Week In Review: September 28th

September 25, 2018

Welcome to the new beginning.  Welcome to the new world where Microsoft Teams is your default communication platform.  Of course, that depends on where you are in the journey.  So let’s look across the Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams stack and see where we are at today.

By The Numbers!

If you have been following Teams you will know that Microsoft announced 200,000 organization use Teams in March 2018 and we are now at 329,000.  Of course, saying “use Teams” is very subjective and many would look at that number and say give me more details.  For example, if I launched Teams and used it for a week and haven’t looked at it since means I’m an organization using Teams.

However, the last number is the biggest number.  (It was updated in the later keynote message.)  For Microsoft to tell us specific numbers, that 600,000 active users per month is a big number.  Obviously, Teams is a success, but I think one thing we all need to think about is are these voice user or meeting/collab users.  More on that!

What’s Here Now!!!  (Or rolling out in rings right now.)

Background Blur

We have seen this demo’ed previously but is now rolling out for everyone to use.  It works seamlessly and is amazing for those with busy work spaces or kids running around.

Meeting Recording

This one is HUGE!  Cloud recording to Stream with transcription service to the cloud.  This fixes a MASSIVE problem with Skype for Business and it’s local recording features.

Teams Mobile Companion

This isn’t new and has been available for a while.  It’s pretty fancy in that you can use your mobile device to let people in/out of meeting, use the mobile device camera as a second camera, etc.

Cloud Video Interop

From Blue Jeans, Pexip and Polycom we can connect third party video systems to Microsoft Teams.  This is similar to what was available in Skype for Business Online.

Image Annotation

You can do image markup from within Microsoft Teams.  Pretty fancy stuff.

Teams Admin Roles

Also not new, it was announced last week.  See my previous post.

Microsoft Search

This was a big deal at Ignite.  Beyond just making search better in teams, you will now see a unified search across all Office applications at the top of the screen, just like in Teams.  Once this work is done, it will be very powerful!

Coming Soon

There is a ton of stuff that is coming the near future to slightly further out future.

  • Live Events
  • Firstline Worker Capabilities (Home, Shifts)
  • Priority Messaging
  • Share Screen from private chat
  • Yammer Tab
  • Data Loss Prevention
  • New Files experience featuring sync
  • Notify and share with @mentions in documents
  • Create teams from dynamic Office 365 group
  • Create teams with Team Templates
  • Teams mobile features: Proximity join, driving mode
  • Manage all teams from the admin center
  • New room system solutions from Creston, HP, Logitech
  • Cloud link in Outlook Mobile
  • Scan & Capture
  • Create and join a Teams meeting from Outlook Mobile
  • Information Protection Labels in Outlook Mobile

But that isn’t all.  There are a few other big items include:

Skype for Business Online is Dead!!!

So one of the announcements made prior to Ignite is that new organizations coming to Office 365 will not have an option to create/use Skype for Business Online if they are under 500 users.  There is basically zero context to this and it raises a ton of questions.  So a few important items:

  1. What if I’m an organization larger than 500 users and need SfBO but need to create a new tenant for some reason.  Microsoft can enable SfBO support for you.  In some sessions, they mentioned that it may be as easy as changing the mode from the Modern Portal.
  2. If you are an existing customer, this doesn’t apply at all.

But the most important item to know is that Microsoft will start with “assisted upgrades”.  This is a fancy term for forced migration.

As you can see, this message appears with the Skype & Teams page within the Modern Portal.  This wasn’t my tenant so I can’t tell you how to postpone this update if you still need many of the features that are missing from Microsoft Teams today (i.e. Federation, etc.).



Written by Richard Richard is an Office Apps & Services MVP (Teams / Skype) who lives in Minneapolis, MN. Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) and MCSM Instructor - when those were a thing long ago. When not writing code, breaking teams - debate coach and avid golfer.
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