News & Resources

Microsoft Teams Newsletter: September 2020

In Announcements, Software & Cloud Economics, Managed & Subscription Services

Since its inception, Microsoft Teams has been a hub for teamwork and collaboration, and the need to stay connected is growing as companies move towards working remotely.


In order to help businesses and individuals navigate Teams while working from home, we started our monthly newsletter covering anything and everything related to Teams, ranging from breaking stories, new features, productivity tips, and more. 


Microsoft Teams: In The News

WinZip and Microsoft Teams

WinZip Introduced a new Microsoft Teams integration that makes it easy to safely save and share files on email, the network, and the cloud. Customers can work more productively, create smaller files for streamlined sharing, manage them more efficiently with extended Background Tools, and take advantage of enhanced PDF capabilities to boost workflow.


“Whether for personal or business, WinZip provides essential tools for keeping files secure. And with these latest releases, we’ve continued to focus on your productivity by making it even easier to work with the platforms and formats you depend on every day,” said Bill Richard, VP of Development.


Full Story: WinZip Microsoft Integration


SMART Technologies Integrates with Microsoft Teams


SMART Technologies -- the education technology company with a 30-year track record of pioneering learning solutions that encourage student collaboration and engagement -- announced a new integration with Microsoft Teams.


The new integration allows educators to minimize disruptions due to toggling across multiple screens and tools, creating a seamless learning environment. It also gives teachers the power to create, edit, deliver, manage, and share engaging, interactive lessons directly within Microsoft Teams.


"The integration with SMART and Teams makes it easier to create the most accessible, engaging learning experiences possible," said Mike Ammerlaan, director of Microsoft 365 Ecosystem Marketing. "SMART meets teachers where they're at by allowing them to create a collaborative classroom setting."


Learn how Microsoft Teams is boosting collaboration in education.



What's New in Microsoft Teams?

Every month we love to highlight new features recently released for Microsoft Teams. Read over the updates below and check them out for yourself:


Together Mode


In an attempt to reduce fatigue from the increasing number of video conference calls and help make employees more productive, Microsoft has begun rolling out Together Mode in Microsoft Teams.


This new feature combines decades of research and scientific studies on the brain to place all the participants on a video call together in a virtual space  so they look like they’re in the same place together. The new feature ditches the traditional grid of boxes, creating an environment that users say has a profound impact on the feel of the video conference and provides more cohesion to the group.




Spotlight is a new video call option and allows presenters to lock their video as the main view for every call participant. Different from the "Pin participant" feature, which only allows one person to pin someone for their main video feed, Spotlight makes it easier for meeting attendees to focus on a single person’s video who is currently talking.


Microsoft Lists


Announced at Microsoft Build 2020, Lists is a "team-based tab app" that helps you track information and organize your work. Lists are simple, smart, and flexible, so you can stay on top of what matters most to your team.


Lists are built on the Teams platform and offer a system of columns and rows like a spreadsheet to improve organization, collaboration, and customization.


Users can try Lists by going to a channel where they would like to track a list and hit the "+" button. From there, the Lists app can be accessed from the tab gallery.



Real-Time Presence


Microsoft has introduced a new Real-time presence functionality for Teams to provide more reliable and faster status updates.


Real-Time Presence used to be subject to a five-minute delay but the update in Teams eliminates the delay entirely and users will now get a clear picture of what others are doing in real-time.


August 2020 Recap

 Just in case you missed last month's Microsoft Teams Updates, we have a recap just for you:

  • New Meeting and Calling Experience - Users can now pop out their Teams meetings into a new window
  • Teams Admin Center: Devices - Allows users to manage all of their Teams devices, including Microsoft Teams Rooms, from the Teams Admin Center

Visit the Microsoft Teams Blog for the full list.


Productivity Tip of the Month


Microsoft Teams can help people stay connected while working apart with capabilities like chat, meetings, and calling, but users often ask how it can help streamline the work they do, so we started offering productivity tips to help users simplify their workflow.


Microsoft Power Automate works seamlessly with Teams to allow users to create low-code workflow automation for yourself and your entire team using logic-based building blocks, starting with a trigger that sets one or more actions in motion.


Content Corner

Here are some other articles from our Microsoft Teams Newsletter you might enjoy.

Adopting a Multi-Cloud Strategy: Step By Step

We know that a multi-cloud strategy is at the core of driving digital transformation to meet evolving business demands, but managing the realities of the process of adopting a cloud-first approach is easier said than done.


That is why we are offering our Cloud Adoption Framework to help organizations minimize any friction by following a multi-phased approach to adopting the cloud.



The #1 Reason Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) is Here to Stay

The number one question we get from customers is "How do I lower and consolidate my IT spend?"

CSP is currently the most efficient tool to deliver cost savings for three reasons:

  1. Customers shift from a three-year Enterprise Agreement (EA) to a monthly model with no commitment
  2. CSP allows you to adjust (decrease or increase) user accounts ANYTIME and eliminates the 500-user minimum found in the EA
  3. CSP has no minimum Azure spend required, so you are only paying for what is actually being licensed and consumed



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Anfernee Bonds - Marketing Specialist: Content & SEO