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Do you already know our online meeting solutions Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business?

The workplace is changing at a blistering speed. We notice this every day when we need to meet easily and comprehensively with our colleagues, partners and customers. But which ingredients do you need to properly prepare a successful meeting? Our partner Microsoft can help you out.

This blog article will provide you an overview on how Microsoft can help to boost your (online) meeting productivity with Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business and Surface Hub.

The story of Microsoft

When we talk about digital transformation, Microsoft definitely conquered the prime position on the desktop, with their productivity suite Office 365. Earlier this year Microsoft reached the number of 180 Million Monthly Active Users in Office 365 and the succes story is not stopping there.

With Microsoft Teams, released in 2017 and consolidating O365 collaboration & communications in one single user interface, Microsoft is again breaking records. Beginning of this year, Microsoft announced that Teams is its fastest growing business application ever, with at that moment already 500.000 organizations using Teams (which was 2,5 times the number of beginning 2018). And with the recently shared number of 13 Million people using Microsoft Teams dialy, the application is overchieving it’s main competitor Slack (which latest number shows a 10 Million daily active user count).

Microsoft Teams’ success will be partly related to the large number of Office 365 customers, who are getting the product ‘by default’ delivered in their toolkit. But on the other hand it’s also amazing to see that Microsoft created, in a very short timeframe, a magnificent product to handle Teamwork at the fullest, including (document) collaboration, chat, online meetings and telephony functionalities.

In this article I would like to provide you with some more insights on the online meeting functionalities in Microsoft Teams and how you can get the most out of them and really boost meeting productivity.

Online meetings in Microsoft Teams

There are three type of meetings in Microsoft Teams

  1. Microsoft Teams meetings ad-hoc or scheduled in a channel
  2. Microsoft Teams private meetings from Teams or scheduled in outlook
  3. Microsoft Teams Live Events

Our first meeting type is really meant to extend the collaboration functionalities in Microsoft Teams as the complete meeting experience (pre-, during and post-meeting activities) are taking place in the Microsoft Teams channel itself, to create a “connected meetings lifecycle”.

With Microsoft Teams private meetings we can easily schedule a meeting, with internal and external participants, from our outlook calendar (as we were used to with Skype for Business and Lync). And with just one-click we can uplift our meeting invite with the required dial-in information for any type of participant.

And if a meeting needs to be bigger (and we do mean really big 😊), then Microsoft Teams Live Events will provide us the possibility to extend your reach to 10.000 meeting/event attendees who can participate via an internet stream distributed via the Microsoft Azure Media Delivery Network.

Newest functionalities

Our previous paragraph proofs that Microsoft Teams will meet the requirements to host all type of meetings in your organization, so now our question is “how can we make the most of of those Microsoft Teams meetings and boost our meeting productivity?”.

Microsoft Teams is full of exciting functionalities, which are really driving the end-user experiences in easy to use, flexible and productive meetings.

As Microsoft Teams is built on Azure and is taking benefit of the Microsoft Graph, Artificial Intelligence is infused to the solution without your users having to think on using it. Some very good examples to the “connected meetings lifecycycle”:

  • Using bots in the pre-meeting process, to automatically schedule your meeting based on the invitees’ calendar and availability.
  • Providing availability of the right documents, automatically identify and present additional relevant information and blurring your background during the meeting.
  • Follow-up on the assigned tasks and intelligent search on the cloud recording of your meetings, will be very helpful during the post-meeting phase.

Those small examples are possible today and show us how AI is entering our workplace, sometimes even without your end-users consciously taking notice of this.

And there is so much more coming up with some very useful functionalities on the roadmap, like for example content cameras and intelligent capture, meeting live captions, proximity based meeting join and replacing your background with a virtual background picture.

Meeting devices for Microsoft Teams

To get the most out of your meetings, Microsoft does have a complete vision of Microsoft Teams in the meeting room by implementation of Microsoft Teams Rooms (MTR) and Microsoft Surface Hub 2S.

Microsoft Teams Rooms are video conferencing solution build together with strategic partners as Logitech, Poly, Yealink and Avocor. We will highlight on the MTR solutions from the perspective of each of those partners, as they each show their added value within the implementation of the Microsoft Teams Room solutions. Please follow this blog series to get the full story.

With Surface Hub 2S, Microsoft also has a complete meeting room solution itself. Delivering the ultimate all-in-one collaboration display experience for whiteboarding, content presentation & collaboration and online meetings with Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business. Are you curious about all the Surface Hub 2S features?

How to integrate Microsoft Teams meetings with your Skype for Business Server

With the power of AI infused to Microsoft Teams, it seems clear that the future of the Microsoft Online Meeting experiences will be build on the Teams platform, but what does this mean for your actual Skype for Business Server or Online deployment?

As Skype for Business Online will be retiring in 2021, a full migration to Microsoft Teams will be the logical next step in your deployment.

This story can be a little bit more difficult when you’re using Skype for Business Server today, especially when enabled with Enterprise Voice and some specific integrations. Microsoft has thought about that ‘real life’ situation and now provides you the possibility to build a hybrid solution with Skype for Business Server 2019 on-premises for Chat & Calling (telephony) and Microsoft Teams from Office 365 for more rich cloud meetings. Looking at the Microsoft Teams migration modes in Office 365 this is called “Skype for Business with Teams Collaboration and Meetings”.

Register now! 


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