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Mark’s Microsoft Monthly: what did we learn in September?

By 27th September 2019October 9th, 2023No Comments
Graphic for Microsoft updates for September

This month’s Microsoft monthly is all about Microsoft Teams. I spend a lot of my time helping people get most out of the platform and I’m an advocate for how it can unlock great collaborative working.

To celebrate the UK’s once-in-a-decade population boost of painted lady butterflies, this month’s inspirational quote is from research scientist, George Westerman:

“When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar.”

Improved channel moderation

We kick off first with a new feature for team owners to boost moderation for a channel. They can control who can start new posts and reply to posts. A great new feature though oddly not available for the General channel, which still has limited options. For example, if you stop members from posting new messages, they can’t reply either. Feedback may well drive further improvements over time.

Screenshot of setting channel moderation in Teams

Another simple tool to boost meetings

Hot on the heels of last month’s new calendar look, you can now set up instant meetings in Teams with the calendar’s new ‘Meet now’ button. Click Meet now > Join Now > type a colleague’s name and your meeting starts.

Rolling out from mid-September until the end of November.

Screenshot of Meet Now button in Microsoft Teams



Do you ever miss sound alerts because your headphones are connected to your machine, but not on your head? You’ll like this Skype secondary ringer feature coming to Teams. It lets headsets stay plugged in and still plays the alert on your device speakers. Good citizen reminder: be mindful of your alerts when you’re in an shared or public space.

Real-time presence in Teams

Teams has suffered from an issue where presence changes can take up to five minutes to show – a minor but irritating issue and one where the solution has been delayed. The release date for Teams to have real-time presence is slated to be within the next month (previously due in July). Whether you’re free for a quick chat or presenting in a meeting, real-time presence increases the accuracy of your status so others know when to reach out.

Insights into Teams use

Do you want to know how you and colleagues are using Teams? Get useful insights with Per-team and Cross-team analytics. There are two options: Cross-team analytics are in “Manage teams” below the list of joined teams. Per-team Analytics, found in “Manage team” after clicking on the ellipsis alongside a specific team name.

Analytics for per team and cross team analytics in Microsoft Teams

These give time-based charts for message and active user counts. And you can go further for a deeper breakdown of user types and activity trends. It’s worth considering more Microsoft Teams analytics available. As ever with data – it’s how you interpret and use it that’s important.

Give your Teams channel an avatar

Inject some personality and help identify channels at a glance. Click the ellipsis to the right of your Team, then choose <Edit Team>. You can pick one on offer or upload your own.

Screenshot for adding an avatar to your Teams channel

And finally…

Did you miss this snippet? I did! There’s no need to click a channel’s ellipses to view the menu now, simply right click once on the channel name and the menu pops open.

While you’re trying that, check out the options in Channel Notifications and make sure your colleagues have noticed the changes here:

Screenshot showing how to edit a Microsoft Team from right click

Want to keep learning about Microsoft Office 365? Watch what’s new every month in the Microsoft’s regular YouTube update.

That’s a wrap for September. Let us know how you get on with the new features!

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