Improve your next Microsoft Teams meeting with this must-have new update

Improve your next Microsoft Teams meeting with this must-have new update

11/18/2020

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Microsoft Teams users can now take advantage of a great new feature, which makes meeting better than ever. The new enhancements promise to make “your everyday work more seamless” with the arrival of some 20 new apps that add extra functionality to your video calls.

These apps, which bring features not currently available in Microsoft Teams, include Asana, Slido, and Monday.com. If your office uses these apps, the feature will now be accessible without switching between Microsoft Teams and another app in the middle of a meeting.

Talking about the launch, Nicole Herskowitz, the Microsoft Teams general manager, said: “While all teams need a place to communicate and collaborate to move work forward, every team does it differently. That’s why you can customise Teams with apps you can bring into for chat, channels, and now, meetings.

“We are excited to announce the availability of Teams apps for meetings along with nearly 20 new Teams apps for meetings in the Teams app store, such as Asana, HireVue, Monday.com, Slido, and Teamflect, as well as familiar Microsoft apps such as Forms.”

Outlining how this will help enhance the Microsoft Teams experience, Herskowitz used Asana – one of the apps available on day one of the roll-out of the feature – as an example. Previously, Asana could only have been used before or after a meeting in the Teams chats and channels to manage a project. But now, thanks to meetings support, the Asana app can also be used while you’re doing a video link with colleagues, helping you chat things through in real-time as you create new action items.

To do this, Microsoft Teams users only need to add the Asana app into their Teams meeting invite beforehand, and then following the online conflab participants will be able to work through the action items they’ve created.

Among the Teams meetings apps that are available right now are Asana, Decisions and Microsoft Forms – with others such as Slido coming at a later date.

Besides apps available from the Teams App Store, Herskowitz highlighted how organisations have been using the Microsoft Teams Toolkit to create their own custom apps.

One that was highlighted was from EPIC Systems, a global healthcare software company who created a Teams app that allows health care staff and patients to schedule and launch virtual visits in Teams.

However, not everyone has the time or resources to create such an app and if you fall into that camp then Microsoft Teams still has you covered.

Herskowitz explained: “Many of our customers are looking to digitally transform the workplace, but do not have enough developer capacity or time to build fully custom apps. For these customers, we’ve brought together the Microsoft Power Platform and Teams. Microsoft Power Platform provides low code tools to build apps, workflows, and chatbots, as well as deploy and manage them—all without leaving Teams.”

The new low code tools that will help Microsoft Teams users out are Power Apps, Power Automate and Power Virtual Agents. Power Apps for Teams helps empower users to create apps easily when they don’t have extensive coding background.

The programme enables budding app creators to craft custom apps without having to leave Teams, and offers templates that users can choose from to make the experience even more easier.

While if you’re in need of a chatbot for your organisation then you can turn to Power Virtual Agents, which lets you easier create an automated assistant with just a few clicks.

And finally the Power Automate app does what it says on the tin, helping you to automate everyday tasks in Teams and other Microsoft programme thanks to some 50 ready-to-use templates.

The reveal of these latest Microsoft Teams features come after new user numbers for the service were posted, with over 115million people using Teams every day.

Speaking about hitting this milestone, Herskowitz said: “As you can see, Teams makes it easy to customise your workspace – whether that’s adding SaaS apps from the Teams app store, or creating custom apps, workflows, or bots to use in Teams.

“We are humbled by the fact that Teams is used by millions of people around the world every day. Teams enables a new way of work, and our Teams apps integrations make work even easier.”

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