Welcome to the March edition of What’s New! This month, we are going through the rich feature updates from Microsoft Teams & Cisco Webex. With the goal of making meeting experiences more efficient and engaging for all collaboration users, find out how these new updates will impact you! From the Healthcare vertical to the frontline workers and end-user customer experiences for meetings, we have lots of news waiting for you.
Teams performance update
Search results page in Teams
A new search results page experience from Microsoft Search in Teams will make finding messages, people, answers, and files faster and more intuitive. A new All page will show the top results from each domain, Bookmark, and Acronym. This new experience will provide better answers, decluttered search result snippets, preview message results for more context, more discoverable filters, and previews for files with better relevance based on the people and content you engage with most in Teams and other Microsoft 365 services.
Customer Lockbox for Microsoft Teams
Customer Lockbox ensures that Microsoft cannot access your content to perform a service operation without your explicit approval. Already available for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, Customer Lockbox brings you into the approval workflow for requests to access your content. This update brings the capability to Microsoft Teams as well. To turn on Customer Lockbox controls, simply go to your Microsoft 365 admin centre. Learn more.
Automated webinar invite
As webinars are set up, invites are sent to attendees to register. When attendees register, the webinar invite will now automatically be added to the attendee’s calendar, making it easy to plan ahead and remember when the event takes place.
Domain customisation for webinar communications
Once attendees have registered for a webinar, as confirmation emails are sent to keep attendees informed, the sender name and domain email will now include the tenant’s name. This will make it easy for attendees to recognize who is sending communications for the event.
Day view in the calendar on iOS and Android
View all hours of the day beyond scheduled meetings and events, which allows you to see when you’re available or busy throughout the day.
Auto-answer meeting invites with video on iOS devices
The ability for iOS devices to automatically answer incoming meeting nudges or invites with their video is now here. This is most beneficial in the healthcare industry, especially in ICU and/or patient virtual rounding scenarios where patient rooms require a no-touch join capability for incoming calls. In this scenario, the Teams device in the room would be invited to a scheduled or ad-hoc meeting where both AutoAnswerwithVideo and video are enabled. The AutoAnswerwithVideo setting is disabled by default.
Support of Live Caption for Teams on VDI for Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365
Teams users on Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365 on virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) are now able to enable live captions during a meeting. Live captions allow your audience to follow along with what is being said, providing additional clarity and inclusion.
Auto-Expiration of Meeting Recordings stored on OneDrive and SharePoint
Newly created Teams meeting recordings in OneDrive and SharePoint will be deleted automatically by the service based on a default Teams policy setting. Teams admins will be able to modify the default meeting recording expiration time via a setting in the Teams Admin Portal or by modifying policy attributes using Powershell scripts. Newly created meeting recordings in OneDrive and SharePoint will be automatically deleted after this point unless the meeting owner extends the expiration. Meeting owners will be notified about expired recordings and may extend the expiration date in OneDrive/SharePoint. Compliance policies will override the expiration setting. This rollout will start in the March timeframe and will continue to roll out to tenants over the next few weeks.
Roaming bandwidth control
Admins can now set dynamic bandwidth policies based upon the geographic location of users’ Teams clients. This capability allows admins to set more limited bandwidth controls and disable video calls when users are in remote or bandwidth-constrained locations to protect the reliability of the connection. Once users return to a location with higher bandwidth capacity, limitations are relaxed, and their video calling is restored. Initially, two settings from the Teams Meeting Policy will be included—AllowIPVideo and MediaBitRateKb.
Music on Hold for VoIP Calls
Give callers the confidence that they’re still connected to a call with music on hold. Music on hold is now available for calls on hold and consult-then-transfer scenarios for both VoIP and PSTN calls. Music on hold is enabled by default. The music that is played for callers on hold is either the default music provided by Microsoft or custom music that administrators can upload and configure. Learn more about how you can upload a custom music file or announcement.
Casting from Teams desktop client to Microsoft Teams Rooms
Now you can use Teams casting to wirelessly connect to Teams Rooms and display content from your Teams desktop client. You also can broadcast your screen and cast content stored locally on your device or accessible via Office 365.
