Wow! What a couple of weeks to take off from reporting Microsoft Teams news! This issue will include some of the biggest stuff announced from the last few weeks as well as other community events and articles. I’m skipping any new road map items as most are covered in the posts below.

Community Blogs and Contributions

Tom Arbuthnot outlines a new Advanced Communications license for recording and contact center API. These covers access to the Graph API for things like compliance recording, contact center solutions, and live events up to 20K. It’s a bit disappointing that Microsoft will be charging for access to the Graph API for some of these features. Also check out Matt Landis’ post on this topic, who is the one that brought it to Tom’s attention.

Tom Arbuthnot continues with more license news about adding 120 PSTN domestic minutes to E5 for Microsoft Teams (unfortunately not available in the U.S.). Also new is an Enterprise Voice plan that includes phone system, audio conferencing, and domestic calling plan in one license. These were previously only available as separate add-on licenses. Microsoft employee Nick Elniff provides some great clarification on these new calling plans in this tweet:

Pat Richard (@patrichard) tweets about Microsoft Teams Rooms getting Cisco Webex direct guest join, Teams admin center integration, Windows 10 1909 support, raise hand, and many more features coming in the next version.

Jimmy Vaughan has a great write-up on using Microsoft Teams Room systems as a no touch solution for a safer workplace.

Thomas Eklund gets into more details in this LinkedIn post on the new capabilities in the Teams admin center and managing Teams Room systems.

Tech Community Blogs

First, Microsoft announced a brand new device category with the Microsoft Teams displays. These are more personal than a collaboration bar but not quite a desk phone. I would definitely be interested in seeing one of these devices in person. It is also touting a feature currently missing on the Teams desk phones that replaces better-together-over-Ethernet (BToE). The display will integrate with your PC by locking and unlocking along with it or join meetings from either device. I can’t remember where I read it, but apparently this will use Bluetooth to make the initial connection to your PC but then the actions will be synced through the cloud.

Next, Teams is getting the ability to create solutions using the Power Platform directly in the client. This is made possible by a new low code platform name Dataflex. I’ve recently jumped into creating solutions using tools like Power Automate and Power Apps, so I’m definitely interested in seeing how this works compared to the web client versions.

The Teams admin center continues to gain more functionality with the introduction of managing Teams Rooms Systems. Admins can now managed phones, collaboration bars, and rooms systems all in one place.

The new meeting and calling experience is starting to roll out in tenants. This includes the ability to pop out meetings into their own windows and the support of up to 49 videos in a 7×7 grid. I think this will finally put Teams in the same discussion as other solutions like Zoom and Webex. The meeting experience was in sore need of an update.

Along with the new meeting experience is Together mode. This allows bringing people’s videos into a theater setting instead of being in separate boxes. This is meant to battle meeting fatigue and a better sense of connection with others that many may be missing during remote working.

Microsoft is also renaming their Meetings Room license and managed meeting rooms service into Microsoft Teams Rooms Standard and Premium. More information can be found in this post by Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365.

Microsoft Lists has also begun its general availability rollout to M365 tenants. Next month the Lists app will roll out to Teams (check the free webinar over lists in the next section).

Community Events

Join MVPs Vlad Catrinescu & Drew Medelung along with Senior Product Manager Mark Kashman on August 3rd to discuss the new Microsoft Lists, which will have integration via an app in Microsoft Teams.

Training

Martin Rina has new training the YouTube series Coffee in the Cloud covering Media in Teams and Media Flows. Great discussion and information on the what QoS switch in the Teams admin portal actually does.

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