Hybrid work has become a part of our reality. We’ve had to rethink everything from where, when, and how we work. Navigating this new normal is both challenging and uncomfortable at times. Some of us may be excited to go back to our offices and reconnect with colleagues and customers in person, while some of us may like the flexibility and want to work from our home offices permanently. At Microsoft, we’re learning each day how to navigate the uncertainties of hybrid work and empower our customers and employees with the tools they need. Organizations need a solution that they can rely on over the long term to not only help employees stay productive but also thrive in hybrid work.
We are honored to be recognized by industry experts as a Leader in both the 2021 Gartner Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Gartner Meeting Solutions Magic QuadrantTM reports. We’re particularly excited to be the only vendor positioned as the highest in ability to execute in both reports.
This is Microsoft’s 3rd year as a Leader for UCaaS and the 15th year as a Leader for Meetings Solutions. We’re proud of this recognition as we believe the workloads covered by these reports are fundamental to hybrid work and demonstrate our long-standing commitment to delivering solutions that support the changing needs of our customers. Microsoft Teams is the only application that empowers your teams with a connected, collaborative, and context-rich experience—no matter where, how, or with whom you work. Download the Gartner Unified Communications as a Service report and Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions report to learn more.
Collaborate seamlessly and stay connected with Microsoft Teams Phone, meetings, and Teams devices innovations
While unified communications spans innovation for collaboration and mobility services, telephony is at the core of customers’ needs. In hybrid work, calling is critical to staying connected with our colleagues, partners, and customers. The future of calling is where calling meets collaboration—bringing together different communication modalities to support the way you work. Microsoft Teams Phone is a complete, cloud-based calling solution that is uniquely positioned to add calling into the flow of your work. Nearly 80 million monthly active users rely on Teams Phone to stay connected, placing over a billion calls every month. Customers such as ZF Group and Ferguson Enterprises rely on Teams Phone to communicate, collaborate, and solve problems from anywhere, at any time, to better serve their customers.
In the past year, we have released new Teams Phone capabilities that demonstrate our continued commitment to helping you enhance collaboration and prepare for the future of calling. Key announcements from this past year include:
Incorporate calling into the flow of work
- Seamlessly transfer calls between devices: Teams Phone now offers the ability for you to transfer a call from your computer to a mobile device or vice versa, without interrupting the call.
- Spam call identification: Teams Phone uses advanced industry techniques to identify likely spam calls, allowing users to avoid unnecessary interruptions to your day by spam calls.
- Apple CarPlay support: Apple CarPlay support for Teams enables users to join calls and meetings using your vehicle’s built-in controls or hands-free using Siri.
- “Better together” device experience: The new “better together” experience means that Teams devices now complement each other, allowing users to answer a call, mute or unmute, and end the call on either the device or the Teams client.
- Walkie-talkie for desk phones: Connect quickly with colleagues with a push-to-talk function available on desk phones.
Connect existing telephony with Microsoft Teams
- Operator Connect: Operator Connect, enables our customers to simply connect your operator-based public switched telephone network (PSTN) service into Teams with a managed experience, now extending the ability to enable PSTN calling in Teams to three great options.
- Microsoft Teams Calling Plans expansion: Microsoft Teams Calling Plans offer a simple way to deploy calling in Teams without on-premises equipment, available in 33 markets.
- Bring your own contact center (certification): Teams Phone integrates with your existing contact center solution, and the connected contact center program provides a new level of validation from rigorous third-party testing to ensure seamless and reliable integration. There are now 8 certified contact center solutions, including NICE InContact, Genesys, and Five9, with an additional 12 in the process of certifying.
These are just a few examples of the innovation from this past year. As your communications needs continue to evolve, we’ll be investing and expanding our capabilities to help you modernize your organization.
