their group projects. 

Organizing Staff

Of course, in order to ensure projects are managed as efficiently as possible, it’s important to keep track of the individuals participating in the project itself. With Microsoft Teams, team member schedules are easily created, monitored and adjusted as the need arises, so everyone involved stays informed of the status of their team co-members, as well as keeping track of their own schedule. 

In addition, the Microsoft Teams software also provides a mechanism in which administrators can oversee and monitor the projects to ensure both the team members and the tools within the projects are operating as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Staying in Touch

Microsoft Teams offers several mechanisms which project members can use to communicate with each other including: text, image capturing and uploading, video conferencing, file sharing, and voice interaction. Project members can decide which communication mechanism best suits their needs at the time. For example — enjoying the flexibility of having a private chat about an Excel spreadsheet with one team member, followed later by uploading a photo of a warehouse issue and sending it to a supervisor for review. Whether team members are down the hall or across the city in a different building, Microsoft’s Teams application allows staff to immediately address issues rather than waiting until they get back to their desk or their employer’s physical location.

Organizing Meetings 

Microsoft also decided to rebrand their Skype room systems into Microsoft Team Rooms. With Team Rooms, project coordinators can create, schedule and invite team members for group meetings, no matter where they are throughout the globe. Regardless of physical location, individual staff members can all meet together in a Team Room, and collaborate and share with each other through both video and voice.

If you would like to know more about additional communication and collaboration features offered through Microsoft Teams, please contact us!

A Beginner’s Guide to Office 365

a beginner guide to office 365

Office 365 has evolved and transformed to stay relevant in today’s business world. Yet many businesses still use it exclusively for Microsoft Word and Excel. If you find yourself looking at the other apps and features and wondering what they do, keep reading this guide to Office 365.

Applications

So, we all know about Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. These applications are essential for creating documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and communicating internally and externally.

But we encourage you to take a look at other apps like SharePoint, which we’ll talk about later, as well as Microsoft Teams, a group chat tool.

Cloud Storage

Office 365 makes use of cloud computing to store and secure your files. This makes it easy to retrieve them if something happens to one of your computers.

Cloud storage is great, but migrating to it can be tricky. You need to make sure you can find all of your documents and keep them all safe.

Collaboration 

Some businesses still collaborate by having their employees send email attachments back and forth to each other. This method is slow and confusing. It’s easy to mix up the files and send the wrong one.

Microsoft SharePoint is an Office 365 app dedicated to collaboration and file sharing. With it, your employees can work on the same file, so they don’t have to send anything through email.

The Beginner’s Learning Curve

There’s a lot of information here, and we’ll admit that there’s a beginner’s learning curve. Once you get over it, however, using the applications comes naturally. Just consider getting some outside help so you can get comfortable with the apps and migrate your data over.

To talk more about Office 365, or anything else, contact us today.

Encrypting Email with Office 365

encrypting email with office 365

Normal email isn’t secure. Snoopers can intercept it and read it. Unlike the Web, email doesn’t have any standard way to send data securely. If you’re sending highly confidential email, the risk could be unacceptable. You should learn about encrypting email.

Fortunately, Microsoft Office 365 provides three ways to encrypt email, making it nearly impossible for anyone to spy on it. Each method has its own advantages, depending who’s getting the mail.

Encrypting Email

Encrypting Email with Office 365

Office Message Encryption (OME) lets you send encrypted messages to any address, not just another Microsoft-based one. The administrator sets up rules about which messages are encrypted, so the user doesn’t have to remember to do it. The recipient can decrypt the message with an Office 365 account or request a one-time passcode by email, which expires in 15 minutes.

Information Rights Management (IRM) provides tighter security. The sender can prohibit forwarding, though knowledgeable recipients can override it. It uses Azure Rights Management, and only someone with the designated use license can decrypt an IRM message. Only certain applications can handle these messages, so people who don’t have Office 365 accounts will have trouble reading them. As with OME, the administrator can set up rules to automate encryption.

S/MIME is a vendor-neutral standard that uses public-private key encryption. You can send messages to anyone who has a public encryption key. It provides a high level of confidence that only the authorized recipient can read the message. It encrypts the whole message, so there’s no way to check S/MIME messages for malware or spam.

Any of these methods let you send messages from Office 365 that snoopers can’t read. 4 Corner IT can help you to set up your IT so that all your information is safe, whether it’s in transit or on your drive. Please contact us to learn more.

Skype for Business

skype for business
VoIP

Achieve More with a Fully Integrated Communication Solution

We believe that the heart of productivity is great teamwork, and the heart of great teams is great communication.

Productivity today is centered on conversations – sometimes a quick instant message or call, and sometimes a meeting planned in advance including voice, video and content sharing. Office 365 is a world-class productivity service that helps great teams to accomplish great achievements.

At the heart of Office 365 communications is the Skype for Business service connecting your teams with the experience they love, in the Office applications they use every day. With Skype for Business you can simplify your infrastructure with one platform for calling, conferencing, video, and sharing.

Our company offers a fully integrated communications solution based on Office 365, our services, and certified hardware to ensure the best experience for your end-users. We help our customers along all the steps of the productivity improvement journey, starting with deployment planning and roll-out, to making sure your teams are up to speed with the new solution and comfortable enough with the new ways of communication. By leveraging our company’s offering, your teams will be able to communicate like never before using Office 365 and Skype for Business.

Skype Across Devices

Skype Across Devices

Connect with your team anywhere using our mobile apps across Windows, iOS and AndroidTM, or bring remote participants into meeting spaces of all sizes with Skype for Business Room Systems.

Complete Meeting Solution

Complete Meeting Solution

Work like you are all in one room, even when you are not. From collaborative team sessions to large broadcasts or dialing into a conference using your phone, Skype for Business is designed for all your meeting needs.

Modern Voice with Cloud PBX

Modern Voice with Cloud PBX

Make, receive, and transfer business calls in the office, at home, or on the road using phone, PC, and mobile. Increase agility and consolidate management with voice services in Office 365.

Security, Control and Compliance

Security, Control and Compliance

Get end-to-end security, control and compliance that span from the user to the enterprise. All powered by the on-demand scale and manageability of Office 365.

Skype for Business Voice

Our integrated communications offering helps you take advantage of the following services and capabilities of Office 365 and Skype for Business:

  • Anywhere Access – ability to make and receive business calls in the office, at home, or on the road, using your business number on your smartphone, tablet, PC, or desk phone.
  • PSTN Conferencing – provides the flexibility to dial in to a meeting from a traditional phone, in addition to the existing ability to join a meeting with a single click on your PC or mobile device.
  • Skype Meeting Broadcast – makes it easier than ever to produce large virtual meetings for up to 10,000 meeting attendees, who can join from virtually any browser or device (see it in action). Now Skype for Business truly is a single platform for every type of meeting.
  • Cloud PBX – enables companies to eliminate separate PBX systems and transition to the cloud with Office 365 as the center of communications management.
  • PSTN Calling – ability to subscribe to Microsoft managed calling plans and phone numbers.
  • Skype Connectivity – Connect, communicate, and collaborate with colleagues, consumers, other businesses, and friends and family – anyone who uses Skype – with both voice and HD video.