As reported by MSPowerUser (emphasis mine) “In their November 2018 survey of 901 respondents from organizations across North America and EMEA, they found 21% of companies were using Teams, up 18% from 2016, while Slack was used by a paltry 15% of companies, with only 2% growth from 2016.”
What’s interesting (to me) about these stats is that Teams is displacing Slack and Hangouts across all business sizes, not just large businesses. Skype for Business still has a dominant share which is likely to drop over time – the challenge for Microsoft is to ensure that those users move over to Teams rather than looking around. Any gains made now though will help solidify the Teams position and make that migration more likely.
“The sudden rise of Microsoft Teams is likely influenced by the fact that it’s available at no additional cost to Office 365 users. Although Skype for Business has maintained the lead overall, Microsoft is putting more of an emphasis on Microsoft Teams as the default communications app for Office 365, which is enticing organizations to give it a try. As a result, we’ll likely see Teams adoption rates double in the next couple years.”
Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks.
Microsoft have expended a lot of effort in Teams user adoption and training to make sure the users understand how to use Teams and all the functionality that’s available. It looks like that hard work is paying off.
Some other interesting insights from the report stand out: email is still ubiquitous (99% usage!) and doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. And, there’s a really interesting graph asking people what the relative advantages and disadvantages of each platform are.
I found this information fascinating. Teams does very well for Security & Management, which you’d expect from a serious enterprise player like Microsoft; and Cost Effectiveness (again, makes sense as it’s available to most people for no extra cost). There’s room for improvement around Reliability and Innovation. I found that surprising – I think there’s maybe more that can be done to amplify and point out some of the Teams features that aren’t as well known.
Future Deployment Plans
The survey also asked people what their future plans where. Teams also does very well here as well, compared to the other platforms, with 20% of respondents planning to use Teams within 2 years (compared to 3% for Slack)
All in all, I thought the survey was really interesting – big thanks to Spice Works for conducting it. I’d be really interested to see another such survey aimed purely at developers: partly around developers using collaboration tools for their intended purpose (i.e. collaboration to get work done), but also developers using collaboration apps as a platform for deploying applications on. Those are two separate things and both would be interesting to learn more about.
Since Teams is built on the latest audio and video (A/V) codec components available to the industry, companies can take full advantage of the rich media capabilities inside of Teams.
For more than a decade, Microsoft has offered a robust certification program where partner devices must meet high thresholds of audio quality and usability to deliver the best experience in a call or meeting. Today, you can choose from over 50 headsets and speakerphones that have been certified in partnership with top global manufacturers of enterprise audio devices. We’ve seen that certified devices offer 20% improvement in overall A/V quality in a call or meeting.
Skype for Business certified devices are also supported in Microsoft Teams
We have many headsets and speakerphones that are certified for Skype for Business. Plus, you can continue to benefit from your investment in certified devices as they are also supported in Microsoft Teams. To learn more about devices click here.
Headsets come in two categories: Wired and Wireless. Wired headsets are connected via USB while wireless headsets are connected via Bluetooth or Digital Enhanced Cordless Technologies (DECT) using a USB dongle or base station. These devices come in Monaural (single earpiece) and Binaural (dual earpiece) options in several wearing styles such as earbuds, over the ear, and behind the neck.
We also certify cameras for optimal video call and meeting performance. Examples of cameras that are certified include offerings from Logitech.
What it takes to become a certified device
Certified Skype for Business and Teams audio devices are tested by independent labs to provide users with high-end audio, without distortion, echo, glitches or other noise. Both personal and speakerphone type devices are tested for microphone quality, noise cancellation ability, speakerphone quality and any built-in processing.
Devices are tested to perform well in a range of environments, for example, canceling out your neighbor’s voice from being picked up by the microphone (e.g. in an open office setting), or ensuring microphone pickup for speakers at all corners of a meeting room.
When it comes to cameras, products are tested for color of the image, image detail, frame rate, field of view, and more. All certified devices must meet high requirements around all these aspects so that our customers can not only be heard but also seen. The certification process is outlined here.
In addition to high quality, certified devices offer a plug-and-play user experience (no additional drivers or set up required). Plus, your investment is protected as they support firmware upgrades as changes and updates are made.
Device controls that certified devices provide
Predictable call control, such as mute, unmute, answer, and volume up or down with certified devices will work seamlessly with both Skype for Business and Teams. Predictable call control, such as mute, unmute, answer, and volume up or down with certified devices will work seamlessly with both Skype for Business and Teams.
If your certified device is not working with Teams or Skype for Business, all of our partners are committed to working with Microsoft to resolve any issues, another reason why getting a certified device is a better way to have meetings and calls.
What’s next ...
We are working closely with leading device manufacturers partners on our evolving portfolio of peripherals and moving forward these new devices will get Certified for Microsoft Teams. The certification includes all the criteria for Skype for Business, plus some additional requirements such as:
receiving Teams notifications
enabling invocation of voice skills via Teams
Remember to bookmark this page as we will continuously release new devices here:
December 10th, 2018 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
In part 1 of this series, we introduced the Healthcare Bot, ran through some of the key features and costs, and showed you a working version of the bot. In this post, we’re going to cover how you can install the Healthcare Bot in your own tenant.
