Welcome to the August edition of What’s New! This month, we are going through the rich feature updates from Microsoft Teams & Cisco. With the goal of making meeting experiences more efficient and engaging for all collaboration users, find out how these new updates will impact you! We have lots of news from polls to new LinkedIn Integrations & the newly announced Cloud Managed for Catalyst.
Microsoft Forms enhancements in Teams meetings
Microsoft Teams now has an even stronger partnership with Microsoft Forms. Microsoft Forms is excited to introduce a number of new features and improvements to existing features within Teams meeting polls. Here’s a quick summary:
- Microsoft are replacing the “Forms” app within Teams with a new app named “Polls”—making it much easier for people to find and add polls to their chats and meetings. You will be able to see the “Polls” app when searching in the Teams app store (via the side bar or top nav bar in the meeting) or from the message extension flyout menu.
- They’ve made UI improvements to the poll suggestions pane, including the ability to:
o Re-position the list of suggested polls from the bottom to the side pane
o Provide an entry point in the polls portal page, where users can show/hide the side pane as needed
o Provide the poll results view (previously, it only showed the voting view), which allows the poll creator to see how the poll will look to the meeting audience after it’s launched
- You can now see a list of your recently created polls so that you can re-use your past polls created in new meetings and save time.
- A new poll animation appears after people have entered a response, providing a dynamic confirmation that their votes have been successfully submitted.
- Microsoft are adding a new poll question type, Rating, which allows you to provide feedback by rating on the scaled symbols.
- Microsoft has improved the poll result view to be a more intuitive and easy-to-read experience, with enrichments such as colour indication and dynamic results.
Phone and Calling
Remove a call from your history
Streamline your view with the ability to hide calls from your call history list on Teams for desktop and mobile.
Call recording announcement played in your default language
Call recording announcements will now be played in your default language for Teams calls to or from a phone number. Both parties will hear the announcement in the same language, at the same time, for both standard and compliance recording scenarios.
Common Area Phone license enhancements
The Common Area Phone offering has been enhanced to serve a wider variety of scenarios for customers without increasing the price. Learn more about how to set up Common Area Phones.
Security, endpoint management, and cloud-based voicemail features are available through the following service plans added to the Common Area Phone license:
- Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 1
- Microsoft Intune
- Exchange Online Plan 2 (cloud-based voicemail only)
You can verify within the admin center that a Common Area Phone license is activated for Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 1, Microsoft Intune, and Exchange Online Plan 2.
To enroll devices into Intune service, check the requirements at Configure Intune to enroll Teams Android-based devices. If you have auto-enrollment set up in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center, and you do not want to auto-enroll your Teams device, you need to unassign the Intune license or set up a grouping structure that omits these devices from auto-enrollment.
In addition, the following calling features are available for supported Teams phone device models enabled with a Common Area Phone license and the latest Teams app update (minimum version – 1449/126.96.36.1992061702):
- Call park and retrieve
- Cloud-based voicemail through Exchange Online Plan 2
- Call queues
- Auto attendants
- Group call pickup
- Forwarding rules
To use the calling features on supported Teams phone device models, you need to enable the “Advanced Calling” setting in the Teams admin center or on your Teams phone device and sign in through your Common Area Phone account. Learn more about how to disable cloud-based voicemail from your devices. To access advanced capabilities, ensure that you purchase the right hardware models.
Spectralink Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) device integration with SIP Gateway
DECT devices from Spectralink have been integrated with SIP Gateway, allowing frontline workers to use Teams calling functionality on DECT devices to communicate with colleagues on the go. DECT device integration with SIP Gateway is available on the following compatible handset models from Spectralink:
- IP-DECT 200/400/6500/Virtual IP-DECT/IP-DECT Base Station
- Handsets 72xx/75xx/76xx/77xx
Check out for Microsoft Teams panels
Using the new “Manage” button on a Teams panel, the reserved Teams Room can now be checked out of, or released, directly from the panel with the touch of a button. This functionality will end the room reservation and returns the room to the room inventory.
Extend room reservations for Microsoft Teams panels
Also through the new “Manage” button, a Teams Rooms reservation can be extended directly from the panel. The reservation can only be extended if the room is available during that time.
Peripherals: Camera on/off feature
Any Teams-certified peripheral device supporting the camera on/off feature now allows each user to more efficiently turn on or off their individual video in calls and meetings. Instead of fumbling with a mouse or keypad, users can quickly control their video with the simple click of a button on their device.
