When Microsoft announced the official end of life for Skype for Business back in 2019, they did not clarify what application would be the de facto business communication app. However, there is no need to guess any longer with the recent developments in the company’s Teams video and chat communication tool.
Microsoft Teams now supports webinar features, and it does not require a separate subscription, business account, or special setup. Setting up a webinar on Microsoft teams is as easy as scheduling a meeting on a calendar. While the webinar feature is not yet officially rolled out, it is expected that the next major update of the app will bring this new feature.
The webinar feature in the Microsoft Teams app will support as many as 1,000 interactive attendees in a single meeting. It also offers an ‘overflow’ experience for another 10,000 attendees to view the broadcast only and enjoy the experience.
Microsoft has referred to ‘webinars,’ ‘virtual events,’ and ‘meetings’ while talking about the features of the new Teams app. While the distinction between the events may be slim, the Teams app uses such communication technologies as mixing complex AV and NDI.
On top of the list of the new features in Microsoft Teams is the breakout room retention and meeting participant room reassignment. The new webinar feature on Microsoft Teams has gone the extra mile to offer features that are already offered by the top video chat and webinar apps on the market. Organizers of meetings on Microsoft Teams can now reassign meeting participants to rooms when they are created.
In the old version of Microsoft Teams, organizers could only reassign participants to rooms when they were closed. The breakout room assignment feature is a great addition that enables room assignment to persist over multiple meeting sessions. Microsoft anticipates that this feature will make managing discussions more efficient. It will also help ensure that meeting participants are assigned to their right rooms in a breakout.
By default, Microsoft Teams accords anyone who is a participant of a webinar meeting presenter access. The app, however, allows the organizers to control which participants can share content in the meeting and limit uninvited guests. The Meeting Options in Microsoft Teams features an attendee restriction feature that allows the organizers to determine who can attend the webinar and who should not.
The new meeting settings in Teams by default send uninvited attendees to the lobby. For instance, when a meeting attendee invites another colleague not approved by the organizer, the new attendee will be directed to the lobby. They can then wait until invited by the host or admitted by the meeting organizer. This is a security feature that prevents uninvited guests from attending exclusive meetings.
The development of Microsoft Teams was greatly influenced by the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic and the resulting work-from-home culture. The popularity of such platforms as Zoom helped defined the future of communication tools, including Microsoft Teams.
The new Teams app also comes with robust collaboration and productivity tools. The advanced platform capabilities that include polls within meetings aims to make a Teams meeting more robust and inclusive. Attendees on mobile devices can participate in polls during meetings and access expanded options right on their devices.
Microsoft Teams with webinar also comes supercharged with intelligent poll suggestions and usage analytics. These AI-powered tools are designed to help users prepare relevant questions for polls, analyze responses, and make swift decisions based on the results.
To make webinars safer, Microsoft has added multiple security and compliance measures on its Teams app. Meetings and meeting joining links on the Teams app are disabled for users without valid scheduling permissions. In the past, users could join meetings using old links even after their meeting scheduling capabilities have been revoked.
The new policy updates on the Microsoft Teams app is a welcome step to making the app more secure. There have also been significant feature enhancements, including improvement to audio permission settings for meeting attendees. This new feature enables meeting organizers and presenters to manage attendee audio permissions with much more flexibility.
With the new app, attendees will no longer need to request the organizer or presenter to allow them to unmute the microphone as they can unmute them right from their dashboard.
One of the top improvements made on the Microsoft Teams app is the Live Events feature. Event organizers can now allow anonymous users without a Microsoft account to present and participate in webinar meetings. This makes it easier for special presenters such as guests to make presentations on Live Events remotely.
The new Teams app offers a new way to manage the Teams Live Events. For instance, there can be an organizer, a presenter, and a producer within the same setting, each with their own responsibilities. Users can now collaborate with other teams right from the webinar window and simultaneously support a meeting event in which they are participating.
Microsoft is going all-in on accommodating every major operating system with its webinar app. With the new Microsoft Teams, users can now cast their meetings right from the Teams Android or iOS apps. These apps are downloadable from the play store and do not require a formally scheduled meeting to cast.
Users can easily connect wirelessly to a Teams Room then display the contents and on-goings of the meeting on their mobile devices. They can even broadcast the mobile Teams meeting screen with others to share content stored locally or make OneDrive accessible via the Teams app.
iOS users will also appreciate the custom backgrounds available on the new iOS Teams app. The wide selection of Microsoft-provided backgrounds improves the personalization of the app and can make meetings more fun and personal.
Microsoft has made it clear that the future of messaging and meetings on its platforms lies in the Teams app. The new app is redesigned to include many new security and productivity features for personal and corporate users. If you use Microsoft products, you will want to know what other great features the Microsoft Teams webinar tool brings. If you would like to learn how the new teams will impact your business, reach out to MicroXpress Inc. to get personalized advice and professional guidance.
MicroXpress has been providing professional IT services to Central PA businesses since 1989. Watch this brief video to find out the Top Five Reasons so many local businesses are switching to MicroXpress for their IT support.