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Talking about Teams: Fall 2020 Updates from C3

The need to hunker down over the last few months due to COVID does have an occasional silver lining: its allowed the developers at Microsoft to launch some significant new features and updates for Teams. We’ll cover a handful of them below and break down the benefits for our clients.

Lists Launch in Teams for both Commercial and GCC

Microsoft Lists is a Microsoft 365 app that helps you track information and organize your work. Lists are simple, smart, and flexible, allowing you to track issues, assets, routines, contacts, and inventory using customizable views and smart rules and alerts to keep all your team members in sync. Microsoft Lists is available within the Microsoft 365 app launcher and now directly in a Teams channel.

As I announced back in August, the new Microsoft Lists began rolling out to Microsoft 365 business customers worldwide in July. August brought the addition of the Lists app in Microsoft Teams. All are expected to be complete in production worldwide by the end of October 2020. For a deep dive into the product itself and how it can boost your productivity, be sure to check out my blog from August 2020.

 Microsoft Whiteboard Adds New Features

As we come to rely on Teams more and more during our remote work, Microsoft has continued to add features to help make your meetings more effective, improve the ability to brainstorm and to think creatively. Sticky Notes and Text are two much-loved features from Windows 10 and iOS that are now available in Teams and Whiteboard on Microsoft 365. Added in August, these features allow you to better organize your Whiteboard. improvements in the app itself has made it faster and better able to support the new features. The Whiteboard app can be used on any of your devices including PCs, Macs, Android and iOS devices. Information in Microsoft’s Tech Community illustrates the ways companies can use Whiteboard to collaborate within Teams.

Improved App Management in Teams Admin

With all the new apps being launched in Teams, management and organization becomes even more important. Now you can manage all your apps in Teams through an improved admin center, which also allows you to see the org-level status and properties of apps, approve or upload new custom apps to your organization’s app store, block or allow apps at the organizational level, and manage organization-wide app settings. The new Teams Admin Portal is available in both Microsoft 385 Commercial and GCC High.

Global admins can also grant organization-wide admin consent to apps that request permissions to access data and view resource-specific consent (RSC) permissions for apps. Users benefit from not having to review and accept the permissions requested by the app when they start the app. Admins benefit by preventing some users from granting consent to apps that access company data. For step-by-step guides on all the new features – and how they work – within the Teams Admin portal, take a look at Microsoft’s latest blog.

Power Apps Integrated in Teams for GCC High

Power Apps is a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platforms that provide a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs in hours instead of days. Apps built using Power Apps provide rich business logic and workflow capabilities to transform your manual business processes to digital and automated processes. Power Apps have a responsive design, and can run seamlessly on the desktop, in browsers, or on mobile devices. PowerApps also integrates easily with Azure Functions which allows you to create and execute code snippets in the cloud without managing web servers and containers, as well as launch serverless application on Microsoft Azure.

In September, Microsoft announced that it had created Power Apps US Government in response to the unique and evolving requirements of the United States public sector. The Power Apps GCC environment provides compliance with federal requirements for cloud services, including FedRAMP High, DoD DISA IL2, and requirements for criminal justice systems (CJI data types). Eligible customers may now choose to deploy Power Apps US Government to the “GCC High” environment, which enables single sign-on and seamless integration with Microsoft 365 GCC High deployments. For more information, take a look at the Microsoft Power Apps US Government overview provided by Microsoft. When you’re ready, Microsoft App Dev Manager Candice Lai explains the steps to integrate Power Apps with Teams.

Pop Out Your Chats in Teams

Sometimes something small can make a world of difference in usability. Now that many of us are working remotely on laptops, screen real estate can be a limited commodity, especially if you’re used to multiple monitors at the office. Teams threw us a bone this month, allowing you to pop out your chat boxes in Teams, making desktop management a little easier. You can instantly pop out your one-on-one or group chat into a separate window. Then, resize, reposition, or close the window as you wish. It’s a great way to get a lot done when you’re in a meeting or in a call.  For a step-by-step guide, check out this article from Microsoft.

Call C3 at (571) 384-7950 to schedule your consultation.