Back in 2017, Microsoft decided to join the battle for the “best team collaboration service” with a new competitor to solutions like Slack. Microsoft Teams will soon be taking over as Microsoft’s flagship UC&C product – replacing the well-known Skype for Business. Earlier this year, the solution celebrated its first birthday, and to mark that occasion, Microsoft announced a host of exciting new features – including one particularly interesting component called “Inline Message Translation.”
Over the last year, Microsoft Teams has gathered a pretty impressive 200,000 organisation users base, which spans across 39 different languages. The new “Inline Messaging Feature” in particular will really help the company to stand out in the team collaboration space but ensuring that people who speak different languages can communicate naturally in their online chat spaces.
Creating Smarter Communications with Teams
Microsoft suggests that Teams has emerged as the “ultimate hub for teamwork” in the last year. It’s easy to see what makes this solution so appealing to users. After all, it builds on the existing strength of Office 365, and Teams also delivers a fantastic range of services that are perfect for those who want to easily access all the benefits of conferencing and cloud recording. To support a more intelligent communication strategy, Teams has introduced features like:
- Inline message translation: As mentioned above, Microsoft has taken a stronger focus on translation this year, by allowing individuals who speak a different language to communicate fluidly on calls.
- Cloud recording: Record your meetings with one click and access automatic timecoding and transcription, so that all team members can keep track of points within the conversation and search for important phrases or words. There’s even facial recognition so you can attribute remarks to specific attendees.
- Cortana Voice Interactions: Voice interactions with Cortana allows users to join meetings easily, make calls, and add other people to Teams using spoken language. For instance, you can say “Cortana, Add Jim to this meeting.”
- Mobile Sharing in meetings: You can share live streams of video, photos, and screens from your mobile device.
- Background blurring: The fact that you can blur your background on video calls will allow you to ensure that the meeting attendees in your conference have their eyes focused on you, and not what’s going on in the background.
- Proximity detection: Find any available Skype Room System in your nearby proximity and add it to the meeting.
Inline Message Translation and Cortana Integration
What really stands out to us is the new clever features that Microsoft is bringing to its smart communication strategy. Message translation means that Team users will no longer be restricted by geographical or language barriers in the workplace. This could be a huge step forward for joining together teams from around the world.
At the same time, with Cortana Integration, managing your entire meeting room experience becomes much easier. The decision to include Cortana seems to be Microsoft’s attempt to keep up with a rising trend of bringing virtual assistants into the meeting room. For instance, Amazon recently revealed their own Alexa for Business strategy.
While many platforms in the conferencing and collaboration space have been growing over the last year, Teams seems to be skyrocketing ahead of the rest. For instance, Microsoft Teams had only 50,000 organisations signed up at Launch, but now that number has risen to 200,00. It’s safe to say that Teams is becoming quite the rival to beat in the collaboration space. It might even start to make Slack sweat.