Click on Get It Now which will take you to your Azure instance and directly to the Healthcare Bot creation blade:
Click Create and fill in the required information, then click Subscribe:
Once the Bot has been installed, you will be taken to the Management Page for your newly created bot. We will cover proper configuring of the Healthcare Bot in a future post, but for now lets just get something working.
Click ‘Open scenarios template catalog’. The Healthcare Bot comes preconfigured with a number of pre-built workflows you can use straight away.
I’ve picked the ‘Handoff to a human’ scenario:
Provide a name for your scenario and click ‘Import scenario’.
Once the scenario has been created you’ll be taken to the Workflow Management section. If this looks really complicated, don’t worry about it! The template has already been set up for us. This is a powerful way to manage workflows, but we’re going to cover it in a future post. For now, click ‘Exit’ in the top-right, and then click OK.
Testing it out
At the top-right corner of the Management Page you will see a chat icon. This lets you test out the bot from within the page before you deploy it anywhere.
Want to know more?
This is part 2 in a series of posts about the Microsoft Healthcare Bot. If you want to know more about how to configure the Healthcare Bot then look out for the next post, coming soon. You can subscribe to the newsletter and I’ll email you weekly with a summary of posts. Or there’s an RSS feed, YouTube channel, Podcast, Twitter… you get the idea.
December 10th, 2018 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
Microsoft has created four new roles specifically for admins responsible for Microsoft Teams. Roles give people in your organization permission to do specific tasks in the Microsoft 365 admin center.
This new admin roles are now available to assign in your Microsoft 365 admin center or by using PowerShell.
Teams service admin
Can manage all aspects of Microsoft Teams except license assignment. This includes policies for calling, messaging, and meetings; use of call analytics tools to troubleshoot telephony issues, and management of users and their telephony settings.
They can also manage Office 365 Groups.
Teams communications admin
Can manage calling and meeting features of Microsoft Teams, including phone number assignments and meeting policies.
They can also use call analytics tools to troubleshoot issues.
Teams communications support engineer
Can troubleshoot communication issues in Teams using call analytics tools, and can view full call record information for all participants involved.
Teams communications support specialist
Can troubleshoot communication issues in Teams using call analytics tools, and can view call record information for the specific user being searched for.
These updates are not currently available for GCC organizations at this moment.
December 8th, 2018 by Skype for Business News Aggregator
I have always liked to help others. Years ago i got a tip from a instructor at a IT course i was attending that Twitter was a great way to consume IT news. I started following a couple of people, and quickly saw how they interacted with others and assisted with problems others were having. I was still at a early stage of my IT career.
A couple of years ago when i got into automation, i also started to interact on Twitter, browse trough the TechNet forums and started to write some blogposts. After a while i discovered the Microsoft Techcommunity forums, and started to actively interact there. I found it motivating to see that people found my answers helpful, and the motivation did not stop when i got awarded as the member of the week.
It was first when i started to work at my current employer i really started to engage with the community. Probably i was a bit influenced by my two co-workers that was both Microsoft MVPs. I started to post 3-4 blogposts a month and write on Twitter every day. I was able to go to conferences where my colleagues were speaking and see how they were interacting with people. I met people face to face that i only had seen on Twitter.
I started to send some session abstracts to conferences, even though it was way out of my comfort zone. Why would I, as a introvert want to stand in front of a crowd and speak? I had not done public speaking since i was in high school, but i wanted to challenge my self.
Around Easter this year i got my first session abstract accepted. I was for Experts Live Netherlands. My first ever tech speaking session was even going to be on my birthday. After i was finished in the Netherlands, i got a urge to try this more. I really enjoyed the interaction with people and other speakers.
Shortly after this i got two sessions accepted at PowerShell Conference Asia in Singapore. Before going to Asia, i went to Microsoft Ignite in Orlando. What an experience this was. I found a really good mix between going to sessions and hanging out/speaking to people at the community area. I got meet some of my Twitter heroes, and started to see people i had met at other conferences before.
Only 14 days after coming back home from Orlando, i went to Singapore. Here i got to interact closely with people from the PowerShell product team at Microsoft, and even mr Snover himself. I had a chance to talk to people like Jeffery Hicks, that had created the videos that i learned PowerShell from. You can read about my trip to Asia here.
One week before i was going to speak at my first usergroup in Norway, i got a notifications on my phone while out shopping with my family. I took the phone out of my pocket, and saw a email from Microsoft. It said that i had been awarded as a MVP in the Office Apps & Services category. My hands were shaking and i felt enormous joy. I felt this as a acknowledgement that my contributions was good enough to make a difference.
Now the really hard work comes, to keep up with interacting and sharing quality content. I really look forward to contribute even more with the community and get the chance to communicate closer with some of the product groups at Microsoft. Last and most important, i want to thank everyone that have supported and helped me on my way in this journey!