SADA recently concluded its 3-part webinar series, Bringing Intelligent Communications to Life. In each session, SADA’s team of experts delved into how to utilize and plan for the many transformative features and benefits of Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork in Office 365 that integrates all the people, content and tools organizations need to be more engaged and effective.
In case you missed it, here are 4 hot topics the series addressed:
1. High-Tech Meeting Room Features and Devices
In session II, Kevin Curtin, Sr. Solutions Architect, Unified Communications – Microsoft Productivity and Infrastructure, covered voice, videos, and meetings. Kevin went over a variety of innovative Teams meeting and calling features. Background blur, for example, is a feature within Teams that gives users the ability to blur video backgrounds during video calls in order to focus attention solely on the speaker.
Kevin also touched on proximity meeting room detection, a futuristic feature that makes it easy to discover and add nearby and available Teams-enabled room systems. When a user enters a room that is equipped with a Teams meeting room device, the proximity detector will automatically identify the user’s Teams-enabled laptop or device and alert the user.
Cloud meeting recording was another exciting feature that was discussed. Microsoft is making it very easy to capture meetings with one-click meeting recording capabilities and searchable timecoded transcripts. The meeting videos are stored in the cloud and can be played back. Microsoft will also be adding facial recognition which will match a speaker’s statements with the corresponding speaker.
Inline message translation is a feature that takes the increasingly global workforce into consideration. This feature lets users automatically translate Teams messages into the language they’ve specified in their personal language settings in Office 365. The translator is available in over 60 languages.
In session III, Jerry Sauder, Sr. Solutions Architect, Enterprise Solutions, discussed the various customization and integration features in Teams. The highlight of this session was Jerry’s live bot-building demo. By the end of his session, the audience walked away with step-by-step knowledge on how to build a chatbot in Teams. Bots are a hot topic among businesses— and for good reason. It is estimated that bots, which use AI to mimic a human interaction experience, could save $174 billion across insurance, financial services, sales, and customer service. Bots are also being used in innovative ways in the healthcare sector as well. Businesses and organizations that utilize bots benefit because automating interactions with users allows 24/7 contact and increases efficiency. Instead of wasting time searching for answers to their questions, users can simply consult a bot.
Bots are no longer limited to customer care tools— modern enterprises are using bots both internally and externally to communicate with users, respond to their questions, and proactively notify them about changes. Bots can be customized to undertake a wide range of tasks, from talent recruiting and answering employee questions about internal programs, to scheduling vacation time and assisting vendors and partners with information related to billing and invoices. As AI continues to improve, more and more businesses and organizations will leverage the technology. According to Business Insider, 80% of respondents say they are already using or plan to use chatbots by 2020.
3. Workplace Collaboration
Another hot topic among organizations seeking to positively impact business outcomes is workplace collaboration. Jason Price, Practice Lead, Change Management and Organizational Effectiveness, highlighted Microsoft’s vision for intelligent communications, and explained Teams’ role as a central hub for teamwork. In the past, people worked in siloed divisions within an organizational hierarchy. Today, tools like Teams are changing how we get work done by bringing people together in a variety of working groups, business units, and cross-functional project teams. With collaborative hubs like Teams, workplace groups can be created and archived as needed. In a way, this flattens the typical organizational structure enabling greater access and output.
Modern enterprises are placing so much emphasis on a teamwork-driven workforce because of the benefits associated with collaborative work environments. Benefits include increased mobility, productivity gains, and enhanced communication. Microsoft Teams helps to foster a more collaborative environment by providing organized access to relevant content to generate, share and build upon organizational knowledge. Teams furnishes the workforce with the tools that enable them to stay connected and to be productive all in one single UI.
4. Security and Compliance
In session III, Chris Nazarian, Practice Director, Enterprise Support Services, addressed Teams’ security and compliance features. Data protection and cybersecurity is on everyone’s mind as cyber-attacks become more and more aggressive and sophisticated. Data protection has not only become a day-to-day struggle for businesses and organizations, but it is one of the biggest challenges that humanity will face over the next couple of decades. Damage related to security breaches is projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021.
Modern enterprises are tasked with managing, governing, and ensuring compliance of massive amounts of data. Global and national legislation and regulations, like GDPR, make things even more complicated. It’s critical that businesses ensure that the cloud-based business solutions and tools they use can deliver advanced security and compliance capabilities. Microsoft Teams was built to be fully Office 365 Tier-C compliant. This includes the following standards: ISO 27001, ISO 27018, SSAE16 SOC 1, SOC 2, HIPAA, and EU Model Clauses (EUMC).
In session III, Chris delved into Teams’ authentication, auditing and reporting features. Teams gives admins the flexibility to create their own customizable security setups. For example, Teams offers support for audit log searches within Office 365’s Security and Compliance Center allowing administrators to set alerts for workload specific or generic event sets. Using this feature, you can keep track of user and admin activities. Teams also gives administrators the ability to customize access permissions. Chris also discussed the Compliance Content Search feature which allows administrators to find information related to a specific incident or legal matter using complex queries. Using this tool, administrators can search for information throughout Teams, including chats and documents.