The video meetings have been elevated to new heights during the pandemic. With everyone forced to stay inside to work and go to school from home, video conferencing became the only way we could meet safely face to face.
During the first four months of the pandemic, there was a 500% increase in searches for web and video conferencing. Many online meeting solutions have seen their user numbers skyrocket over the last year and a half.
For example, between April 2020 and April 2021, Microsoft Teams gained over 100 million users.
Microsoft is intending to not only keep those new users but to also steal new ones away from services like Zoom by adding a bunch of new features to Teams that you won’t find anywhere else.
Cloud integration has been a big focus for businesses in Sturgeon Bay and around the country during the pandemic. Companies have struggled with finding just the right tools that all work together and don’t result in wasting money on unnecessary cloud subscriptions.
If you’ve been looking for the perfect video meeting app that can provide more control over meetings as well as offer features you won’t find elsewhere, then you’ll want to take a look at Microsoft Teams. It’s had several new features added over the last several weeks that make it a very attractive solution.
Why Use Microsoft Teams for Video Conferencing?
Before we jump into the new Teams features, let’s touch on why Teams is a more robust platform than other online meeting apps.
Video calls are just one of the many things Teams is capable of. The platform is really an entirely virtual office communication platform that also brings in things like employee training and wellness through the Microsoft Viva add-on.
The full-featured version of Teams is available with a Microsoft 365 business subscription. There is also a free version that has fewer features that anyone can use.
Standard features of Teams include:
- Channeled company messaging
- Group-based file storage
- Video and audio conferencing
- VoIP capabilities through the Business Voice add-on
- Ability to launch apps, webpages, and files from one place
- Native integration with the full suite of Microsoft products
Already Teams is starting ahead of the pack, and it just got better with the following additions.
Ever feel like you were giving a presentation in a room all by yourself when on a video call? If you’re the presenter, everyone else is usually on mute to reduce any background noise. But the silence and lack of real-time feedback can cause a disconnect between the presenter and the audience.
Live Reactions is designed to fix that problem and invite more engagement. It allows those viewing a presentation to click an emoji reaction that all can see. This makes for more connections between the meeting participants and presenter, but in a way that doesn’t involve everyone talking over each other.
All Teams images are from Microsoft.
Trying to refer to notes while sharing screen and giving a talk over a video call can be challenging. Some people resort to offline sticky notes because they don’t have a way to have their notes up on screen while sharing their presentation.
The new PowerPoint Live feature in Teams solves that problem. It allows presenters to see their PPT notes along with the presentation they’re sharing, but only they can see them, not the other participants.
This feature is also nice for those viewing the presentation because it allows them to access the slides and page back and forth between them individually no matter what slide the presenter happens to be on.
If you’re sharing a screen during a client presentation or employee training, it’s hard to have the same presence online that you would have standing in front of the group in person. Usually, your video feed will be in a gallery along with everyone else’s.
The first time you use Presenter Mode, you will knock everyone’s socks off with the professional look of the visual. It puts your video feed front and center along with your shared content.
You have three options you can choose from depending upon how you’d like the visual elements displayed.
- Standout: Your video feed is cropped and is overlaid in front of the shared content.
- Side-by-Side: Your video feed and content share the screen.
- Reporter: Your video feed is larger and your presentation is smaller (as seen on your local newscast).
Webinar Registration & Reporting
One of the most helpful features added recently to Teams is the ability to use the platform for webinars. The lack of one platform that can be used for both video calls/meetings and webinars has been a big problem during the pandemic for many companies. They’ve ended up having to subscribe to two different software tools because it was hard to find that that easily did both.
Teams now gives you the capability to schedule a webinar, create a personalized webinar signup page, and track attendee information. When someone signs up, they’re automatically sent a confirmation and meeting link, just as you’d expect from a webinar-only application.
Get Help Streamlining Your Use of the Cloud
Quantum PC Services can help your Sturgeon Bay area business eliminate cloud waste and make the most of integrated cloud solutions.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.