Microsoft Teams, the enterprise-focused communication platform, announced a handful of new features for users across industries this week.
Time management for first-line workers
Teams will be getting two new time management features designed for the two billion first-line workers. Firstly, the new Time Clock feature allows employees to clock in to work through the mobile app, eliminating the need for a paper tracking system. Employees and management will soon be able to customize schedules and timesheets through Teams as well. Furthermore, IT admins can geo-fence the clock-in process to ensure that the employee is onsite when clocking in.
Secondly, management will soon be able to notify their employees by role – including only the relevant departments – to a conversation.
Time Clock is rolling out now. Roles notification will roll out in August.
For environments where messages require immediate attention, Microsoft is adding priority notification and read receipts. Priority Notification pings the recipient every two minutes for twenty minutes until it receives a response, while read receipts show the sender when the message has been read by the recipient.
Priority Notification is rolling out now. Read receipts will arrive later this month.
Messaging improvements and channel moderation
Teams also sees three new features that control content flow to improve communication across a large audience.
If a message needs to be sent across an entire company or department, users can now do so through the Announcement feature. Channel cross-posting allows a single message to be posted in multiple channels simultaneously, and Channel moderation grants user(s) the ability to control the content and participants of a channel. All three features are rolling out this month.
Microsoft Teams ‘the biggest opportunity’ for Microsoft
In just two years, Microsoft Teams has garnered over 13 million daily users and 19 million weekly users. That’s three million more daily users than Slack’s last reported statistic in late 2018.
“Teams is absolutely the biggest opportunity in this coming year,” said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice-president of One Commercial Partner. “You can build workflow, you can build business process, and there, you can use PowerApps to move business applications into that experience.”
One of the key reasons for Microsoft’s emphasis on Teams is how it can drive the use of Microsoft Office suite.
“All of those different flows pull other services with it,” said Frank Shaw, corporate vice-president of Microsoft communications. “If you’re using teams, you’re more likely using OneDrive for Business, you’re more likely to use more, be a more active user of Word, Excel.”