Just about every business in Tucson and the rest of the country has had to take a look at its cloud solutions over the pandemic. SaaS tools have been relied on more than ever to keep businesses running and facilitate remote teams.

​One of the most important cloud tools has been video conferencing applications. With in-person meetings being put on hold for more than a year, everyone has gotten used to connecting virtually.

 But the move to virtual meetings hasn’t been without challenges. Some of these being:

  • Difficulty finding a video app that can easily handle both everyday meetings and webinar events.  
  • Confusion over how to see what you need to on the screen.  
  • Challenges with engagement and interaction when you have one person presenting and everyone else on mute.  
  • The difficulty in recreating that connected feeling that everyone gets when they’re meeting in the same room.

 
One company that has looked at the issues video meeting software users run into is Microsoft. The company has recently unleashed a whole slew of new features that put its Teams platform out ahead of other options.

 Teams is part of Microsoft 365, a platform that many businesses already use for working in Word, Excel, etc. If you’ve been facing some of the above challenges with your video meeting app, then you may want to take a look at all that MS Teams has to offer.

 Here are several features that could make you choose to switch to Teams.

 1. Together Mode

 An innovative feature Microsoft added to Teams was to put everyone’s video feed into a single virtual space. Together Mode is designed to enhance a feeling of connectedness even though everyone isn’t physically in the same location.

Picture

New scenes have recently been added to accommodate both large and small groups. These include sitting at a conference room table in front of a nice window, an outdoor grotto, and more.

 2. Webinar Registration & Reporting

 You can ditch the additional video webinar subscription if you use Teams. The platform finally brought in a capability that many video meeting platforms have been lacking, the ability to do webinars.

 When you schedule a webinar in Teams, you can create a custom webinar registration page, add your own questions to ask during signup, and have an automated email with a meeting link sent out.

 The feature also includes webinar attendance reporting.

 3. View Switcher

 Teams makes it easier than ever for online meeting participants to choose the view they like. If you like Together Mode, but someone else prefers to see shared content undistracted, they can choose something else.

Picture

View Switcher can be found at the top left-hand side of the screen, and it allows users to choose from:
 

  • Gallery view
  • Large gallery view
  • Together mode
  • Gallery on top
  • Focus view
  • Full screen

 
4. Live Reactions

 A popular feature on Facebook is the ability to press an emoji reaction when watching a Facebook Live video and have the presenter and everyone else see it.

 Live Reactions brings a similar feature into Teams meetings. When a presenter is sharing a screen, participants can react even if they’re on mute. Emojis will float up on the screen and then disappear.

 This allows for some fun interaction and engagement. The presenter gets real-time feedback on the presentation and viewers can feel they’re a part of the meeting instead of just watching.

 5. PowerPoint Live

 When someone is presenting content and sharing a screen during a video meeting, those viewing the content usually don’t have any control. They can’t page through it themselves, which can lead to them missing some of the content comprehension.

 PowerPoint Live gives meeting attendees that are viewing content more control. They can choose which slide they want to review, regardless of the one, the presenter is showing. They can jump ahead or spend more time on a slide that the presenter may have moved on from.

 A benefit to presenters with PowerPoint Live in Teams is that they’ll be able to access their PPT slide notes without the other participants being able to see them on screen.

 6. Presenter Mode

 Want to give a more powerful webinar or presentation? Use the new Presenter Mode feature.

 It provides a choice of three professional looks which arrange your shared content and your video feed prominently on the screen. This allows you to have more impact than if your video feed was in a small square along with everyone else’s.

 Choose from:

  • Standout
  • Side-by-side
  • Reporter
Picture