Neat Board is one of three newly certified devices that now natively run Teams and Teams Rooms for Android. This enhanced collaboration device combines audio, video, touch display, and computing in a single unit. It can be a table or mounted on a wall—as well as mounted to a mobile stand with wheels—allowing you to move it around your workspace and also easily transform rooms with no conference room technology into a Teams Room. The Microsoft Whiteboard app lets remote and in-room meeting participants use shared, multi-user experiences to brainstorm and collaborate in real-time across the same digital canvas. You also can start whiteboarding outside a meeting and then easily add meeting participants to the session and save your work.
Dell Slim Conferencing Soundbar – SB522A
Stay focused on your conversations during meetings with this intelligent, Microsoft Teams-certified soundbar. This device lets you experience high-quality sound with AI noise cancellation that reduces background noise and distracting echoes—allowing you to follow conversations easier, even when multiple people are speaking at the same time. It attaches magnetically to your monitors, leaving you extra desk space, and the dedicated Teams button gives you quick access to meetings and notifications.
Dell Speakerphone – SP3022
Also newly certified for Teams is the latest intelligent Dell speakerphone. This device allows your voice to clearly be heard in meetings with AI noise cancellation to filter out background noise and echo-cancellation to eliminate interruptions. The full-duplex audio also lets multiple people speak simultaneously for real-time collaboration. Use the dedicated Teams button to easily join meetings. This device works on your monitors, laptops, or desktops through the USB-A or USB-C ports. Additionally, you can experience true stereo-output—with left and right speakers and wide-band audio frequency range—giving you distortion-free, rich audio, whether you’re hard at work or listening to music.
Yealink MVC660 system for medium Teams Rooms
By combining a smart speakerphone with a dual-eye tracking camera, the Yealink MVC660 solution bundle is a great option for a seamless, intelligent Teams meeting experience. The UVC86 camera provides crystal-clear and immersive video with the ability to identify people in the room in real-time, and it has a PTZ camera to capture the best picture of everyone in the room. The AI speech transcript makes discussions more efficient, and the Cortana speech assistant provides a completely touchless way to manage meetings in Teams Rooms. Intelligent features are enabled in MSpeech by default when opening a Teams meeting.
Chat and Collaboration
New Search experience in mobile app
When searching in the Teams mobile app, you will now have a new header, get suggestions as you type (top results show up as soon as you start typing and will be modified as typing progresses), and meetings will appear in search results as well. You also will be able to scroll to past and future dates in the calendar using a date picker.
Power Platform and custom development
Microsoft Teams Connect support for third-party and custom tab app configuration
With Microsoft Teams Connect, we are making it easier to collaborate with anyone outside your organisation. Developers will be able to configure their third-party or custom tab apps in the context of shared channels through the Teams SDK.
Changes to Microsoft Teams apps’ native permissions in the browser
In order to better secure Microsoft Teams third-party applications that request native device permissions—such as camera, microphone, or location access—we will require users to manually opt-in for these permissions per app in the Microsoft Teams web browser experience. We are already doing this on the Teams desktop and mobile clients.
New Zendesk app for Teams
Microsoft have announced the release of the new Zendesk for Teams app. The new Zendesk-Microsoft Teams integration will allow you to escalate and resolve issues faster by updating and responding to tickets within Teams. It will provide faster help for your employees by creating and managing tickets directly from Teams Zendesk’s Answer Bot and only escalating to an agent for complex issues. This integration includes the following features: create, view, and update Zendesk tickets directly from within Microsoft Teams; add internal notes or public replies to tickets from within Microsoft Teams; get real-time notifications on tickets based on status, priority, type, or updates within any Teams channel or DM; deploy Answer Bot in Microsoft Teams to answer commonly asked questions; see all open and closed personal tickets in a single list view within Microsoft Teams, and import Zendesk ticket views as tabs into a single Microsoft Teams workspace. Available now in the Teams app store.
New Power Automate entry points in-Teams
Users will soon be able to use message extensions and message actions to start building a Power Automate flow from a template.
Tab actions are moving
Microsoft Teams tab actions are moving out of the tab header bar and into the tab dropdown to help declutter the user experience. This impacts all application tabs such as Assignments, Grades, Planner, or the Website tab. These tab actions will be found by clicking on the tab name to show a dropdown menu and include Reload tab, Go to website, Copy link to tab, Pop-out tab, and About this tab.
