New Privacy, Compliance, and Webinar Features are Headed to Teams
In the world of Microsoft, there are a few bets that always win 100% of the time. One such bet that I would always take is that at any given conference, Microsoft will talk about Teams and more than likely announce new functionality for the collaboration platform.
At the spring Ignite event, Microsoft has announced a bunch of new features that are coming to Teams. Most of these features should be available in the first half of 2021 unless they get delayed.
In no particular order, here are the new privacy and compliance updates announced today:
- Invite-only meetings controls will be generally available this month. Invite-only meetings controls help ensure that only intended participants join a meeting.
- Disable video will be generally available in the first half of this calendar year. This feature is intended to limit potential disruptions, along with other capabilities such as Invite-only meetings and recently announced chat moderation controls.
- End-to-end encryption (E2EE) for 1:1 Teams calls will be available to commercial customers in preview in the first half of this year. Teams will support end-to-end encryption for organizations to help customers meet their security and compliance requirements by providing an additional option for conducting sensitive online conversations. For example, a call from an IT admin giving an employee her password over Teams could be conducted with E2EE. In this first release, customers will have the ability to enable E2EE for 1:1 unscheduled Teams calls. Customers will be able to specify which members of their organization can use E2EE. Future updates will be made available to support customers’ evolving compliance needs, including expanding to scheduled calls and online meetings.
- Teams multigeo support will be generally available in the first half of this calendar year. Multigeo support for Teams data will give multinational organizations greater control over the location of specific data centers where their Teams data is stored, down to the team and user level. Similar to the multigeo capabilities available to customers with Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, this update helps organizations meet specific data compliance and regulatory standards in certain countries and in highly regulated industries.
Along with the new privacy features, Teams can now support webinars for up to 1,000 attendees. With this feature, you can create custom registration, rich presentation options, host controls (such as the ability to disable attendee chat and video), and post-event reporting. And in the event that you have a huge turnout for your webinar, it can scale to 10,000 people as well but that will limit the users to view-only.
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.
The webinar feature will become available starting later this month and in addition, the feature can also be linked to Dynamics 365 marketing campaigns.
Microsoft’s investment in Teams, if anything, continues to be significant and growing by the year. The company is rolling out new features nearly every week and this month they also announced new hardware but that won’t arrive until the end of 2021.