Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business thoughts and news

Tom Arbuthnot MVP
Tom Arbuthnot MCSM Communications

This site uses cookies

Find this blog useful? Please take a second to share, thanks!

5 Microsoft Teams features being worked on that I’m looking forward to, 5 more I think you should vote for

Published 21/10/2018 - 3 Comments

Microsoft across the board are working in a more agile, customer feedback driven way. This is particularly true of the Teams engineering group. They are constantly soliciting feedback and one of the main ways is User Voice, a public website designed to collect, rank and vote on user ideas and feedback.

This is a great site to post your suggestions but also browse, vote and comment on others. There is even a specific status you can filter; “needs your feedback”, which is Microsoft asking for further feedback on an idea.

The site is managed by Suphatra Rufo, Ecosystem PM on the Microsoft Teams Engineering Team. She is very responsive on the site and on twitter.

Here are 5 items from user voice that are being worked on that I’m excited about based on my personal use and customer feedback. Note “working on it” can mean a lot of things in development, so I wouldn’t count my chickens on any feature until it actually ships. You can still vote for items being worked on, so if you feel any of these are important to you, please do vote and comment.

1. Move channels into other Teams

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16939708-move-channels-into-other-teams

A typical use case in my experience; you have a team and start a channel about a new project/customer/product. Later realise this project requires it’s own team, but now you have a lot of history in the original channel you don’t want to lose/want to move into the new Team.

There is an active survey from Suphatra right now where you can influence this feature: https://microsoft.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_esTxHdABLQxKLvn

2. Move conversations to different channels

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/17727499-move-conversations-to-different-channels

This happens all the time. A conversation is started in one channel, but should actually live in another. There is no way to simple “re-home” the chat thread into a different channel.

Another active survey for feedback: https://microsoft.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_esTxHdABLQxKLvn

This is a scenario Yammer covers nicely:

image  image

3. Follow and un-follow conversation thread

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/18711997-follow-and-unfollow-conversation-thread

Another scenario that Yammer handles really well. You are @ mentioned in a thread, or you join a thread, but it no longer becomes relevant for you and you don’t want to be notified of updates.

I use this a lot for “happy birthday” threads on yammer, does that make me a bad person? Smile

image

4. Multi-window for chats, calls and meetings

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16926739-multi-window-for-chats-and-more

When you are a really active Teams user you really want to have a meeting going on in one teams window, while having maybe chat and teams going on in other windows. I frequently “cheat” and have my main tenant signed into the windows client. but also in a web browser, so I can have various chats or channel messaging going on full screen on one monitor, while I am joined full screen to a meeting on another.

This is a really common scenario in Skype for Business, and you could argue Teams needs it even more since it’s not just meetings and direct chat, but also your primary home for your key projects and content. The more you run projects in Teams, the more you want to share content from Teams within Teams meetings e.g. the planner tab tracking the status of items.

5. Compact chat layout

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/17408641-please-create-a-professional-compact-chat-layout

This sort of goes alongside the Multi-window ask. Lots of people want a “traditional” 1/3 of screen basic chat layout, rather than a full screen. People want the whitespace minimised and to see a lot of the chat on the screen. There has also been talk of a “compact client mode” on the Teams AMA

 

There are also plenty of items that are not being worked on. Here are 5 I think are worthy of more votes.

1. Multiple teams accounts at same time

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/17750851-i-want-to-use-multiple-teams-accounts-at-the-same

This is referring to guest access. I work with a lot of customers, so am guests on their tenants. I “cheat” and run a chrome web app for each of the guest tenants, so I can be signed into multiple tenants at the same time. At a minimum “switching” should be fast (the iOS client handles this very well) but ideally I want all the teams I’m a member of from various tenants to be visible in Teams at the same time.

2. Archive channels

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16940815-ability-to-archive-channels

A really common ask in some of the teams I work in. Channels sometimes get renamed XXX-Archived, or XXX-DO NOT USE. We don’t want to archive the entire team, but do want a specific channel to no longer be used, but still be around for reference.

3. Making Teams Presence Real-time

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/35486266-teams-presence-should-be-real-time

Curiously Teams polls for presence, which happens every 4 minutes, Meaning a users presence can be “stale” (incorrect) for up to 4 minutes i.e. they get off a call but still appear “in-call”. This leads to people not being able to completely trust a person’s presence.

4. Microsoft Teams Presence API (Blynclight for Microsoft Teams)

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/35689261-blynclight-for-microsoft-teams

Raised by a particular vendor who makes handy presence lights for Skype for Business and can’t do it for Microsoft Teams because there is no API (“hook”) they can read to get the current presence/presence changes of a user. This is also used in a number of desktop/client-side apps.

5. Remove Wiki from default

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/33503615-please-remove-wiki-from-template

A personal one that annoys me. We don’t use Wiki’s much a Modality. I spend a lot of time deleting the Wiki tab from channels (probably my OCD is the real issue). Who decided *every* channel should have a wiki by default? I am not alone:

image

https://twitter.com/tomarbuthnot/status/1044211866422136832

 

I’m interested to hear what your number one ask would be for Teams? Be sure to get posting and voting on the user voice.

Tom Arbuthnot

Tom Arbuthnot

Principal Solutions Architect at Modality Systems
Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Unified Communications specialist Modality Systems. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP, blogger, has a regular podcast with UCToday at tomtalks.show and is a regular speaker at events including Microsoft TechEd and Ignite. He co-runs The Microsoft UC User Group London.

3 comments

Week In Review: October 19th – Mastering Skype & Teams - 22/10/2018 Reply

[…] Arbuthnot has a great article about Users Voice and some features that are desperately needed.  Some of it is so basic you have […]

Barbara Manning - 23/10/2018 Reply

I’m a contract worker for a startup. As such, we’re making Teams all the time, then abandoning them when the project is done or jury-rigging a Team or Channel as the actual project as we move forward. I’ve gone so far as to copy and paste comments from one channel’s conversation into the new Team just to keep the data. So thanks for the links to the surveys. And speaking of the surveys, I wish they had a place for comments at the end of the survey and a counter so I could see just how much of the survey I have left to complete. While I’m wishing, a way to save the survey and return to it would be nice.

Teams seems to assume a large, stable business with a big IT staff to manage the ins-and-outs, and that’s not us — at least, not right now. I also have a gripe about Teams creating a SharePoint site — well, I don’t mind that it’s created but I’ve yet to find a way to shut down a Team and keep the SharePoint site. It makes sense to me to start a project in a Team, drive the deliverables, discuss the issues, yadda yadda, but once we have something I’d like to keep the history of it’s creation (which, for the most part has all the “why we did it this way” info) in the SharePoint file. Instead MS deletes both! Yikes!

Switching Between Microsoft Teams Accounts; And What To Do About It - 16/11/2018 Reply

[…] Skype for Business expert, Tom Arbuthnot, suggested that, by now, we really should be able to be in multiple Teams accounts at same time, without switching between Microsoft Teams […]

Leave a Reply:


close

Weekly Email Update 
of all the key 
Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business News
every Tuesday

No Spam ever, I promise - Tom