If your organisation uses Microsoft Teams, you’ll know that it’s full of handy features to help you stay connected and make it easier to work from anywhere. In this article, we go through some of the Microsoft Teams features you may not know about that can simplify your operations and increase productivity levels.

Host up to 20,000 meeting attendees (New for 2021)

Interactive meetings in Microsoft Teams (i.e., those with video and audio feeds for each individual) have so far been limited to 300 people, but it has been announced that this is increasing to 1,000.

If this limit is reached, anyone else who enters the meeting will still be able to experience it in a view-only format. View-only meetings can host up to 10,000 attendees – though this has been increased to 20,000 throughout 2021 to account for remote work. So, if you’d like to make a big company announcement, host an AGM or town hall meeting, you can do so with ease.

 

Hosting webinars with Microsoft Teams

Online events have been the norm since Covid-19 hit, but did you know that Microsoft Teams can be used as a dedicated live event platform?

To set up a live event in Microsoft Teams, head to your calendar and click on the arrow next to ‘New meeting’ in the top right-hand corner. Then click ‘Live event’ (Microsoft will soon be adding a specific ‘Webinar’ option as detailed further down).

MS Teams meeting

From here, you can organise your webinar (or other type of live event), provide details and set permissions for who should be able to see it. The first 300 people will have full interactivity (i.e. video and audio feeds) but if the meeting exceeds this number, up to 20,000 attendees can still experience the webinar with a view-only experience. With so much functionality and up to 20,000 attendees, hosting online events could be a great opportunity for your organisation to reach more people than ever before.

 

New updates for Teams webinars (coming soon)

New capabilities will include adding a custom registration page to your meeting or webinar to manage attendance beforehand and engagement afterwards. Once they’ve signed up, attendees will automatically receive an email confirmation so that joining is straightforward.

 

Host even more attendees

There is a new limit of 1,000 interactive attendees (increased from 300), including rich presentation features, live reactions and moderation controls. Once your webinar exceeds 1,000 attendees, Teams will automatically allow up to 20,000 people to join with a view-only experience.

 

Analyse attendee data post-webinar

Once your webinar is finished, you can view reports on who attended and for how long they participated. You can download an attendee report to review, or produce your own custom reports using the available data. Some of these updates can be accessed already, others will be available within the coming months.

 

Feel like you’re in the same room with Together Mode

Many employees haven’t been in the office much – if at all – over the past year, which can leave you feeling disconnected from colleagues. With Together Mode, you can make things seem a little more normal.  Together Mode is a feature you can access in meetings of 4-49 people. From your Teams meeting, click on the three dots shown below, then go to ‘Together mode’. This will bring together the video feeds of all participants into one display, as if you were all sitting together. You can even change the background displays and choose from scenes like a coffee shop, library and lecture theatre… Together Mode might not revolutionise your communications, but it’s a bit of a fun to brighten up your day of working from home!

Swap screen sharing for Presenter View

Many people use Teams’ screen sharing feature to present their PowerPoint slide deck, but there’s another way to do this which offers enhanced capabilities and collaboration. The ‘Share content’ section of Teams meetings allows you to select a PowerPoint file to share, rather than simply sharing your screen. From here, you’ll be able to view your current and upcoming slides, notes and audience, whilst attendees can only see the presentation.

Take control with PowerPoint Live (New for 2021)

You can allow co-presenters to ‘take control’ of the presentation and instantly get access to Presenter View. No more “next slide, please”! In Presenter View, your audience will also see your video feed whilst you present, which is more engaging and allows you to visually guide them.

PowerPoint Live in Teams

PowerPoint Live will be much more engaging than screen sharing, as it allows attendees to interact with content like hyperlinks and videos and take everything in at their own pace. Plus, with the addition of Live Reactions to all Microsoft Teams meetings, they can use emojis to show you how they feel about the presentation in real time! The new and improved ‘Share content’ experience is coming soon – find out more on the Microsoft website.

 

Integrate your phone system with Microsoft Teams

Usage of Microsoft Teams has catapulted since the big shift to remote working, as it’s a great way to keep in contact with colleagues via instant message, audio and video calls.

Unfortunately, some businesses with traditional on-premise phone systems have struggled to adapt their telephony systems to this new way of working. Many are using different types of software for internal and external communications, which can become overwhelming.

What many people don’t realise is that you can streamline your business phone system by integrating it with Microsoft Teams. So, all your internal and external communications can be sent and received within one platform.

 

Teams Talk by Air IT

Teams Talk is a unified communications solution that integrates completely with Microsoft Teams.

Underpinned by VoIP technology, Teams Talk uses Direct Routing to connect Teams to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This allows you to connect with customers and other organisations outside of your business, as well as colleagues.

Teams Talk can future-proof your business by offering a way of staying in touch whether employees are in the office, at home or working remotely, perfect for hybrid workplaces post-Covid.

By taking advantage of a Microsoft Teams phone system like Teams Talk, you can step up your collaboration and communication. Teams Talk will allow you to make the most of all the best Microsoft Teams features, with the bonus of seamless, all-in-one communications.

 

Want to find out more?

Named MSP of the Year at the Comms Business Awards, Air IT are experts in IT support, communications, cyber security and business intelligence. We can help you find the right business communication solutions to help you streamline operations, lower costs and boost productivity. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.