Microsoft Teams meetings and calling news roundup: The latest features and new upgrade tools
Published Jan 29 2019 12:00 PM 25.8K 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.




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