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Microsoft

Happy new year! Our resolution at Microsoft Teams is to keep delivering a delightful experience to our customers :happyface:. We started the year at National Retail Federation (NRF), where Teams continued to shine as a platform with tailored capabilities to connect everyone in your company, from the C-suite to the firstline. Check out 10 ways shift workers can use Teams here.

 

Here are the new features, experiences and resources that came to Microsoft Teams in January 2020.

 

What’s New: Chat & Collaboration
Improve communication transparency with read receipts
Do you often wonder if your teammates saw the message you sent them? Read receipts in private chats allow senders to know when their message was read by the recipient. Read receipts are powerful, because they also allow the recipient to communicate implicitly that they are not ignoring the sender, they may just be busy and haven’t gotten a chance to read their message. Read receipts can be a great tool but may not be for everyone – learn more about turning them on and off here.

read receipts.png

 

The “Colleague joined Teams” notification lets you know who is new to Teams
Welcome to the team! You can now connect with new team members faster and welcome them to the team. You will receive a notification in your activity feed when a new colleague joins Teams for the first time. Send them a GIF to say hello!

Hello Bear.gif

 

What’s New: Meetings & Calling
Voice Administration— New workload in the Teams Admin Center
As a part of our ongoing process to provide IT admins more visibility into additional workloads, Voice Administration has been added as a workload in the Teams Admin Center. This means that Microsoft Calling Plan customers will be able to search, acquire, and assign phone numbers to users. Admins will also be able to set the emergency addresses for those end-users. Additionally, customers will be able to create / test / manage custom dial plans, configure Dynamic Emergency Calling, and use improved configuration for Auto Attendants and Call Queues.


ThinkSmart View joins Microsoft Teams phones
Welcome to the family! Lenovo announced new additions to its ThinkSmart portfolio, designed to transform business communications. ThinkSmart View allows users to manage their audio and video calls through a dedicated desktop device. Users can simply join meetings with one-touch and use the device in portrait or landscape layout to suit their preference. For security, the device has a camera shutter and a microphone mute switch. These will become available for customers in March 2020. Learn more here

thinksmart3.png

 

Poly announces the CCX range of Teams phones
Meet the Poly CCX Series, a range of native Teams phones to helps users to transform the way they communicate. The series offers a range models to choose from, starting with the CCX400 and up to the CCX600. Allowing you to personalize yours with a headset that suits your style, or the traditional handset.  The choice is yours. Learn more about Teams devices here.

poly1.png

What’s New: Admin
Microsoft Teams will be installed with Office 365 ProPlus for customers on the semi-annual channel
We are continuing to make it easier for our customers to access Teams on their desktop. The desktop Teams client will be downloaded by default for existing users with Office 365 ProPlus, Microsoft 365 Business, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium apps for customers on the semi-annual channel. With this change your users will no longer need to do a separate installation of Microsoft Teams. Learn more about Teams deployment processes for new and existing installations of Office 365 ProPlus here.

 

What’s New: Developers

Cloud Communications APIs are now available
The last piece of the puzzle is here! The last API to enable partners to develop contact solutions is now available. This month the MS Graph Cloud Communications APIs became available, enabling calling + online meetings capabilities. The full package now includes:

 
What’s New: Teams for Education
Learn more about student performance with Class Insights
We’re so excited to introduce Class Insights, a new experience for educators that will help them gain insight into student performance. Educators can add the new Class Insights tab to their class team and see average grades, on-time assignments, average return time, and conversation activity for their class over time. Class Insights gives teachers a single view to observe individual student and class performance. 

With this student data right at your fingertips, your school will be able to make even more informed decisions about curriculum, pacing, and student engagement. For more information on Class Insights, click here!
Average-Grade-ClassInsights_v2.png

Conversations-ClassInsights_v2.png

 


What’s New: GCC
Website Tab in GCC High and DOD
Users in the GCC High and DOD tenants can now add a website tab in Teams. Leveraging this tab, users will have the ability to pin URLs as well as SharePoint links etc. for easy access to their content. By default, this feature is released as “turned off”. Please work with your IT admin to begin using the feature.


3rd Party Apps In GCC
GCC customers can now use 3rd party apps in Microsoft Teams - check out the library to see if apps you already use and love are available to integrate. Note that by default, access to 3rd party apps is turned off. In addition, apps need to be vetted for regulatory, security and policy compliance by your organization before they can be enabled for users to access. Please work with your IT admin to make your preferred apps available for use. Learn more here.

