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What’s New in Teams – November 2018

Microsoft Teams continues to receive updates with new features and functionality at a rapid rate! Just in October alone, we saw a number of updates in areas such as new third party apps, communication features, admin features, and mobility features. With that said, I’ll be breaking down each of these areas in more detail below.

3rd Party Tool Integration

You may already by familiar with Teams ability to integrate 3rd party tools, if not check out the full list here. In this month’s spotlight we have:

  • Confluence Cloud Messaging Extension – A space where you can create, organize, and discuss work with your team.
    • For the official blog post please check it out here.
  • Meekan – Don’t like scheduling meetings over and over again? No problem! With Meekan’s AI assistant you can simplify tasks such as matching everyone’s calendars in seconds so you can ensure that everyone is free!
    • For the full post on this helpful app check it out here.
  • Jira Cloud App – Does your organization use Jira Help Desk? Want to integrate it with Teams? Well Microsoft has done just that! In addition they have recently added the ability to support Jira Service Desk projects. All you need to do is select the project, choose the service desk queue, and then pin it as a Microsoft Teams tab.

Jira Cloud App example – Provided by:  

  • Polly App – Polly want a cracker?? No? How about a way to customize you polls with additional question types? Well with the Polly App you can now manage your organization’s surveys to help foster collaboration and productivity. These instant polls with real-time results will encourage your team to participate and engage in conversations!
    • For the full breakdown on this app check out the blog post here.

Communicate better than ever!

Microsoft recently shared some exciting news for their customers using both Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams in parallel. For those of you in the process of moving from Skype for Business to Teams and using both products, Microsoft has introduced a new coexistence experience which now allows users to more accurately display their status to others in the organization. According to Microsoft, with this newest update for users in “TeamsOnly” mode, others will see presence based on the activity in Teams. For users in “SfBOnly, SfBWithTeamsCollab, and SfBWithTeamsCollabAndMeetings” modes, presence is based on Skype for Business activity. For more information on this, check out my last blog post here!

Coexistence modes.png

Image credit of

IT Admins Rejoice! New Features!

With all of these updates for end users it is easy to gloss over those that manage the tool for everyone, our admins! Well worry not, because Microsoft has some exciting updates for our IT admins for Microsoft Teams. Some of the latest updates for IT admins include:

  • Teams based on dynamic group membership
    • According to Microsoft, this gives you the ability to create teams backed by O365 groups with a dynamic membership rule for which membership is managed dynamically based on user or device properties in Azure Active Directory. If a user or device satisfies a rule for a group, they are added as a member, and when they no longer satisfy the rule, they are removed. For the full breakdown of Dynamic memberships in Teams, I encourage you to check out the official documentation here.
  • Org-wide teams
    • With this latest update you can now provide a way for everyone in your organization (provided that is <1000 users) to automatically be part of a single team! When creating a public team, global admins will now be able to automatically add every user in the organization as well as keep all members of that team up to date. Once the meeting is created all global admins will automatically be delegated team owner membership while all active users will be added as team members. Since these org-wise teams rely heavily on Active Directory the team will update based on users joining or leaving your organization.
      • Note: Any blocked/disabled accounts won’t be added to the org-wide team. In addition, team members won’t be able to leave an org-wide team, your global admins (team owners) will have the ability to remove team members. 

For more information on the addition of org-wide teams. Check out the official blog article here.

  • Scoped Directory Search
    • Want to regulate how your users find and communicate with others in your organization? Well now you can leverage Exchange address book policies to create virtual boundaries within your organization. For more information on how to create these address book policies and implement the scoped directory search, check out the details here.

New Mobility Features!

  • Quiet Hours
    • Hate distractions? Me too! Well with Teams quiet hours feature, you can now choose when you’d like to mute within push notifications on your mobile device so you won’t have to worry about pesky people bothering you while you are trying to focus

Screenshot (52).png


Quiet hours image provided by:

  • Organizational Information at your fingertips
    • With these latest mobile updates you can now see whom belongs to a particular team or department.
    • You can leverage the Teams mobile app to search for colleagues within either the:
      • Organizational chart
      • Contact card
  • Schedule meeting on the go
    • Schedule meetings right from your Teams mobile app! In addition, you can now schedule channel meetings!
  • Teams Caller ID
    • If you have a Teams phone number saved in your phone’s contact list you’ll be able to see their name appear if they call you within Teams!
      • Note: This requires a Phone System License AND permission to access your device contacts to work properly 
  • Teams Drive Mode for safer driving!
    • If you’re one of those people whom is always on the road, you will love this new feature! With Drive Mode you’ll have the following functionality:
      • Bigger buttons for common actions
      • Activate Drive Mode with a few simple taps
      • Pair your mobile device to your car’s Bluetooth and enjoy your call’s audio through your car stereo

Well that just about wraps up all of the updates in the month of October! Stay tuned though, I send out a monthly update for all things Teams and I have a feeling more exciting news will come out within the next few weeks!



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Brian Siefferman

Brian is a Technical Consultant for Perficient’s Unified Communications practice focusing primarily on Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams workloads. He has been in this role since December 2017 and has an active presence blogging about all things Teams related. Currently, Brian resides in the suburbs of Chicago and enjoys running, swimming, weight lifting, and playing soccer in his free time.

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