Microsoft Teams meetings and calling news roundup: The latest features and new upgrade tools

Published 01-29-2019 12:00 PM 21.3K Views

Over the past year, Microsoft Teams has expanded with new messaging, meeting and calling capabilities that make it the primary client for Intelligent Communications in Office 365. Today we are pleased to share several updates, including:

  • New meetings and calling features in Teams
  • Updates to the Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams roadmap
  • New tools in the Admin Center for IT administrators to upgrade to Teams-Only mode


New Microsoft Teams features and functionality

Microsoft Teams continues to grow as the hub for teamwork in Office 365. We are continually adding new experiences, including those previously found in Skype for Business, as well as features new to our online meetings offering, such as background blur.


Now Teams includes several features previously available only in Skype for Business Server: Group Call Pickup, Call Park, Shared Line Appearance, and Location-Based Routing (public preview). These features give organizations flexibility in how calls are handled and routed in Microsoft Teams. Learn more about these features in the Microsoft Teams Blog post, Additional Voice Features for the New Year. 


We’ve also released enhancements to Cloud Recording, Outlook Meeting Scheduling for OWA, and Surface Hub Support.  You can see the latest updates in the Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams capabilities roadmap.  For additional roadmap updates, please visit the Microsoft 365 Public Roadmap.




Teams-Only mode available in Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business Admin Center 

Today, we are pleased to announce that “Upgrade to Teams-Only mode” functionality is now available for all tenants. Tenant administrators can now easily upgrade specific users or their entire tenant to Teams, with a few clicks in the Teams Admin Center. This new functionality makes the technical elements of the upgrade easier.


That said, it’s important to keep in mind that the move from Skype for Business to Teams is much more than a technical upgrade. A successful, user-centric rollout begins with educating users and encouraging adoption of Teams’ collaboration and communication capabilities, often through a period of coexistence of both Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. We encourage you to make the move to Teams-Only mode after validating Teams meets your needs by monitoring the Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams capabilities roadmap, initiating Teams pilots within your organization, and driving Teams usage to 100% saturation with your user base.


We have published a rich set of online resources including Success With Teams and Get Started on Your Skype for Business to Teams Upgrade to help with Teams adoption as well as upgrade planning and management. These resources have been recently updated to incorporate learnings from real customer engagements and community feedback. You can also refer to our sessions from Microsoft Ignite 2018 on the planning, change management, and technical sides of the Skype for Business-to-Microsoft Teams upgrades. (See session recordings: Designing your path from Skype for Business to Teams: Start Here! and Planning a seamless migration from Skype for Business to Teams for IT Admins).


Automated and assisted upgrades from Skype for Business to Teams

In August 2018, we began offering Microsoft-driven automated upgrades to our smaller customers who may not have the dedicated staff or resources to upgrade their Skype for Business Online tenants.  Tenants that are selected to participate in the automated upgrade process are notified through the Office 365 Message Center and email to the IT administrator. Customers who receive an offer for automated upgrade do have the option of performing the upgrade on their own, or to defer the automated upgrade.  Details of the process and next steps are provided in the communications to tenant admins.


Larger Skype for Business Online customers and those with complex implementations may also be eligible for upgrade assistance. If your organization has already adopted Microsoft Teams and you are interested in upgrading from Skype for Business, reach out to your FastTrack representative or your Microsoft account team to continue the journey to Teams. You can also leverage the expertise of Microsoft partners to help map and navigate the journey to Teams.


Introducing Microsoft Teams Rooms

Last week we announced we are rebranding Skype Room Systems to Microsoft Teams Rooms. The new name comes on the heels of recent improvements to the meeting room experience, including proximity detection for Teams meetings, and dual-screen support to optimize content and video for rooms with dual displays. Learn more in the blog post Introducing Microsoft Teams Rooms.


Expanding Teams capabilities and experiences

Keep watching the Microsoft Teams Blog to stay up-to-date on the latest Microsoft Teams news.




Occasional Contributor

Still no fix for the Enterprise install issues. Teams still after all this time installs to every single users AppData and not Program Files. So much for RDS/VDI. Every upgrade issues a new certificate so that's not even an option for whitelisting. All of this makes it unacceptable for any controlled Enterprise where whitelisting is in use, which is part of many countries best practices now. This needs to be fixed and not ignored.

Occasional Visitor

Indeed, the comment made by Jason is what is keeping me from joyfully deploying Teams across our RDS estate.

Occasional Contributor

Are therere any enhancements to Call Queues on the roadmap?

Occasional Contributor

Are therere any enhancements to Call Queues on the roadmap?

Senior Member


The feature of using Whiteboard in Teams-meetings has the status of rolled out. However I cannot see that in our meetings?

Occasional Contributor

Hello, loving the progress. Please add Transfer to Voicemail option however. As we desperately need to transfer calls to employees voicemail box quickly.


@James Skay I agree with @Thomas Bishop we need this simple, yet vital option. 


Receptionists cannot transfer known sales calls to executives with a ring, ring, ring only scenario. What is the roadmap for a transfer to Voicemail option?


I'll be honest, Skype for business has been a bit of failure for most clients i have spoken to where they use the app for instant messaging. Many have reverted back to Skype and deleted Skype for business. This is on the IM side where a lot of business is performed on stock offers and deals are made. Skype for business linked up with appointments in their diary and showed them offline or unavailable, when infact they were present, but had a diary invite to one of their own personal having a day off. Skype for business would not accept any incoming messages and they lost business as they were unaware of this. 
With the forced upgrades on Skype and the move to Team we have alot of clients who use Skype for IM to communicate across language barriers and do business - very worried about the updates. Sadly it feels like MS have decided to upgrade to what they believe is the right thing rather than checking with the users who rely on IM for a high % of their business communications.
My questions are, is Team effectively a name change from Skype but the nuts and bolts remain the same on IM? Or is it something completely new and IM will be majorly affected?

@jonplatinum, Teams is a complete re-write from the ground up with a different thought in mind. It's more than just for IM or one to one focus. Teams is designed to take collaboration to the next level. Whether it's one on one or many, local or across GEOs. It's available everywhere on any device that can get to the internet. You have an entire store worth of plugins that you can customize to use for specific needs based upon the teams' needs. 
Most of my employees didn't like the change at first and complained about how things were different, but once they started to understand the differences (replies to threads vs new thread for one), they embraced it and didn't want to go back to SKYPE. 


have a few q's


O.K. a few questions - sorry to get to the point but easier that way..
1 whats that different thought you mention?
2 specifically on I.M. - what will change or will it remain the same?
3 We deal with every Geo and over 30 different countries specifically, Skype is already available in those Geo's which is why we use it. How do the plug-in's work. What does team look and work like straight out of the download? Dealing with CEO's and coo we have limited time so it needs to be simple and effective. 
4 Where can i test download teams?
5 Nice Feel found felt at the end.. ;) 

New Contributor

Eagerly awaiting improvements in the V&V API for ISV's to build apps.

Occasional Contributor

This feature is a must as we have a few clients that we moved to Teams Phone System and are asking for this feature... if it doesn't come sooner, we might just have to move them again to a different system...

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