Festive Christmas backgrounds for Microsoft Teams

Christmas time is here again! If you’re joining the millions who aren’t in the office this year, why not apply a festive Christmas background to your Teams video calls?

Microsoft have provided a fun set of official backgrounds you can use to give your meetings a bit of seasonal pizzazz. Watch our exclusive video below to find out more and download the backgrounds now.

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What is Productivity score in Microsoft 365?

Productivity Score is a new feature of Microsoft 365 designed to let administrators monitor how productive your organisation is, and the extent to which staff are adopting the platform’s features.

It also lets you benchmark your organisation against others of a similar size. The idea is that you can take action where there has been limited take-up – ideally by taking steps to encourage user adoption, or alternatively by making a positive choice to disable a feature or tool.

Productivity Score is accessed via the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. It provides immediate information on how your organisation is using Microosft 365 via metrics including Communication, Meetings, Content Collaboration, Teamwork and Mobility. This data is gathered from across all your users from the last 30 days, and benchmarked against live data from peer businesses of a similar size.

Microsoft 365 Productivity Score

It also provides a small number of metrics relating to the technology side, such as internet connectivity, and whether users have the latest updates installed. This helps admins ensure users are getting the best possible technology experience.

Each of the eight categories is given a score out of 100, which also provides you an overall organisational score out of 800. Admins can use this data about how Microsoft 365 is being used to make better-informed decisions.

Privacy concerns quelled

Initially, Microsoft 365 Productivity Score included statistics for individual named users throughout your organisation. You could even download a spreadsheet showing precisely how much each individual, named user had used each Microsoft 365 feature in the last 28 days.

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Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams

Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has said Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams will finally be rolled out to all users during November 2020.

Breakout rooms let video call participants create separate ‘rooms’ for private discussion, before being brought back together into the main call. The meeting’s organisers or hosts can move between breakout rooms and even send messages to all participants.

Breakout rooms – a most-requested feature

Microsoft has taken its time rolling out breakout rooms. This is despite it frequently being used as an excuse for businesses to use competing video calling tools, like Zoom. The feature has been present in those apps for years, so it’s no surprise that it quickly became one of the most-requested features in Teams, even before so many of us moved to remote working. A request for the feature on Microsoft’s Feedback Forum, started two years ago, quickly gained more than 18,000 votes from users.

Breakout sessions will be enabled at the same time as Microsoft plans to drastically increase the number of participants you can have on a call. The limit of active participants is going to be raised from 300 to a massive 1,000, while ‘view-only’ participants in Teams Live Events will be doubled, from 10,000 to 20,000.

And with the introduction of a larger 7×7 video grid, you will be able to see up to 49 people at once on your call, rather than nine on the current 3×3 grid.

Assigning users to breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams
Assigning users to breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams

Set up Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams

In order to use breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams, your tenant administrator will need to enable certain settings to allow users access to the feature. The features that must be enabled are:

  • Scheduling private meetings
  • Meet now in private meeting
  • Channel meeting scheduling
  • Meet now in channels

With these features enabled, users can now use breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams. All users who want to participate must switch to what Microsoft calls the ‘new meeting experience’. To ensure you have access to breakout rooms, in the Teams app, click your profile image, then ‘Settings’, and ensure ‘Turn on new meeting experience’ is selected. If it wasn’t already selected, you may need to restart Teams before it takes effect.

You can be certain that Teams is set up correctly with the new meeting experience if your meetings open in their own, separate, windows.

Once you’re in a meeting, it’s easy for meeting organisers to create breakout rooms. Look next to the ‘raise hand’ icon and you’ll see a new icon for breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams. Note that participants in the meeting who aren’t meeting organisers won’t see the option. Also note that you can only create breakout rooms on the desktop Teams app – it’s not yet possible to do from an iOS or Android mobile or tablet device.

