Microsoft Paints a Future of Meetings with Teams
The second half of 2021 is going to include a migration that few have ever experienced in the business world. After the majority of employees migrated from the office to the home, the reverse migration is going to happen soon as well.
Today, Microsoft is painting the picture of the future of meetings. As boring as that sounds, it’s incredibly important to the company as Teams has quickly become the central hub for these experiences. What likely started out as a visionary concept of meetings in the future, the company is building the blocks of that technology today.
For the past decade, when talking about hybrid, in the IT space, that would mean having some data on-premises and some in the cloud. But now there will be hybrid employees, and while working from home is not a new concept, the change is that rather than being a sparse sampling of your users, it could become a significant population or even the majority.
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
This raises the question of what will the ‘new’ normal look like, annoying phrase aside, the pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way we work and more importantly how we work. With Microsoft’s new hybrid guide, the company is looking to help organizations navigate this migration which is how we see the company looking at the future of meetings with Teams.
Teams Rooms are already a key component of this hybrid meeting experience but an effective strategy for working in this type of arrangement is to make the remote employees feel like they are in the room as well.
If you take a look at the video Microsoft has created, the company highlights how correctly positioned webcams, speakers, and projectors, the ‘modern’ conference room can create experiences that are more organic feeling than simply having a face on a screen.
The company believes this will be achieved with hidden microphones, spatial audio, and software that will help users’ eyes be appearing to be eye-level, audio coming from the user (not a generic speaker in the middle of the room), and lighting that brings the experience together.
It’s clear that Microsoft’s investments in Teams is paying off and the software showed its true value in 2020. As the world starts to migrate back to the Office, Microsoft’s goal with this vision is to paint a future of where we can have meetings again in person, but also use technology to make remote users feel part of the conversation and not simply be a voice in a box that sits in the middle of the table.