Team Search on Teams admin centre – phase 1
We made it easy for the IT admin to find what they are looking for on Teams admin centre. Searching for a user call, a ‘team’ searching for an App by its name, or the name of the publisher. Search of the left navigation bar, allowing IT admins to easily find content from across the admin centre and to be navigated to the corresponding page.
The next phase that will be released in the coming month will introduce search for entities such as documentation, policy, diagnostics and access to the search history.
Export Teams list from Teams Admin Centre
Administrators can export Teams and Users lists as a CSV file from the Teams admin centre.
Virtual Visits usage report in Teams Admin Centre
The Virtual Visits usage report in the Microsoft Teams admin centre gives you an overview of Teams Virtual Visits activity in your organisation for Global admins and Teams admins. Customers can view detailed activity for virtual appointments scheduled through the Bookings app and the Microsoft Teams Electronic Health Records (EHR) connector. Customers also will be able to understand virtual visit appointment volume and key associated metrics to improve virtual visit adoption, understand wait time and appointment duration for a given period, as well as evaluate quality customer experience and manage ROI. They also will be able to receive details of each individual meeting to better understand appointments and activity patterns within the organisation and to track point-in-time and historical trends related to virtual visits.
List of the joined teams per user in Teams admin centre
Teams administrators can view the list of teams that a user has joined via the User detail page in the Teams admin centre. Previously, in order to find out whether a user is part of a team or not, admins had to go to the individual teams and search for a user. Using this feature, admins can view the list of teams that a user is a part of from a single place and then take actions like “removing from a team.”
Task publishing editing
Task publishing enables corporate teams to create and publish tasks through Tasks by Planner and To Do. For example, tasks could be created and published for all frontline locations and other configurable attributes of a distributed workforce. With this feature, corporate teams can edit published tasks so they can make easy adjustments without having to recall the entire task list and disturb the execution of tasks already in action. Learn more about Tasks.
Pinned apps for frontline workers
Microsoft are providing a tailored experience for frontline workers in Teams. With this feature, users with an F license will get frontline worker apps such as Tasks, Shifts, Walkie Talkie, and Approvals pinned out of the box. Organisations can further configure the apps pinned, but this feature provides a foundation for a Teams environment purpose-built for frontline workers. Learn more about this default experience.
Walkie Talkie app in Teams is available on Sonim XP8
The Walkie Talkie app in Microsoft Teams is now available on Sonim XP8, with a dedicated push-to-talk button. Learn more about how frontline workers can enjoy clear, instant, and secure communication at their fingertips and collaborate seamlessly with anyone from anywhere across geographic locations.
Global sign in and sign out
Teams iOS app will support global sign in and sign out to simplify the experience for frontline workers. Employees can now use any device from the shared device pool to sign in with their credentials and sign out of it at the end of the shift. This will remove all their personal and company information from the device.
Approvals app in Teams now available in Microsoft 365 F1 SKUs for frontline workers
Get faster approvals by streamlining frontline worker requests with Approvals app in Teams in Microsoft 365 F3 and now Microsoft 365 F1. Easily create, manage, and share approvals directly from a chat, a channel conversation, or from the app. Create approvals from scratch, company-created templates with easy, repeatable structures and preset fields, or with e-sign through Adobe Sign and DocuSign. Learn more about Approvals.
Smarter collaboration for the new Hybrid Work economy
Webex Go is available in the U.S this month
Staying connected on the go has never been easier. Webex Go brings you powerful calling features to personal mobile devices using a second phone line. With Webex Go you can feel confident making business calls on this second line while protecting your personal identity. Cisco have announced that it will be available soon to all U.S. Webex Calling users with other countries planned soon. Learn more.
Reduce meeting fatigue with the latest Vidcast capabilities
Vidcast, Webex’s asynchronous video messaging solution, is introducing new capabilities to drive stronger engagement and productivity while reducing the need for more meetings. Vidcast + Webex enable better together experiences with easy edit, recording and sharing capabilities to create more immersive videos. Use Vidcast to create pre-recorded demos, speaker and sponsor messages that can be embedded into Slido polls or embed videos in Webex Events (formerly Socio). Learn more.
