Microsoft Teams to get new enterprise-grade calling features later this year

Yolanda Curtis
March 13, 2018

ConocoPhillips, General Motors, Macys, NASCAR, and Technicolor are among the 200,000 organizations using Teams today, said Lori Wright, Microsoft's GM of Teams and Skype for Business, in a No Jitter briefing. The company is also adding a Direct Routing feature allowing users to use the telephony infrastructures. Features coming in the second quarter of 2018 include cloud recording, inline message translation, Cortana, background blur on video, proximity detections, and more. But, more importantly for those that are using the software, the company is sharing a few features that are working their way down the pipeline.

One of the most significant additions is a call recording tool that Microsoft says can be used to transcribe a call with one click. In the future, it will also include facial recognition, so remarks can be attributed to specific meeting attendees.

One of the other feature which Microsoft will be adding is the inline message translations which help users with different languages to communicate with one another with the help of translating posts in the channel and chats. The feature lets people use vocal commands to make a call, join a meeting or add people to a meeting.

Beyond the Surface Hub and internal devices, the Teams hardware ecosystem now also includes meeting room systems from HP and Lenovo; new desk phones from AudioCodes and Yealink; new conference room phones from Creston, Polycom, and Yealink; and new mobile phone stations from Plantronics. Video callers will be able to blur their backgrounds so their conversation mate's eyes are drawn only to them (or if they don't want people to know they're making the call from their couch). "Built on the strength and scale of Office 365 with over 120 million users, Teams delivers chat-based collaboration, meetings, calling, and soon, full enterprise voice features". The last addition is mobile sharing in meetings, so meeting attendees can share a live video stream, photos, or the screen from their mobile device.

Microsoft Corp. today marked the first anniversary of its fast-growing Slack alternative becoming generally available with several major feature announcements centered on artificial intelligence.

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