Starting a Breakout Session in Microsoft Teams
Starting a Breakout Session in Microsoft Teams

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What’s New in Office 365 – August 2020

Find out what’s new and changing across SharePoint, OneDrive and the rest of Office 365 in August 2020. This month Microsoft are introducing an ‘evolution’ of SharePoint lists – Microsoft Lists – which offers a fantastic new way to organise and visualise lists. We also look at two upcoming product retirements – Skype for Business …

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What’s New in Office 365 – July 2020

Our monthly round-up of what’s new and updated across Office 365 and Microsoft 365. This month Microsoft have made further improvements to Microsoft Teams, including upping the number of participants in calls from 250 to 300. There’s improved information security for those with Microsoft 365 E5 licences, thanks to sensitivity labels. We look at the …

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Multilingual intranet publishing with SharePoint Communication Sites

Good communication is essential for any organisation, but it’s even more important where staff speak several languages. Microsoft has now launched multilingual capabilities for Communication Sites in SharePoint Online to let you create flexible sites where staff can collaborating in multiple languages. The features, rolled out over the last month, let you have multiple translations …

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What’s New in Office 365 – June 2020

Round-up

Welcome to CompanyNet’s monthly round-up of what’s new and updated across Office 365 and Microsoft 365.

This month, we’re seeing various tweaks and improvements to SharePoint, PowerPoint and Microsoft Teams that will continue to make life easier for those of us working from home.

In a hurry? You can also view a potted summary of this blog on YouTube:

  1. Live presentations in PowerPoint
  2. Stock images in SharePoint
  3. Shy Headers for SharePoint Pages
  4. Review Mode for shared documents
  5. Yammer Communities app for Microsoft Teams
  6. Easier meetings in Microsoft Teams

Thanks to our team members James Mackerness, Maria Botha-Lopez and Stuart McLaughlin for their contributions to this month’s round-up.

If you would like to find out more about these changes, or would be interested in help getting more out of Office 365, get in touch with CompanyNet.

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What’s new in Office 365 this month – May 2020

Round-up

In our second month of working from home during lockdown, here’s CompanyNet’s round-up of what’s new and updated across Office 365 and Microsoft 365.

This month, we’re looking at some updates to Microsoft Teams which will enhance your experience of video meetings – something we’ll all welcome at this time. Plus, an introduction to training artificial intelligence models with Power Platform’s AI Builder and Microsoft 365’s trainable classifiers, and a beautfiul new term store for SharePoint Online.

In a hurry? You can also view a potted summary of this blog on YouTube:

  1. Better video call experiences with Microsoft Teams
  2. A beautiful new Term Store for SharePoint Online
  3. AI Builder
  4. Detecting compliance problems early with trainable classifiers for Microsoft 365

Thanks to our team members James Mackerness and Carl Bennett for their contributions to this round-up.

If you would like to find out more about these changes, or would be interested in help getting more out of Office 365, get in touch with CompanyNet.

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What’s new in Office 365 for April 2020

The global coronavirus crisis means it’s been a challenging start to the spring for everyone, but we’re going to carry on keeping you up-to-date with what’s happening in Office 365, including Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint.

This month we look at tips for getting more productive with Microsoft Teams at home; new translation capabilities in SharePoint Online; file version history in OneDrive on the desktop, and a look at Office 365’s fantastic built-in task management app, To Do.

Don’t forget you can subscribe to our monthly update to make sure you never miss a thing.

In a hurry? You can also view a potted summary of this blog on YouTube:

  1. Working from home with Microsoft Teams
  2. Multilingual Capabilities Coming to SharePoint
  3. Restore files directly from OneDrive on the desktop
  4. Manage your day-to-day tasks directly from Office 365

Thanks to our team members James Mackerness, Maria Botha-Lopez and Stuart McLaughlin for their contributions to this round-up.

The team at CompanyNet are experts in Microsoft Teams and Office 365. If your organisation is facing challenges at the moment, get in touch with our friendly team.

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