Industry-first – iPad Picture in Picture
If you love Webex and your iPad, Cisco’s industry-first picture in picture capability with iOS 15 is for you. This capability provides greater multitasking abilities so you can actively engage in meetings while being able to refer to emails, messages or your calendars on the home screen. Learn more.
Over 25 new integrations now available on App Hub
Check out all the new integrations that are now available this month, including InVision, ADP Standout roles, and more. In addition, Cisco has also announced that the embedded apps framework will be available in the coming months on Webex Desk and Webex Board Series devices powered by RoomOS, featuring Slido, Miro, Mural, and Shared Timer. To learn about all the new integrations released this month, please visit the App Hub.
Seamless & personalised transition back to the office
Enhanced Hot Desking personalises return to the office
As we embrace a hybrid work model, the need for dedicated desks in the office will drastically reduce. With Cisco’s latest enhancement to hot desking, you can sign in and book any shared Webex Desk Series device (Webex Desk, Desk Hub, Desk Mini or Desk Pro) using the same Webex account and turn that device into your personalised workspace. Access all your calendar meetings, recent calls, whiteboards and join meetings with the push of a button.
Persistent web apps on Room Navigator
With persistent apps on Room Navigator, not only can you manage Webex room controls and room booking, you can also run third-party, best-of-breed workspace management and room booking apps such as Appspace, UMA, Humly among others. These persistent web apps access meeting room sensor data and the Webex hybrid calendar for customized room reservation, wayfinding, digital signage and more.
New calling experiences on Webex video devices
The enterprise-grade Webex Calling experience is now natively supported on Webex Video (Room and Desk) devices. You can take advantage of advanced features like hold/resume, transfer, conference, and voicemail, in addition to extension and PSTN dialling from these devices.
Improved MPP experience
Webex Multiplatform Phones (MPP) are more powerful than ever! With deeper integrations with Webex Calling and Webex for Broadworks, you can now leverage enhanced Webex features across the Webex App and all Webex devices. The enhanced features include: one button click to join calls and meetings, intelligent audio with noise suppression, unified calling history and a platform benefiting end-users and the servicing admins. And through the Control Hub administrators can remotely reboot devices, collect and send logs through the problem reporting tool as well as track the devices. For details on all of the devices, innovation read Snorre Kjesbu’s blog: More than video conferencing solutions: Reimagining work experiences.
Security, Manageability & Performance
Connected and enterprise-ready event experiences
Now Webex customers can manage their encryption keys in the cloud. Bring your own key (BYOK) offers a simple way to set up and manage keys for Webex space messaging, including messages, files and whiteboarding, as well as meetings content, including recordings, transcripts and calling (voicemail). With BYOK customers get complete control and easy key life-cycle management – they can deactivate, rotate, revoke and audit their keys in seconds – and choose who has access to their keys.
Enhanced calling administration
Administering and managing Webex Calling just got easier. With the new and improved Webex Calling analytics dashboard, administrators can monitor KPIs and drill down into this data to identify the root cause of call quality issues. Cisco’s improved troubleshooting tool provides even more granular detail into the quality of individual phone calls. Finally, a detailed call history view gives administrators a holistic view of every call made, so your company can keep a close eye on usage and PSTN costs. Accessible through a single-pane-of-glass with Control Hub, these new tools help customers to deliver a high-quality, cost-effective calling experience to users across the organisation.
Engage with customers their way
Imiconnect is now Webex Connect
Webex Connect is Cisco’s cloud-based enterprise CPaaS platform that automates and orchestrates end-to-end journeys enabling businesses to take control of their customer interactions and deliver seamless, personalised customer experiences. This month they are enhancing channel capability by delivering branded text capabilities for North America, WhatsApp for Business’ enhancements, quick replies in Apple Messages for Business, Bot Builder within developer portal and more.
Webex Contact Center now integrated with Webex Connect (formerly imiconnect) digital channels
Webex Contact Center provides an out-of-the-box ready, enterprise-grade cloud contact centre, with full flexibility for customisation via open APIs and a powerful enterprise communications platform. Webex Connect capability is now fully integrated into Webex Contact Center to include new digital channels (text/SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, chat, email).
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