Watch out for more updates and improvements to Microsoft Teams very soon. 

With technology, of course, there are always advances. 

The good news for the consumer is that these developments arrive quicker and quicker – and with much greater attention to the user experience. 

That is accentuated in areas where there is competition between providers.  

Microsoft’s mission is centred around ‘empowerment’ so you can be sure the company has a focus on improving the way the technology allows people to do their best work. 

You Need to Watch Out for This 

This drive to update month after month after month has implications for the VAs, EAs and PAs of this world. That’s because one application being given a lot of attention by the tech giant is Teams. 

If you’ve not yet grasped the basics, take a look at my How to use Microsoft Teams online course. 

As the software gets upgraded and offers more features and functionality, it’s up to assistants to keep up with the changes. Clients will assume you are up to speed with everything. 

Microsoft is aiming to make Teams the central hub for its range of collaboration technology services. 

A good example of this surrounds something called Microsoft Viva. This is a new employee experience platform, accessed through – you guessed it – Teams. 

It’s a shift away from having conversations around IT to having conversations about organisational culture. It allows leaders and staff to explore questions to drive things forward. What does the company stand for? How can we make it more cohesive? What training is required and how will we deliver it? How do we improve learning communications? 

Viva La Difference 

It means you may start hearing more of Viva elements when talking with clients and prospects. 

‘Connections’ is a way to share news and communications amongst employees. ‘Insights’ is a method of assessing how engaged people are and their experiences of working in the team. ‘Learning’ is a training and development portal. ‘Topics’ uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to work out what the big conversations are in the business. 

Clients may wonder how all this hooks up with Teams or even ask advice about how they can use Viva. If you’re able to show you have the ‘know how’ that’s going to impress people. 

And, of course, you don’t have to wait to be asked. If you know this stuff, you can take the initiative and share your expertise. 

Bye, Bye Skype. Hello, Satin 

Skype used to be the ‘go to’ tool for online chats and meetings. Those days are long gone. The only conversation these days is shall we use Zoom or Teams? 

Right now, some may say that Zoom is better, others may prefer Teams.  

You may already know this but Microsoft actually owns Skype. And without getting too technical, its people are working on an upgrade to improve voice quality over the internet. 

If you hear them talking about ‘Satin’, it’s just the name of a coding upgrade from the original used in Skype (called ‘Silk’). 

The only bit you need to remember is call quality on Microsoft Teams is being improved. This may encourage more companies to decide the extra cost of a Zoom subscription is not worth keeping. 

The more companies turn to Teams, the more of them will expect assistants to know it, use it and – yes – even guide them in how to get the most from it. 

If you know you’re going to need to master this tool, my online course Assistants Guide to Taming Microsoft Teams will help you do just that. 

And There’s More… 

Some of the upgrades on the way may not be so obvious when they arrive. They may be nuanced or even tucked away.  

If you know what’s happening, you can use the changes to your advantage (for your own productivity and efficiency, and also as something to guide your clients through). 

Microsoft is aiming to bring together the Office 365 and Microsoft 365 experiences so the look and feel is similar. You may notice some new icons as part of that. 

With hybrid and remote working here to stay, there is likely to be a shift from pre-scheduled meetings to impromptu or spontaneous conversations – that may turn into meetings. 

With Teams you can already create an instant meeting link (or URL) to share with people. Now it’s also possible to generate a meeting with the click of a button in Outlook. 

It’s all in the Pipeline 

There are so many upgrades, changes and improvements in the pipeline for Microsoft Teams that I’ll have to get to grips with them, too. 

It may mean updates to my own range of Teams courses or having to add an appendix to my most recent training book on the topic. 

There really is no excuse now. 

Every assistant should know the essentials of Microsoft Teams – and keep their eyes open for updates. It will serve you and your clients well. 

Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes