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.
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.