As we prepare for an increasingly complex world of hybrid world, where employees split time between in-person and remote work, every leader is grappling with how to have effective and inclusive hybrid meetings. Microsoft Teams meetings is taking the hybrid meeting experience to the next level, so that everyone feels like they have a seat at the table, whether they’re joining in the room, at home, or on the go.
Many large organizations around the world are using Microsoft Teams: 124 organizations have more than 100,000 users of Teams, and nearly 3,000 organizations have over 10,000. Together, we are navigating change in real-time from the shift to remote work and now to create a new era of hybrid work where employees feel included and valued, and businesses perform better.
When the pandemic hit, companies like Siemens and Vanguard turned to Teams to ensure business resilience and rapidly enable their employees to work from home without much interruption. Through the power of Teams designed for hybrid work scenarios, Siemens, Vanguard, and many more companies across the globe can feel more confident for the future of work.
We continue to deliver new meetings innovations to support hybrid work where flexibility leads the way—giving our customers and employees the power to work from anywhere, at any time. Here are some of the key announcements.
Remote meetings that are as effective as being in-person
- PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams: Entirely new PowerPoint presenting experience exclusive to Microsoft Teams that benefits both presenters and attendees. As a presenter, you can lead meetings while having access to your speaker notes, slides, meeting chat, and participants. As attendees, you can view slides at your own pace and use Slide Translate to see the slides in your own language.
- Presenter mode: Presenter mode is a great companion to PowerPoint Live in Teams that makes your presentation engaging by giving you options on how your video feed and content appear to the audience during a meeting. Our first mode, Standout, shows your video feed as a silhouette in front of the shared content. Reporter places content as a visual aid above your shoulder just like a news story. Side-by-side displays your video feed next to your content.
- Cameo: A new PowerPoint experience that seamlessly integrates your Teams camera feed while designing your presentation, letting you customize how and where you want to appear on your slides, and get layout recommendations from designer as you start developing your content for maximum impact.
- Speaker coach: Uses AI to privately share guidance on your pace, notify you if you are interrupting someone, and remind you to check in with your audience.
- Dynamic view: Intelligently arranges the elements of your meeting for an optimal viewing experience. As people join, turn on video, start to speak, or begin to present in a meeting, Teams auto-adjusts and personalizes your layout.
- Lighting corrections: Helps you show up well in video-on meetings even in low-light environments.
- New Whiteboard experiences: The visual collaboration workspace in Microsoft 365, designed for hybrid work. The new Whiteboard helps you collaborate in real-time across a range of devices with 40 plus new customizable templates, ability to insert images and shapes, reactions stickers, and collaboration cursors that shows what others are doing on the Whiteboard. Also, our improved mouse inking makes it easier for those with a mouse or trackpad to also visually communicate and bring ideas to life.
Physical office spaces designed for all, not just for in-person attendees
- Teams intelligent speakers: Built for Teams Rooms and use Microsoft’s voice recognition technology in Teams to attribute remarks to the meeting room speaker in the transcript.
- Intelligent cameras: Next wave in Teams Rooms devices that include three unique technologies: AI powered active speaker tracking, multiple video streams, and people recognition to ensure everyone feels included and engaged in meetings—no matter their physical location.
- Companion mode in Teams mobile: Makes it easy to cast content in Teams rooms and gives in-room attendees quick access to engagement features like chat, live reactions, and Microsoft Whiteboard.
As we navigate hybrid work together, we will continue to innovate and expand our capabilities to help you connect, collaborate, and work more efficiently. Here’s how you can learn more about Microsoft Teams and get started:
- Get started with Microsoft Teams for free.
- Learn more about Microsoft Teams Phone.
- Learn more about Microsoft Teams Meeting solutions.
- Download the Gartner Unified Communications as a Service report and Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions report to learn more.
- Watch Microsoft Teams sessions from Microsoft Ignite on-demand.
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Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide, 18 October 2021, Rafael Benitez et. Al.
Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions, 07 October 2021, Mike Fasciani et. Al.