This previous week, Microsoft held their annual Ignite conference, this time all digital and free to participants. Ignite serves as a platform for announcing new features and roadmaps items. I’m going to cover the Microsoft Teams updates by providing links to Microsoft blogs and sessions as well as notable insights from community members.

Direct from Microsoft

Direct from the Microsoft Teams official blog, there were many posts outlining new features and tips for essential workers and productivity:

Microsoft is also ramping up their Teams certified devices with a new category named Microsoft Teams Panels. You’ve probably seen these devices before outside a conference that show upcoming meetings and availability. Users will also be able to book the room or nearby rooms. Here’s the announcement on LinkedIn by Ilya Bukshteyn, Head of Product for Microsoft Teams Devices.

In addition to this new device category, Survivable Branch Appliances (SBAs) are coming to Microsoft Teams as well. These devices are designed to ensure access to data and voice services in the event of a WAN outage. These devices are expected to be available starting in November 2020.

Earlier this year, Cisco SBAs were certified for Direct Routing with Teams, and more Cisco partnerships were announced. Cisco Collaboration is now certified for Cloud Video Interop with Microsoft Teams. This allows for bringing non-Teams video devices into your Teams meetings. Polycom, Pexip, and BlueJeans are existing solutions in this space.

While there are many great features being announced for Microsoft Teams, one feature I’m excited about comes from another product in Microsoft Stream. In their A New Vision for Microsoft Stream post, Microsoft announces that rolling out this year, Teams meeting recordings will be saved in Microsoft 365. This means meeting recordings will be easily shareable from OneDrive or SharePoint like an other Office file. This will allow sharing meeting recordings with external participants, which is not currently available inside the product.

Tired of reading articles? Here’s the latest Microsoft Mechanics video with Jeremy Chapman and Aya Tange on how to use the new version of Microsoft Teams.

Entirely too much to keep up with? Check the Microsoft Teams section in the Book of News, which is a round up of all the announcements and features coming out of Ignite.

And finally last but definitely not least and sticking around, Skype for Business Server will get another version released in the second half of 2021. Check out more information on the Skype for Business Blog post The Next Version of Skype for Business Server.

Community Contributions

Here are some external articles from around the Web covering the Microsoft Teams news coming out of Ignite:

Susan Hanley is compiling all the roadmap slides for Microsoft 365 into a single deck. Check out her work here.

Shawn Harry posts to Twitter about a new service call Device as a Service Option for Teams Devices. Why own your devices when you can just have them on a subscription basis.

Commsverse (The Microsoft Teams Conference) is making all their content FREE for 30 days!

Shane Young continues with another great video on how to create your first custom app for Microsoft Teams with Power Apps in 5 minutes. This is based on a new product preview called Project Oakdale.

I think that’s enough for this week. No doubt we will all be spending the next weeks (months?) going through all this content.