Logitech Tap IP (VR0029)
The Logitech TAP IP is now certified for Microsoft Teams Rooms. Using the network-connected touch controller allows for easy meeting join via one-touch join and simple setup with a single power over ethernet cable. The Logitech Tap IP can be mounted using table and riser mounts that allow for 180-degree rotation or on the wall depending on the needs of the room. Learn more.
Logi Dock is an all-in-one docking station that is now certified for Microsoft Teams. Logi Dock works smoothly with Teams and connects everything in one tidy unit, replacing the need for extra peripherals and eliminating a tangle of cables and wires. The device connects and charges up to five USB peripherals and up to two monitors, simplifying the home office setup so that users can work more productively.
Chat and Collaboration
Use LinkedIn profiles, now integrated with Teams, to get to know your colleagues, connect directly and build deeper relationships. From Teams chat, channels, calls, or meetings, you will now be able to view your colleague’s LinkedIn profile, including their current role, past experiences, and other insights. Learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn integration.
Automatic groupings available for channel posts
When creating a message post in a team channel, users are now able to notify owners of the team all at once by mentioning “@Team Owners,” removing the need to mention team owners individually. “Team Owners” is automatically grouped and doesn’t require any manual maintenance.
Enhanced user experience on iPad
Microsoft Teams on iPad is now more responsive to screen size, app orientation, and display modes. The Teams app bar and canvas will automatically align based on the screen size available to the Teams app.
Bulk removal for individual policy assignments
Admins can clean up individual policy assignments from users in bulk so that those users can inherit the correct policy either via a group policy assignment or global organisation-wide default. Individual policies are always prioritised, in order to clean those induvial policies and make sure that users are getting the correct policy we created this procedure to clean them all in one operation.
Security, compliance, and privacy
Export API support for Teams message reactions
The Teams Export API allows organizations to support Enterprise Information Archiving (EIA) for Teams to solve for retention, indexing, e-discovery, classification, and regulatory requirements. Teams Export API also will now support Teams reactions (heart, thumbs up, laugh, surprised, angry, sad) on a message using the Export API. This is in addition to Teams Messages (1:1 and group chat), attachments (file links and sticker), emojis, GIFs, and user @Mentions.
Easily deploy frontline teams at scale
Administrators can deploy up to 500 teams with 25 users per team using one PowerShell command. This enables your organization to roll out teams at scale within a day so your frontline workforce can collaborate and be productive across different stores, locations, and roles. You can use custom templates to set up teams that best fit your organization’s needs or leverage one of our default templates. Admins also can remove members from teams at scale from existing teams. Learn more about deploying frontline teams at scale.
Device Test for virtual appointments
Device Test allows virtual appointment users to validate and configure hardware components before joining an appointment through Microsoft Teams. Users will be able to validate camera, microphone, and browser compatibility, as well as the internet connection at any moment before the scheduled appointment start time. Benefits of Device Test include:
- Complete a full test call with Azure Communication Service
- Easy access to the troubleshooting guide
- Ability to share test results with appointment organizers
Learn more about device testing.
Virtual appointment SMS notifications for UK customers
Now UK customers can send and receive SMS confirmations and reminders with a Teams Meetings link for any virtual appointments that are created from the Bookings app in Teams. Learn more about SMS notifications.
Introducing Cloud Managed for Catalyst
Access with Choice: Power Hybrid Work Your Way
If you didn’t catch this year’s Cisco Live, not to worry. Among many exciting announcements to support hybrid work, Cisco introduced new platform innovations for network management.
One of the most exciting is Cloud Management for Catalyst, which combines the number one platform in cloud networks, Cisco Meraki, with the industry-leading Catalyst access portfolio. Now, Cisco customers have access to a more unified experience for network monitoring and management.
What does this mean?
Simply put, scale, visibility, and control over your own destiny. No two organisations will chart the same journey to the cloud, but Cisco believe a few things will accelerate that path. In a hybrid world, when employees are moving seamlessly from home to the office (and everywhere in between), IT teams need simpler, more intelligent ways to monitor and optimise their networks.
Making hybrid work ‘work’
In order to make hybrid work ‘work,’ the network has to be agile, secure, and consistent to deliver the best experience possible. With Cisco Meraki — IT can simplify operations and accelerate the transition to the cloud at its own pace, with freedom of choice of how Catalyst infrastructure is managed and monitored.
Solutions suited for you
With these new capabilities, customers can eliminate complexity by bridging the boundaries across technologies, locations, and teams. Cisco is positioned to provide a full spectrum of on-premises and cloud solutions that offer the best of both worlds to customers of any size.
Your Next Steps
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