The Microsoft Teams team will be hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session coming up on May 7 in their Microsoft Teams AMA Space. Check out the announcement here.

Rob Scott at UC Today outline the business case for using direct routing in his article Direct Routing Demand Soars with Microsoft Teams.

Tom Arbuthnot goes into how guest access works in teams and some different management scenarios in his article Controlling Microsoft Teams Guest Access on a per team basis.

Brian Siefferman at Perficient warns against renaming channels in Teams with his article The Pains of Renaming Channels in Teams.

And while not directly Teams related, I couldn’t help but notice that in this video 5th grader Caitlin got to meet and talk with her hero NFL Assistant Coach for the San Francisco 49ers Katie Sowers, who was featured in many Super Bowl commercials for being the first woman to coach in the event. Check out the video here on Microsoft 365’s LinkedIn post.

Road Map Updates

Group chat with up to 250 people

Group chat is being increased up to 250 people in a single chat. Honestly, not sure when you would want to have a group chat this large that isn’t part of a channel conversation, but the capabilities is scheduled to be released in May 2020.

Upload custom images for background effects

Following up on the feature just released in the last few weeks, the Teams client will support the ability to customize the background video by uploading your own image. However, as many people have found, on a PC you can copy your own images into:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads

or on a Mac to:

/users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads

Background effects policy for tenant administrators

Tenant admins will have the ability to assign a user-level policy to control if people can use the new background effects in Teams. The policy will have several level of controls:

  • No background filters available (including the blur option)
  • Use only the background blur feature
  • Use only the default provided images
  • All, meaning people can upload their own custom images

I am interested in seeing if a policy is assigned to a user that only allows the default provided images if people will be able to still drop their own images into the folders on the file system and the Teams client show them as available images. Hopefully Microsoft has thought through this based on the number of people already finding the workaround to upload their own images. I realize that Microsoft was probably in a rush to get the background effect feature released with the increased Teams usage right now but I wish that the admin policy was released at the same time.

Private channels in Office 365 government tenants

Private channel capabilities are now rolling out to additional cloud instances such as GCC, GCC high, and DoD. This feature allows limiting which team members can see a channel conversation and content. This allows for limiting participation in an existing Team channel without creating a whole new team.

Teams Recordings of 1:1 Calls Now Available

While I don’t see the message center post in my tenant, Tony Redmond goes into detail on a new feature named “convenience recording” for recording 1:1 calls inside of Teams. Previously recording was only available inside a meeting. There doesn’t appear to be a road map item for this and may still be rolling out to tenants worldwide.

Tip of the Week

In the Windows client, pressing Ctrl . will bring up a list of available shortcut keys to use in Teams.

Training

MVP Vlad Catrinescu has a fantastic study guide for the MS-700 Teams Administrator certification exam.

Register for weekly Teams Hour Online Training Series sessions where each week a different topic is covered regarding tips and training on how to get the most out of Teams.

Questions or comments? If so, drop me a note below or find me on Twitter or LinkedIn to discuss further.

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