The Future of MS Teams: Microsoft is just getting started

by By Michael Quittenden, Professional Services Consultant - Cloud and Modern Workplace

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Businesses in the Channel Islands were forced to recognise the value of Microsoft Teams’ immense functionality during the pandemic. Since then, MS Teams has become a staple in organisations around the islands, from boutique SMEs to multi-national conglomerates. There are a number of live enhancements and plans on the horizon designed to help Teams stay ahead of the competition.

With Microsoft Teams firmly established as the leading enterprise communication platform on the market, one might expect Microsoft to rest on its laurels, but that’s not the case. The corporation understands that businesses of all sizes monitor the tech marketplace for new and innovative platforms that might provide the edge in our increasingly competitive world. At Sure Business we too always have our eye on what the latest products and services are for our clients, but the ever-evolving nature of MS Teams makes it a consistently strong Modern Workplace solution.

Say goodbye to landlines and hello to telephony integration

The platform continues to grow and advance to suit hybrid and remote working. Call costs are minimised through unlimited-use packages, zero set-up or maintenance costs and Teams can integrate with existing voice solutions or replace legacy systems completely. Inclusive minutes, porting of existing numbers, and powerful user analytics ensure performance is optimised.

Hybrid teams and future meetings solidify hybrid working as the norm

With widespread acceptance that hybrid working is here to stay, and over 80% of employees now expecting to work remotely, meeting rooms are becoming more intelligent. Smart cameras track attendees’ positions in the room and create the feeling of eye contact between remote and office-based colleagues. 

Secure, enhanced recording functionality captures important information for people unable to be there. To boost engagement in meetings, shared whiteboards have been introduced enabling people to make notes and design ideas in real-time, including live transcripts of meetings to enable a search of information to find details of follow-ups and actions. For workers in the Channel Islands collaborating with colleagues around the world, this functionality will make life much easier. 

Improved employee experiences

Regular system updates introduce more tools to improve the user experience, making life easier for employees wherever they are. Microsoft’s “Viva” brings learning into work flows to promote a culture of growth and development, empowering people and teams to be the best they can be.

Additionally, Teams lists can be exported from the admin centre, tracking workplace performance, and enabling features like personalized notifications for staff members. This tool is particularly useful for HR departments who can easily track employee performance without going through individual managers. This is enhanced by Sure’s Teams Archiving add-on, which allows for the simple restoration of chat logs and other data.

Welcome to the Metaverse: a new age previously reserved for science fiction

2022 sees the preview and rollout of Microsoft ‘Mesh’, where users will connect, collaborate, and experience a feeling of presence through personalised avatars and immersive spaces. Access will be available from smartphones and laptops to mixed-reality headsets, making online meetings more personal, engaging, and productive. It’s also a gateway to the metaverse, a persistent digital world that’s inhabited by digital twins of people, places, and things.

If the Channel Islands are to remain leading business destinations, Meta and its associated Teams functionality must become essential elements to the business suite, which Sure’s highly engaged professional team is perfectly placed to implement. Meetings can be conducted and deals made, all through the digital wizardry of Meta and Microsoft, and the expertise of Sure.

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