 

21 Comments
Visitor

I don't want to spoil the fun or be the annoying guy, and I wish I could help more in defining these requirements, but, the last piece of the puzzle isn't here yet to make fully functional contact solutions. Having some first hand experience in that area, there is for example still the user voice topic open to make the presence state in the graph API accessible for applications. And that's only of the parts fully functional contact solutions needed... but we'll get there step by step I guess

@wimvanhouts the Graph REST API endpoints for presence are out in beta graph right now. See: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/graph/api/presence-get?view=graph-rest-beta&tabs=http

 

Visitor

@Chris Webb I know, and I implemented this even, but, as mentioned in my post, this API is not supported for applications; see the permissions section on the page you reference. You can only get presence when you login in as a certain user, but, most contact solutions do not work that way. By not having this, it means you need to create a "dummy user" that has permissions to see presence of everybody and then use this account to authorize your back-end application (which is also not really the correct way to handle it, since one would normally use the confidential application (client credentials) and accompanying auth flows for this). Contact solutions in general monitor user presence (and by extension, but I guess this is far future, the whole user device) from a back-end application in order to make the right choice in automatic contact routing or dialing for example. To be more precise, I am referring to this user voice item: https://microsoftgraph.uservoice.com/forums/920506-microsoft-graph-feature-requests/suggestions/3921... which most of us in the contact center business would really like to see (next to the monitoring of users/calls/devices)

Frequent Visitor

Hola cuando estara la opcion de poder Imprimir en Teams?

I'm looking for the feature that allows Guests to join a Microsoft Team from am link similar to Slack. This is the once feature that would allow me to use Teams More. WhatsApp, Slack, Discord, and almost every other platform has it. 

Occasional Contributor
As usual, a quick update on some of the most-requested items on UserVoice shows continuing lack of progress on basic, essential features. - Multiple accounts at the same time: not delivered. Faster switching between accounts has been rolled out, but this was explicitly not what was requested. - Include Office calendar in Teams: not delivered. "Working on it" for 18 months. Last update 6 months ago. - Multi-window: coming "soon". But no screenshots shared or other requests for feedback. - Move project/chat/message from one place to another: No updates for over 6 months. - Compact mode: "Working on it" for 3 years. No updates for over 6 months. Despite claiming in April 2017 (yes, 2017) that "We now have a design and are conducting 1:1 research testing with users", zero progress. - Ability to archive channels: "Working on it" started April 2017 (yes, 2017), now demoted to backlog. - Allow different notification options on different teams/channels: "Working on it" for nearly 2 years. Last content-free update over 12 months ago. - Any other UI customization by the user: No progress anywhere with the exception of being able to pin channels to the left hand navigation bar. - Text search for Wiki: Unbelievably, not implemented. Working on it since May 2017 (yes, 2017), over 12 months since last update. Many of these are things which were identified very early after product release, and are basic functionality that everyone expects to be present. Complaining and voting on UserVoice is effectively useless, hence raising these issues again here.
Senior Member

They call it UserVoice for a reason. You only hear from the User. When you do hear something it vague with no disclosure of real deliverables.

Frustrating and disappointed in Microsoft but continue to provide feedback in hopes management improves oversight. 

Occasional Contributor

@Chris Webb just chiming in, like @wimvanhouts said, even the "new" api's are extremely lacking. To be honest this is my single biggest frustration with teams, if not Microsoft as a whole. 

 

We are a full stack MS customer with Dynamics 365, PBI, AAD, etc, and just simply trying to get integrations to work with Teams so we can have basic functionality that existed for a decade in SfB/Lync is still basically impossible even with the new API's. It seems like developers for these API's aren't listening to any user input and simply released something just to say that an API actually exists now.

I'm not trying to be ugly by saying this but from our end it seems like MS cares more about walkie talkies and praising people in teams than they do making their voice truly enterprise. The level of progress for a functional API is honestly unacceptable. At the very least MS needs to have disclaimers for their Teams Voice to prevent orgs from falling into a trap with a voice solution that can basically not be integrated with anything, much like our org fell into over a year ago.

Visitor

Hi,

 

I have Android Auto and need to be able to make and receive calls with Teams Phone System.  I don't understand how this is not interested yet.  It's EXTREMELY UNSAFE to have a calling system that I need to use from my phone. Teams has been around for years now... What's going on.  We also need SMS to Teams text integration asap!!

 

New Contributor

The lack of responses to basic needs expressed and documented by your User Community via User Voice leaves us all with a sense of being patronized and used. Please, take time to review and answer and change the software. Please don't ignore us. 

