Elly Yates-Roberts |
Microsoft has introduced a series of updates to Microsoft Teams and devices to improve meeting experiences. Among the announcements made at the Enterprise Connect 2023 event were expanded partnerships with Cisco, Crestron, Jabra and Yealink, which have further aligned their products with Microsoft to help users work and collaborate more effectively.
“We are committed to delivering great meetings in every space across the end-user experience and ensuring that managing these rooms is as seamless and efficient as possible,” said Matt Taylor, senior product marketing manager for Teams Rooms and hybrid workplace at Microsoft. “We see that office spaces are in a moment of transition, moving from dedicated personal spaces to flexible shared spaces – or hotdesking. And we know that our customers want to achieve more with less, and have an easier time doing it.
“Through collaboration with all our partners, we’re continuing to deliver great meeting experiences, while helping to lighten the load for IT teams who have to manage numerous bring-your-own-device (BYOD) rooms.”
For example, Cisco devices are now certified to natively run Teams, providing users with a high-quality video and collaboration experience.
The new Cisco Board Pro enables video meetings, digital whiteboarding, annotating on shared content, access to applications and wireless presenting (Image: Cisco)
Yealink’s DeskVision A24 display is also now certified for Teams. The product features artificial intelligence-based audio and video capabilities, dual-mode device connections, a 4K camera, built-in speaker and microphone, and a hinged monitor for ease of use while whiteboarding.
Microsoft has made Teams displays easier to use with a new QR code login. Available in summer 2023, users can scan a QR code on a Teams display with their mobile phone to log in faster.
Users can easily log in to Teams on their mobile devices via a QR code on a Teams display (Image: Microsoft)
Microsoft is also making Teams easier to use via BYOD shared spaces, by providing solutions that are smaller, lower-profile and at a reduced cost. As part of this, Crestron has launched the AirMedia Connect Adaptor to offer plug-and-play presentation and wireless conferencing capabilities to BYOD areas.
“Whether you’re in a huddle room, lounge, or mixed-use room, effective hybrid work requires the ability to easily present and conference without jumping through hoops,” said Lauren Simmen, director of commercial product marketing for Crestron. “The plug-and-play AirMedia Connect Adaptor allows users to collaborate more freely using their personal devices and any outfitted display to riff on an impromptu brainstorm or deliver a formal business presentation.”
Crestron’s AirMedia dongle removes the need to download software or run applications when screen-sharing or presenting in shared spaces (Image: Crestron)
Among Microsoft’s other announcements at Enterprise Connect 2023 is the new Microsoft device ecosystem platform. Taylor describes the new service – which is built on the Android Open Source Project operating system – as bringing together “the best of Microsoft and Android, tailor-made for shared spaces and optimised for Microsoft Teams devices”, and leveraging Android’s support for a diverse range of hardware and software.
Jabra is the first to take advantage of the new ecosystem with a Qualcomm system-on-chip (SOC) compute unit running Android as part of its PanaCast 50 Video Bar System that will be upgradable to the device ecosystem platform.
“We are delighted to have contributed to the development of this enterprise grade Android platform and to deliver it with the PanaCast 50 Video Bar System as the first video solution for this Microsoft ecosystem platform for Android,” said Aurangzeb Khan, senior vice president for intelligent vision systems at Jabra. “Together Jabra and Microsoft present a video solution that combines the Microsoft heritage in platforms, security, management, and scale with Jabra’s leading video technology, for the benefit of our customers.”
Read Taylor’s blog post on the full list of updates at techcommunity.microsoft.com.