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Microsoft Teams has come a long way since its initial rollout in early 2017. At AvePoint, we’ve seen Microsoft’s agile development cycle shine firsthand as new features get added and direct requests get addressed on a regular basis. There’s no doubt that Microsoft is continually listening to feedback and steadily improving the platform.
With that in mind, we decided to brainstorm some of the things we want to see improved or added in future updates over the next few years of Microsoft Teams. In no particular order, here are our top picks.
1. Tighter Integration with Outlook Tasks
Microsoft has done a great job making Microsoft Teams the hub for day-to-day work. Part of this is their slow but steady increase in task management integrations. That said, it’d be great to specifically have Outlook tasks integrated into Teams.
As of now, Outlook is the easiest way to view tasks inside a Microsoft application. If they could transfer that same interface into Teams (i.e. the ability to see due dates, start dates, and so on) it would be incredibly convenient.
2. Improved External Team Integration
Since we do a lot of collaboration with outside organizations at AvePoint, many of us are invited to external Teams. Though the ability to switch organizations within Microsoft Teams is functional, it’d be better to be able to see all the Teams you’re a part of—including external Teams—in one central list.
This would allow you to feel like you’re truly federated with the organization you’re collaborating with. You wouldn’t have to switch organizations to chat with external collaborators or access certain files; everything would be accessible in one streamlined, convenient interface.Curious how Microsoft Teams could get even better? Check out this Teams wishlist article: Click To Tweet
3. External User Picture Display
When you are part of an external Team you don’t get to see your collaborator’s photo icon. It might seem small, but being able to see who you’re working worth can have a major effect on how comfortable meetings and discussions feel.
4. Spacebar Mute During Meetings
Hitting the spacebar allows you to mute and unmute calls in most applications. With 5. Touchscreen Swipe to Reply
On most mobile devices, users have the ability to swipe to reply to messages. It’d be great to have that same kind of functionality be available for any type of touchscreen-enabled hardware Microsoft Teams is running on.
6. Seeing Multiple Time Zones
You can currently change time zones in Microsoft Teams, but you can’t compare time zones to your own or to others in-app. The ability to see multiple time zones at once would be a huge help when scheduling meetings. This is another feature that’s present in Outlook and should be expanded to Microsoft Teams.
7. Inviting Specific Channels to Teams Meetings
You can currently designate a specific channel to be used for a meeting. All of the content and artifacts related to that meeting will be stored in that channel. However, when you invite that channel, it actually invites the entire Team.
For example: AvePoint Public Sector has a Team and within it is a channel for the federal civilian sales team. I can’t invite that specific sales channel without inviting the entire AvePoint Public Sector Team along with it. It’d be great if we could simply be allowed to invite people who following a specific channel in the future. Furthermore, it’s be especially helpful to see who follows said channel.
8. More Easily Locate Specific Threads in Channels
When searching for a chat that’s in a conversation, it’d be great to have the option to go directly to where that thread is inside the channel. At the time of writing you can search for and find the conversation in the thread, but you still have to manually search for where that thread is.
9. Microsoft Teams Operating in Multiple Windows in the Desktop App
This is one of the most requested features of all. As you’re working inside Microsoft Teams you have the ability to browse files, websites, SharePoint lists and libraries, and so on; you can essentially use it as a portal into different applications. Being able to have multiple Teams windows open to better manage this would be huge.
Another reason people want multiple chat windows is to break out the chat function and view multiple chats at once like Skype for Business allowed. This would also come in handy when having a meeting; it’d be convenient to break out a chat window while still viewing the everything being presented.
As a side note: If the aforementioned ability to have external Teams in-line with internal Teams isn’t addressed, being able to access Microsoft Teams in multiple windows would make the process of moving between two different organizations that much easier.
I believe that Microsoft Teams is going to be the primary way internal collaboration works for every organization that operates in Office 365 going forward. Though email is still popular, the retirement of Skype for Business has positioned Microsoft Teams to be the premier collaboration platform. Microsoft Teams will also likely be how we primarily interact with the majority of the Office apps. Whether it’s Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Tasks, instead of opening the respective applications first, we’ll all eventually go to Teams first and get redirected to the appropriate app from there.
This will allow a high level of commonality of experience for folks. It’ll also force people to get modern with how they share links and leverage things like SharePoint. If Microsoft keeps developing and addressing user requests and desires at this rapid prace, they’re certainly going to continue to have a foothold as one of the strongest collaboration platforms on the market.