Happy Birthday to Teams: More Features at No Cost?

Happy Birthday to Teams: More Features at No Cost?They Grow Up So Fast

Microsoft Teams was released almost exactly a year ago, and Microsoft has been pushing it hard to compete against Slack and other communications tools ever since. The sheer magnitude of Teams updates, both large and small, is remarkable—a quick glimpse of the Microsoft Roadmap shows roughly 45 fully released updates and 60 more currently in development. Considering the latter is roughly a third of the updates in development for all of Office 365, it’s clear Microsoft is throwing a lot of resources into making Teams both competitive and a valid replacement for Skype for Business. 

Here’s a few intriguing Teams updates, as discussed in the tool’s first-birthday post.

  • Cloud recording of meetings, complete with automatic transcription and timecoding.
  • Real-time language translation in chat conversations
  • Cortana voice support on Teams-enabled devices (which now includes even more 3rd party hardware)
  • Enable background blur on video calls
  • Share screens, streams, photos, and more from mobile devices  
  • Teams support for government customers 

A recent released update of note allows admins to add any user with an email account as a guest. With Teams no longer restricted to users with Azure AD accounts, practically anyone can now be included in discussions. The same compliance and security features used to secure internal users apply as well.

Free Teams, Free Reporting

As discussed by Brad Sams at Petri, Microsoft has been dropping hints of a freemium version of Teams. It’s a classic tactic: tempt organizations into trying Teams, eventually leading to greater adoption of premium Teams and Office 365. It’s a strategy Slack (and Google) has employed for some time, so it’s a little surprising that it’s taken Microsoft as long as it has to begin implementation of a freemium model.  

Late last year, Microsoft also added usage reporting to Teams, intended to help administrators drive adoption and proper use among users. Since reporting tools are relatively easy to incorporate, Microsoft has been continuing to add reporting features to existing products.  That’s why Cayosoft Administrator’s analytics and reporting tools are free—it simply doesn’t make sense to charge for features Microsoft might at some point add themselves.  

For a convincing argument made for a freemium Teams, see this article from Brad Sams (@bdsams). 

Click here to learn more about Cayosoft’s Free Analytics and Reporting tools.

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