Technology Record - Issue 23: Winter 21/22

48 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om F E ATUR E When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, businesses were divided into two groups: those that were unable to maintain operations in the face of the crisis and those that were prepared and willing to implement the technology to make the best of a precarious situation. Dubai Airports, operator of Dubai International Airport, is one of the latter. The organisation quickly deployed Microsoft Teams to facilitate hybrid working environments for its more than 2,000 employees and carry out major maintenance and improvement works on its train systems, airfield and buildings during the downtime created by travel restrictions. This story is one that has been told bymany businesses recently. The collaboration platform has proved its value in the last two years, with numbers increasing from two million users in 2017 to 145 million in early 2021. Building on this success, Microsoft continues to update and enhance it with new features and tools to improve communication and collaboration among workforces. In its primary form, Teams is a platform to facilitate virtual meetings. To improve engagement in these interactions and reduce meeting fatigue, Microsoft has added a new feature that enables meeting organisers to see the order of hands raised, allowing them to ensure they include all participants. Also new is the ability to record meetings, enabling users to review and catch up on conversations if they are unable to attend in real time. Within the recording capabilities are other functionalities, such as multi-speed playback, high-quality transcripts and auto-recording. Users can also now add participating operator dial-in numbers to a Teams audio conferencing bridge through Operator Connect Conferencing. The initial wave of qualified operators includes BT, Deutsche Telekom, Intrado, NTT, Orange Business Services, T-Mobile and Telenor. Accessibility and inclusivity are increasingly part of the conversation around technology. Hence, Microsoft has added the capability to include descriptions for images shared in chats to help people who use screen readers to understand the full content of a message, even if they can’t see the image. Microsoft Teams has transformed the workplace, facilitating remote and hybrid experiences. New updates and features will continue to drive the platform’s future success BY E L LY YAT E S - ROB E R T S Collaboration unleashed