With 270 million monthly active users, Microsoft Teams has become essential to how hundreds of millions of people meet, call, chat, collaborate, and do business. And as many markets start to emerge from the pandemic, we are seeing increased usage and engagement in Teams—users interact with Teams 1,500 times per month on average and spend more time in Teams chat than they do in email.
2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Unified Communications as a Services, Worldwide
We are honored to announce that Gartner® has recognized Microsoft as a Leader in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Worldwide1—this is the fourth consecutive year we’ve received this recognition. We are particularly excited and humbled to have been placed highest on the Ability to Execute and furthest on the Completeness of Vision axis.
Figure 1: Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide, Rafael Benitez, Megan Fernandez, Christopher Trueman, Pankil Sheth, 28 November 2022.
While we believe this recognition is a result of the vision and effort of so many at Microsoft, we want to take a moment to thank our customers and partners for making this possible. Your feedback, ideas, and collaboration continually inspire us to raise the bar and shape Teams to better serve you.
Microsoft Teams innovation supports new ways to work together
Empowering a digitally connected, distributed workforce requires the right combination of culture and technology to enable simple and reliable communication and collaboration regardless of location or device. It is our responsibility to continue to innovate based on customer feedback and changes to the patterns of work. Over the past year, we’ve introduced over 450 features in Microsoft Teams to help organizations address the evolving needs of today’s workforce.
Built for hybrid work.
Flexible, enterprise-grade calling in Teams
While unified communications spans innovation for collaboration and mobility services, telephony is at the core of customers’ needs. With nearly 80 million active users, Microsoft Teams Phone has been at the core of digital transformation across the globe, providing the flexibility and functionality organizations rely on to stay connected and productive.
In the past year, we have released new Teams Phone capabilities that demonstrate our continued commitment to delivering innovative, reliable, and easy-to-deploy telephony experiences. Key announcements from this past year include:
Microsoft Teams PhoneLearn more
- Teams Phone Mobile: Empower a mobile-first workforce by using a single SIM-enabled number for your desk phone, mobile device, and any Teams endpoint. Teams Phone Mobile is now available with Rogers in Canada and Telia in Sweden. Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, BT, and Swisscom will launch soon.
- Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform: Enable agents to answer questions faster and reduce time spent on administrative tasks. The Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform brings together Dynamics 365, Teams, Power Platform, Nuance, and Azure Communication Services to help agents deliver a personalized experience on the customer’s preferred channel with access to key customer insights.
- Pay-As-You-Go Calling Plans: Make outbound calls accessible for any user who occasionally needs to make a call. A Pay-As-You-Go option is now available for Microsoft Teams Calling Plans in select markets. Customers pay only for the minutes they use.
- SIP Gateway: To help customers leverage their existing telephone hardware as they move to Teams Phone, SIP Gateway enables Teams calling functionality on compatible third-party SIP and DECT devices.2
- Financially backed service level agreement: We stand behind our commitment to quality and continuity by providing one of the most generous financial agreements in the industry. Microsoft Teams Calling Plans, Phone System, and PSTN Audio Conferencing are now financially backed with a 99.99 percent uptime guarantee. A recent report published by GigaOm rated Teams Phone highest in both call quality and reliability among tested competitors using a combination of qualitative and quantitative measures.3
Better hybrid meeting experiences
Microsoft Teams RoomsLearn more
Hybrid work is just work. Organizations need a single, integrated experience that makes working together easier and more engaging for employees—whether they are all in the same room, remote, or a mix of both. Here are some recent announcements designed to make meetings more inclusive, collaborative, and productive:
- Avatars: Customized, animated versions of yourself give you additional flexibility and choice in how you show up in Teams meetings. Design avatars using hundreds of options—from physical attributes to accessories and choose from a wide range of reactions to express yourself without having to turn on your camera.
- Excel Live: Transform how people collaborate in meetings, enabling every participant to live-edit the Excel file directly in a Teams meeting without opening the file on your device.
- Intelligent recap: A powerful, new AI experience that creates tasks, automatically generates chapters from the meeting and shares personalized highlights from the recording.
- Advanced meeting protection: Safeguard highly sensitive information with options like watermarking to deter leaks or limiting who can record the meeting.
- Webinars: Host high-quality webinars using advanced functionality to drive deeper engagement and generate new leads. Easily waitlist attendees, automatically send reminders, and use a virtual green room to do a final rally with your hosts and presenters.
We are continuously investing in Microsoft Teams Rooms, certified devices, and hybrid meeting solutions to ensure everyone feels included and all voices are heard in hybrid meetings. Here are some key announcements:
- Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro: Teams Rooms Pro delivers everything you need to have productive hybrid meetings and manage your room operations intelligently at scale. Through the management portal, remotely manage all your Teams rooms and leverage intelligent inventory control, updates, telemetry, and AI-powered incident remediation.
- Cisco partnership: Teams meetings will be available natively across certified Cisco meeting devices, enabling customers to configure Teams as the default meeting experience. Cisco plans to release its first wave of devices for Teams Rooms in early 2023.
- Intelligent cameras: In 2021, we introduced a new category of AI-powered intelligent cameras that dissolve the walls between an attendee’s physical and digital presence. Together with Yealink, we’re bringing the SmartVision 60, the first 360-degree, center-of-room intelligent camera. The SmartVision 60 produces multiple video streams with AI active speaker tracking—and soon: people recognition.
- IntelliFrame: Powered by AI, IntelliFrame makes your legacy cameras smarter by enhancing the focus and framing of the in-room view. This makes it much easier for remote participants to keep up with the conversation.
Enhanced collaboration with Teams chat and channels
With more flexible work schedules and differing time zones, people are doing a lot more work on their own time—or asynchronously. In the last 2 years, time spent on asynchronous work has gone up from 25 percent to almost 40 percent.
We want to make sure our users have best-in-class tools that help them communicate and collaborate across space and time. Here are some recent announcements:
- Reimagined channel experience: The new Teams channels experience makes it easier to focus and collaborate, placing recent posts at the top so you can easily catch up on the latest conversations and contribute to discussions. Users can also pop out the post and keep an eye on the discussion while continuing to work on other topics.
- New Teams chat features: Simply reply with one click by choosing a suggested response to your group chat, grab the group’s attention quickly with the ability to “@” mention everyone, and save time looking for the right stakeholders when initiating new conversations with AI-driven people recommendations.
- Schedule send: You can now select the future date and time you would like a chat message to be delivered. If the message is being sent to a recipient whose work hours differ from yours, you will automatically get a schedule send suggestion from Viva Insights.
- Expanded reactions: With up to 800 reaction emojis, everyone can express themselves in natural and authentic ways.
- Video clip: Short, lightweight video clips allow you to express yourself, deliver a more personal touch, and strengthen your connections through Teams chat. Simply record, send, and view a video clip in chat whenever is convenient for you.
While we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with the dedication and cooperation of our customers and partners, we remain focused on delivering innovative communication and collaboration experiences in Teams.
- Learn how Microsoft Teams helps you meet, call, collaborate and chat with colleagues, customers, and partners.
- Read the full 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Unified Communications as a Services (UCaaS), Worldwide.
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1Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide, 28 November 2022, Rafael Benitez et. Al.
2Compatible devices, Plan for SIP Gateway, Microsoft Learn. November 18, 2022.
3Microsoft Teams Phone earns highest scores for UCaaS provider uptime and quality in third-party test, Bindu Pillai, Tech Community, Microsoft. September 28, 2022.