Microsoft Details Teams Feature Roadmap
Microsoft’s Teams platform is turning one this week and with more than 200,000 organizations using the software, it’s fair to say that it has been a successful first year for the product. But, more importantly for those that are using the software, the company is sharing a few features that are working their way down the pipeline.
When the company announced the general availability of Teams, there were 50,000 organizations who were using it at that time, and with 200,000 orgs now using the software, this shows a considerable amount of growth during the first full year of availability. That being said, Microsoft doesn’t detail how many users inside of the 200,000 organizations are using it or if companies are simply trialing the software or have limited deployments.
But for those that are using the software, Microsoft has detailed features that will be arriving this year but also know this is likely not a complete list of everything the company is working on for the platform:
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.
- Cloud recording, providing one-click meeting recordings with automatic transcription and timecoding, enabling all team members the ability to read captions, search within the conversation, and playback all or part of the meeting;
- In-line message translation, enabling people who speak different languages to fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat;
- Cortana voice interactions for Teams-enabled devices, including IP phones and conference room devices, enabling you to easily make a call, join a meeting or add other people to a meeting in Teams using spoken natural language;
- Background blur on video, providing the ability to blur your background during video calls so other meeting attendees can focus on you, not what’s behind you;
- Proximity detection for Teams Meetings, making it easy for you to discover and add a nearby and available Skype Room System to any meeting; and
Mobile sharing in meetings, enabling attendees to share a live video stream, photos, or the screen from their mobile device.
Teams also now has an app ecosystem that continues to grow and includes the likes of Adobe, Trello, Zoom.ai, and many others who are turning Teams from a simple collaboration tool to an entire productivity application.
Let us not forget why Microsoft decided to build out Teams, it was because of the success of Slack which makes you wonder if buying the competing software would have been a better move? Considering that during the first year, 150,000 organizations started using the software in some capacity, it would appear that the decision to build a product in-house as opposed to buying up Slack, was the correct move.
Microsoft is going all-in on Teams with the announcement that they will be moving away from Skype for Business in favor of Teams. And considering the success the software had in the first year, I’d expect Microsoft to continue to invest more money into the platform and to help grow the number of users of the platform, they will likely offer a free version sometime in the future as well.