 

 
Frequent Visitor
The navigation for "shifts" needs lots of work. Also, I find the copy and past feature very confusing when I try to copy one week of shifts to the next week. Why can't I copy and past only those shifts that need copying with the control key?
Occasional Contributor

I appreciate the continued work on Teams, but I also agree with several commenters here frustrated with the lack of progress on long-standing feature requests. It is one thing to be excited about a new product you are working on, but the pressure MS is putting on their customers to move to Teams NOW including cancellation of promised Skype for Business features and end-of-lifeing SfB Online itself in only 12 months is obnoxious when Teams is so immature and not even at feature parity with Skype for Business Online.

 

I'm aware that Teams does many things that Skype doesn't and I'm aware of Microsoft's fear of competing products which creates business incentive for management to try to sell Teams now and say "sorry, we'll fix it someday" later, but telling a user who needs voice features in Teams that they had in Skype (for example Better Together over Ethernet-style integration between phone hardware and the computer client) "Yeah, you can't do that now, but did you know you have persistent chat?" isn't a good story.

Frequent Contributor

Not to mention that a key feature in Skype to add distribution lists to contacts so you don't have to add people individually is a big feature missing from Teams.

New Contributor

I agree with most people here on the above. We have been testing the PSTN functionality (Phone System) for a couple of months now, I can not believe caller ID display is still not being sent...the roadmap shows : Microsoft Teams - Reverse Number Lookup : status -> Rolling out Q4 - 2019. This has been going of nearly 3 years now! 

 

It just takes way too long and is unacceptable, especially if Microsoft wants to push this as an Enterprise Voice system. Anno 2020, no calling ID...

Like @Sean Ellis mentioned, basic functionalities that are missing is a faux-pas, and plain unacceptable. No decent volume/recording controls for example. People wanting to dial someone are only shown the mobile field, not the TelephoneNumber field. I mean, who designs/thinks of this? Some feedback to Microsoft..maybe sit together with your install base, or at the very least, try to include all voice options that were already present in SfB.

 

It took me an hour or 2 to make a bit of a wiki on Teams, just to realise afterwards the lack of a search function and the ability to export the wiki data to another channel...(facepalm). Uservoice has been demoted to a complaint-section, without any decent feedback from Microsoft. Shame, really

Frequent Visitor
Not to mention that there is no way I can figure out how to have one staff calendar with appointments for the whole TEAM (staff) to see. This makes it particularly frustrating to communicate appointments that now have to be typed into the staff group chat for everyone to see. I am running a non-profit, and I find many of the features for this (my) type of organization aren't available. It is not as good for a non-profit type of situation - although it *could* be great if I was able to implement the features I need in a way that benefited all the users I have on Teams.
Occasional Contributor

@Chris Webb Can microsoft at least provide an official response to the complaints related to phone/voip? Our main frustration is that from our perspective MS seems to sweep this overwhelming issue/concern from everyone under the rug. If they at least provided an official response acknowledging the shortcomings with API with an actual timeline/plan to resolve them, it would go a very long way to calming everyone down.

Since no one even acknowledges that there is major gaps, it leaves everyone feeling hopeless that there will be this functionality any time in the near future, if ever.

Thanks,

Occasional Visitor

It is incredibly annoying and frustrating that Teams lacks some basic functionality that is in virtually every other part of Office.  Pop out chat windows?  When??  Bring an email into Teams as one-click seamlessly as in OneNote?  When??

 

As an 11-year MS veteran, I'm appalled that such a shoddy implementation is being forced on customers (like by killing SfB)...shame on you!

 

Oh, by the way, Teams kinda sorta has some of the same functionality that Lotus Notes had in the 1990s...sorry that I helped kill that product when I was in EPG...

New Contributor

@Marissa Salazar @Chris Webb I appreciate the update but I honestly think the Teams team needs to stop, drop, and roll and go back and add some basic functionality to Teams.   The lack of full text search in the Teams Wiki,  one of the most requested features for the last 2 years makes we want to punch a kitten.  

 

Don't you want to save the kittens?

Frequent Visitor
Yes. Please save the kittens. Basic functionality. Please. How do I "clean up" my staff group chat? I'd like to clean that up a bit. It's littered with junk gifs and pictures.
Occasional Contributor

@Chris Webb @Marissa Salazar  Since MS doesnt seem to care to respond to any actual posts about teams serious gaps in ability to integrate with voice our org will be making a Q2 goal to completely switch from teams to another solution, and never looking back. I dont care if in 12 months they have an API magically, we've been over promised for over a year now. 

Occasional Visitor
You know, it’s interesting that nobody on this team replies. Perhaps we should all email Satya...wonder if he knows...